Monday, May 6, 2013

Non-Mother's Day

Can I be honest? If your answer is no, quit reading now.

So I'm hitting a few milestones this month. One is my one year anniversary of being a foster mommy. I received my first placement, Little Man, on May 25, 2012. It's been a year of many firsts, but this Sunday brings about a first that I am honestly dreading...

What is Mother's Day to someone who is not Mother?

I will wake up this Sunday having spent everyday for 6.5 months caring for two precious little girls. And for me, it will just be another day. Another day of wiping snot. Another day of making sure that sibling rivalry doesn't turn into sibling beat-uppery. Another day of getting two children dressed, ready, hair done, matching shoes on, and out the door in a timely fashion. Another day of worrying about whether or not I have enough money in the bank for the things that they need for school on Monday. Another day of listening to the fits when they go into time-out for disobeying or pinching their sister's arm. Another day of spending two hours driving to take them to a visit with their Mom...

Their Mom...

We will spend a good bit of this week shopping for Mom's gift and making her something special so that the separation between mother and child will not be quite as painful on a day that celebrates mothers. We will spend Sunday afternoon in the car driving to go see Mom and Grandmother and take them out to eat. We will give her gifts and hugs, spend time loving on her, and telling her "Happy Mother's Day." Then I will bring them back home where we will eat a quick dinner, take a quick bath, and then get to bed to start another week of school.

Am I a mother? Yes, I perform the duties of one. Am I Mom? No. 

In my heart, I know that I chose this. I chose to stand in the gap for children when it isn't possible for them to be with their birth families. I chose to be the one that is not, and never will be, the one that they love the most. I chose to be a single mother of children who are not my own and will only be with me for a season of their lives. 

When I was choosing, though, I didn't really think about the moments that make this an awkward and painful place to be. I didn't think about the moment in church where moms are asked to stand up and be recognized, but yet I don't feel like I have the right to stand, because I am not Mom. I didn't think about the little part of my heart that yearns to be the one that is thought of first on Mother's Day. I didn't think about how hard it would be to see all of those stupid Mother's Day commercials that show a daddy helping his child give Mom a gift while knowing that this will not be anywhere on my schedule this Sunday. I didn't think about how hard it would be to see all of my friends with their families without feeling a pang of jealousy. I just didn't think...

To be utterly transparent, I never imagined how much I would dread this day and wish I could hide under a rock for the duration of it. But I'm glad I didn't think. I'm glad those things that cloud my mind with dread right now weren't a part of my thought process when I was making the decisions that needed to be made a year ago. For where would I be without my Little Man and the many lessons he taught me about love and laughter? And where would I be now without my two spunky little girls who seem to teach me more everyday of forgiveness by forgiving me of my many, many shortcomings? 

So to all other non-Mothers out there... Happy Mother's Day, from me to you.

I blog with BE Write


  1. In thinking about Mother's Day, I've actually been thinking about you a lot, and all the other foster mommys out there. I think about our child or children whoever and wherever they are right now. I think about the mommy loving and caring for them right now and I'm thanking God for her. I think about what mother's day might look like next year for us. I wonder if next year their foster mommy will indeed be the first one they think of. I know that we will honor and celebrate her no matter what.

    You are special and valued and appreciated for exactly who and what you are!

  2. Sending love your way on Mother's Day! Being very new to foster parenting, and not a mother myself, mother's day is a difficult day for me as well. Usually, I'm content in the life that I've chosen and I'm always grateful for God's forgiveness, mercy, and allowing such an imperfect person as me to be a small part of his kingdom ministry and work. But, days like Mother's Day make the longing for my idol - the American Dream of a traditional family and to be a forever mother difficult to overcome. Cards all on the table, I dread the day and feel a certain emptiness around it. Thanks for sharing and letting me know I'm not alone. Thank you for the reminder that God uses us where we are and shows those who follow him special lessons along the way.

  3. Happy Mother's Day!!

    You are a Mommy, even if it is a temporary-stand-in-the-gap-kind-of Mommy. That's still a Mommy. May your Mother's Day be blessed as you care for your charges. May God richly bless the love that you have and are showing to those that He calls us to love.

    You have my respect, admiration and well wishes. I share my Mother's Day with four other mothers and I recognize and pray for each of them on that special day. I also give great thanks for the opportunity to mother those that He has called me to mother.

    I feel your pain and sadness and I offer you a great big cyber hug.

    God bless!

    Traci Smith

  4. I have so much I could say on this subject... but I will refrain for the moment. Having mothered 53 kids, 20 of whom have become permanent, I can certainly say that Mother's Day is the most traumatic and heart wrenching (and usually unpleasant) day of the year. There are so many mixed emotions. So much hurt. So much wishful thinking. And so much loss. After 10 years of beating my head against the wall and wondering why Mother's Day was usually the worst day of the year, I decided to use the official Mother's Day as a day to celebrate all our birth mom's. All the focus is on them - not me. Truthfully, knowing that we intentionally choose to make it about the other mom's makes it so much easier to endure the fact that for most of my kids, Mother's Day represents the LOSS of a mom whom they love.