Recently I picked up a copy of a popular women's magazine to read while passing the time during a long bus ride. I don't usually read womens magazines on account of not wanting to buy into the whole "buy this, look like this, wear this" crap. It was the swimsuit edition and I was ready to just scan over the fluff and remind myself that most images were airbrushed and meant to make me buy something. I also reminded myself to toss it when I was done because you know, anorexia happens when little girls look at covers of such magazines or some shit. While I was scanning through the hundreds pages of I don't even know what, I saw a picture of Kate Hudson in a bikini, looking fit and happy. The caption read, "Kate Hudson, mom of 2, BUT WE CAN'T TELL!"
This made my stomach turn. The way it was worded, they made it seem as though looking like a mom of 2 was the opposite of a bikini wearing celebrity, sporting a lovely smile and 6 pack abs. The implication in saying she doesn't look like a mom, is a compliment.
Seriously, this bothered me for days. Ever since I have been someones mom, I have been told I look too young to be a mom. Since I was 16 when I had my first, it seemed like a general observation people were making. It really didn't bother me, although it's annoying when it's being told to me within earshot of my daughter who is now inches taller than I am. Her patience with strangers has been wearing thin since she was born, I presume.
But when people tell me I don't look like a mom?
Well I get pretty offended even if I don't call them out on it.
What the hell are moms supposed to look like? And where do I not fit that image? Kate Hudson is a mom. To her kids, that's what moms look like. I do not look like Kate Hudson. I also don't look like your mom. I look like my kids mom.
I know a foster mom who loves her kids as much as I love mine. She stays up past their bedtime reading them stories, or getting them a snack, or telling them to please go back to sleep. She worries about their education, their health, if she's doing all the right things. She has never birthed her own children, yet, she looks like a mom.
A single dad I know, was told recently that he wasn't in fact his sons father. He soldiers on, loving his son as much as he ever did, while his ex is mostly out of the picture. He looks like a dad and he looks like a mom.
I know of a beautiful lesbian couple who have the most gorgeous baby girl. The love these mother's have in their eyes, brings tears to mine. They both look like moms to me.
I would be honored to be told I had any similarities to them.
This Mother's Day, I want you to realize just how awesome it is to not just fulfill the role of a mother, but to look like it too.
It's not just birthing some kids that makes any one person a mom, after all. There are adoptive moms, single hardworking dads fulfilling at times both roles, there are teachers, nannys, caretakers who love a child or children with every breath of their body. They watch and worry, and love with a fiery passion, just like a mom who waits and waits and waits for a positive pregnancy test or word of a child who needs her to be his/her mom. There are grandmothers, aunts, even uncles, who love a child and remind that child every day how awesome and wonderful they are.
There are mothers who had their babies taken too soon. Sometimes before they are born, who are still have an adoring mother and number 1 fan.
There are moms who struggle every day with a disability or a mental illness or love a child with special needs.The strength they possess is something we would all want for ourselves, to carry us through tomorrow when our normal aches and pains of carrying small children and the endless exhaustion, doesn't seem to quit.
Moms are fucking amazing, aren't they? And we are all amazingly unique, with different stories, and different shaped bodies. And every body and every story we have, is just right!
So can we all just stop feeling uncool because of the sticker decorated minivans we drive, unattractive because ALRIGHT I ONLY SHOP AT OLD NAVY FROM 3 YEARS AGO and start feeling a little more like the badasses we really are?
Because one thing we do have in common, is that our hearts give more than we get, love harder when it seems like there is nothing left, and hope for more happiness in the life of a child we love, than we could ever even imagine.
Here's to you moms, dads, future moms, grieving moms, waiting moms, offbeat moms, young moms, every mom.
It is an honor to celebrate this day with you.
Love to all your beautiful hearts. Happy Mother's Day!