You Can't Be a Mom
“You don’t know what its like to be a mother.”
“If you never carried a baby for nine months then you won’t understand how to truly care for them.”
“You will never know them like I do.”
These have started becoming some of my least favorite phrases. I wasn’t big on them before I married Cody, but I certainly am not a fan of them now. These words can seem so true to so many, but most people don’t understand that there is a level of ignorance in what they are saying. Phrases like those above, and so many more, are like daggers that are thrown at those of us who are just trying to be good step-moms. Good examples. Good teachers. Good followers of Christ.
When I moved away from my parent’s house not long after high school, I realized how much I needed my mom. It hit pretty quick that I didn’t know all that I thought that I did. Got a cough? I need mom. Got a ticket? I need mom. Venture into the world of Starbucks and not understand the difference between latte and Frap? I need mom. Needlesstosay, I contacted my mom often. I know she enjoyed this, but I also knew it couldn’t be like that forever. I had to learn how to function in another state without my mom.
When I became a believer at 20 I needed a spiritual mother (something my mom couldn’t be for me at the time). I needed someone to take my hand and teach me to walk the crazy beautiful path of being a lover of Christ. In came a woman I hold near and dear to my heart. Her name is Jeanna. She was a roommate that turned into my spiritual mom. I even call her mom to this day.
Jeanna was 10 years older than me and wasn’t married and had no children, but my gosh do I believe with everything in me that she was a mom to many. She helped me to see that moms come in all shapes, sizes, ways, and forms. A lesson I didn’t know I needed until I met Cody.
A couple of years after I met Jeanna I started working at a camp and became friends with one of the camp families. They took me under their wings and helped me get through some of the toughest times of my life. The mom of the family, Danyelle, became yet another mom to me. I still refer to her as mom. Cody refers to her as mom. She has poured into me about Christ, life, boys, marriage, being a mom, and even taken care of me when hurting. My mom actually met her at my wedding, and I don’t think I could have been any happier.
Here’s the thing. I always told my mom about Jeanna and Danyelle. I told her that I called them mom. I told her how they helped me to grow up and develop my own walk with God. I told her stories of how they poured out their love for me so regularly. What did my mom do? She thanked them. She taught me better than anyone that they were being moms to me in her absence.
Isn’t that what we are called to do? Aren’t all of us called to love our neighbors? To help others? To cherish others as more than ourselves? Because of these women I have followed their lead. I have helped other girls and even have a close friend who calls me mom because of my desire to love her in her mother’s absence.
I have watched other close friends take in a girl and love her like their own. She no longer has a mom, and while they know they did not birth her, or raise her, they know that they are playing a significant role in this sweet lady’s life. I have watched another friend take in a teenage boy into her home because his home life is very unhealthy for him. She will never claim to be his mother, but she is treating him as though she is. I have example after example of women that have stepped up to be a mom to children that were never their own, but in a way, have become theirs.
I’m one of the lucky women who get to call herself a stepmom. I look at all of these examples from before when I met Cody and I laugh because I clearly see God at work. I clearly see that He was teaching me and setting these truths in stone so that when the rocky climbs of stepmomhood came, I would never question my place in my stepdaughter’s life. I would never allow the words that are spoken to me ever down play the role I have. Because of this, I have such a heart to help women in a similar role, or ones like that I mentioned above, know that they are moms.
Moms care for others that can’t care for themselves. Moms give of their time to raise another up. Moms give tough love to ensure you grow up to be better than they are. Moms want the best for you, will do whatever it takes to make sure you get it, and will never ever stop fighting for you (hopefully also in prayer).
Giving birth has a chance of making you a mom, but there are plenty of women out there that give up their rights as a mom and then someone else steps in to love and nurture that child. There are plenty of women out there who we all could agree should never have been a mom and their kids are paying the price. If giving birth is the only way for a woman to become a mom then I would like for you to explain that to anyone that has adopted. Explain to the stepmoms that have stepped up and raised someone else’s child and the bio-mom ran away from their child. Explain that to the woman who became a safe haven for another when their mother was anything but safe.
My point in all of this is not to proclaim that you are to refer to me as my stepdaughter’s mother. I am not claiming to be her mother. I am claiming that when a woman steps up to take on the roles of being a mother (whether fully, partially, or sometimes even just spiritually) then she should not be looked at as less. I write this to also give hope to those out there who wonder if they will ever actually be a mom. Maybe broaden your perspective and ask God to show you who looks at you and considers you part of their family? Maybe they don’t call you mom, but it doesn’t mean you are less to them.
I love my mother dearly. She’s my best friend, but I also love Jeanna and Danyelle and if anything were to happen to my mom, I know she would be okay with them loving me and helping me. She understands that its the actions that make someone a mom, not the stretch marks.
For all my moms, grandmas, aunts, cousins, or whatever you may be, check out this incredible book that changed our parenting forever!
MUG OF THE DAY
I”m a coffee junkie and always have a mug in my hand. Check out my daily mug and it could lead to some good things!
This was a custom mug from a sweet friend!