This day makes me think of all the women who have died in childbirth, or shortly after. Those who chose not to become mothers and those who tried a million times a million ways and couldn’t. I think of the children who lost mothers and of those mothers who lost children. I remember the women before me who have mothered and nurtured, but weren’t my mother. I want to acknowledge all the mothers who navigate life invisible due to gender, loss, circumstances, choice, or some other scenario I haven’t envisioned. Mothers who try, mothers who need more support, mothers who feel stuck or alone. I want to celebrate, mourn, reflect, remember, and thank.
I have a complicated relationship with the day, and being queer and a single mom by choice adds an interesting twist. I am often invisible due to perception (just the other day I was mistaken for a teenager). I live with my mom, but she’s abandoned me many ways many times. I have a tattoo for a woman who was a mother for me and a belly button made by my god mother. Being a mom has been my biggest dream and it is my daily challenge.
I woke up this morning on mom duty. I am always on mom duty. I was brought a plant and metal ladybug in bed. I was snuggled, as is usual, and immediately began making breakfast and getting ready. I worked and saw a friend, got an ice pack for a pinched finger. I came home and prepared for guests I hadn’t much notice for. The toilet didn’t get cleaned and the reading lesson didn’t get done. My plans for the day constantly morphing. I got work done on books, talked, a small walk, made a salad I didn’t know I was in charge of. Bedtime routine with an overtired kid, then more work, tea, and a little yoga. I will still be a mother when I wake up tomorrow. One of the first words I will hear will be “Momma.” But it could also be “I need.” Because mothers fill needs.