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Who owns the Right to be called "Mother"?

As I drove to my grandmother's house today for yet another doctor's visit I started to think about roles. I took today off so that I wouldn't rush through her visit and then feel pressured to get to my office and feel productive. I wanted to fully be present in my responsibilities today. My role was to represent her in all ways possible, to speak on her behalf and make the best choices for her over all care.

I drove up to her building, parked my car and proceeded to walk to the door. I announced myself, went to the mail box and got on the elevator. I waited for her home attendant to open the door for me. I in a boisterous show of guess who's here announced myself with a big smile and walked over to give her a kiss. She asked who I was and why was I there, I said "to take you to your doctors and bring you back home". She stuck her tongue out and said she didn't need to go anywhere and turned her back to me. I sat beside her and kissed her cheek, took her hands and bribed her with a treat if she would go with me...she finally said ok and we left.


During the visit her behavior was awesome, lots of laughter, lots of chatter overall pleasant experience. The usual "wow she is 92?!", "wow your her Granddaughter?!" comments were said and I like a robot repeated the same responses I always end up saying. My role was to take care of her needs. I got her up to date on her shots, updated all her info, discussed future options. I was the adult in the relationship.

Once I dropped her off and went through my check list I kissed her some more and said how proud I was of her today for cooperating so well with me and for that she had earned her treat...a small amount of tobacco for her pipe so she could smoke. Be it something that some would say no to I don't because it has been her only vice and its the only thing she still remembers that brings her joy and that is what I am here for, to make her ending a happy and peaceful one.

As I closed the door behind me I smiled because I felt like a proud Mother. My child had cooperated with me and made me proud. That thought bought me to a story I came across yesterday featuring Kim Cattrall (Samantha from Sex in the City). It was in regards to comments she had made on being a "Mother". I totally understood what she meant and where she was coming from so what I am about to say next is for those who apparently didn't.

I have always been a "Mother" even before I had my own child. I'm a nurturer, I'm a protector. When my mother would leave me in charge of my sisters my role was to be their second mom. To make the best choices on her and their behalf. To protect and provide. When my friends would bring their kids over, I was a second mom. Again providing protection, love and nurturing them. That never meant any disrespect to the women who carried them or diminished the fact they carried these babies for nine months.

illustration by freequoteswishes.com

What she said if you stop being so touchy and feeling like you own the word "Mother" was actually very touching. I am a Mother who carried her child for nine wonderful months but if another women who shares in the same line of responsibilities without the nine months feels like calling herself a mom, I wouldn't be offended in the least.

It's almost like insulting people who decide to adopt or people who are just honored to play the role of God Parent. As if you couldn't love or care for a child that is not your own. You want to use the word "Mentor" instead of "Mother"?, sure do so if that is how you feel. But if you care for a child just as a "real" parent would or does and you feel like your a mom go ahead and call yourself that as well.

Again, catty women. Always knocking each other down. Never just encouraging anothers choice in path always finding fault in those who don't do it "their way". How were her comments provocative? Why hasn't she paid her dues? Because she doesn't have stretch marks on her belly or woke up hourly during the night or because she didn't take a child to his/her first day of Kindergarten? How do we know that she hasn't been present in other ways that matter just as much? How do we gauge what her presence and importance has been in anothers life?

moth·er
ˈməT͟Hər/
noun
  1. 1
    a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth.
    synonyms:female parent, materfamiliasmatriarchMore
verb
  1. 1
    bring up (a child) with care and affection.
    "the art of mothering"
  2. 2
    dated
    give birth to.
    synonyms:give birth to, havebearproducebirth;
    archaicbe brought to bed of
    "she mothered two sets of twins"

    *

    3mother

    verb
    : to give birth to (a child)
    : to be or act as mother to (someone) : to care for or protect (someone) like a mother
    moth·eredmoth·er·ing \ˈmə-thə-riŋ, ˈth-riŋ\

    Full Definition of MOTHER

    transitive verb
    1
    a  :  to give birth to 
    b  :  to give rise to :  produce
    2
    :  to care for or protect like a mother 

*merriam-webster

I have a wonderful friend who is more of a sister to me than my own and she chose not to have any children of her own but she is absolutely a Mother to her nieces and nephews, to her friends children and to my own. She does about the same or even more than most parents do for their own children. I would never take offense if someone called her Mom. The time and effort she invests in them is priceless.

So.....if you were offended my Ms. Cattrall's comments please try to look at her comments from another perspective. It was not that serious. Those of us who carried our babies for nine months don't  own the rights to "Mother". Be happy for those who want to nurture, love and care for another human being.

huffingtonpost.com
etonline.com

What do you guys think? Am I wrong in not feeling offended by her calling herself a "Mother"? Is the label or role of a "mother" on size fits all? Why are women so caught up in ownership of labels?
Let's chat it up.

Always stress free xo.
Mari

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