I want to say Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there. I hope every day you are shown appreciation, not just this day.
I’m not going to lie; Mother’s Day makes me slightly uncomfortable. I think a lot of you might understand this: two Moms.
On one hand, I have the mother that birthed me. We have a pretty distant relationship, with her weaving in and out of my life since I was five-years-old. I always explain our relationship as more like sisters. Not that I know what it’s like to have one, but what I imagine what it would be like. My mother had me young. We pretty much look the same. When she is around we party together, she borrows my clothes, it’s fun. I talk to her pretty infrequently and maybe see her a couple times a year.
On the other hand, I have my (foster) mom. The woman who took me in as a broken teenage girl and raised me to be the woman I am today. The one that sat with me every day and helped me with my homework, attended every 4-H and equestrian meet, made sure I had all the necessary school supplies, guaranteed I took all the classes needed to graduate high school, along with countless other things. When I broke down after a couple years of living with them, she endured the brunt of my anger and lashing out, but she still loved me. Seriously, I cannot even begin to explain what a compassionate and strong woman she is to me. I talk to her at least once a week (which is less frequent since I moved to Los Angeles) and I try to make it home at least twice a year. Trust me, not nearly enough.
It’s a juggling act sometimes. I’m at the point in my life that I call my (foster) parents Mom and Dad. I don’t have any contact with my biological father, so when I say “Dad” everyone knows I’m talking about my foster dad. When it comes to “Mom” most have to clarify. This is what I mean when I say: Mom = Foster Mom and Mother = biological Mother. It’s very confusing, I know. Sometimes I even mess up and say Mom when I’m talking about my biological mother. I’m sure others struggle with this too. I just want to say, you are definitely not alone.
So far the only truly uncomfortable situation for me was my college graduation. This is a big celebration for most that finish college, but an even bigger deal for me given my background and I was the first one to graduate in my family. (I’m happy to say I’m no longer the only one!) Morning of my graduation everyone gathered at CSUN before I lined up for procession. Everyone included: my mother, my grandpa (her dad), my parents, and my best friend Ashley (and two surprise guests later). We took pictures pre ceremony, as my mother and grandpa wanted to leave before the rush after. I was preoccupied with everyone’s feelings and what they were thinking. Nothing was outwardly done, tension was just very present.
There is no “bad blood” between my parents and my mother; no custody fights or struggles that I’m aware of. It’s more that my parents are protective of me given that my childhood was stolen from me. Not to mention the effects of abuse, like PTSD. My biological family is completely oblivious on the abuse from my aunt, which of course my parents don’t believe. From what I’ve been told, my family only knows that she hit me and nothing else. I think my family chooses to still be ignorant of what she did to me. It’s not like my mother is a “bad” person either. But my
mom (see I just did it there, mother) had me really young and wasn’t able to take care of me. She had her own struggles and up until about a year ago I never even gave it thought what that was like for her. I forgot she was human, not that I should have to as a kid. It’s our parents’ duties to keep us safe and be there for us. I have A LOT of processing to do when it comes to my relationship with her and I haven’t quite forgiven her for everything that happened, but I can say I’m working on it. Slowly.
If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be on this planet. I cannot change the abuse I’ve gone through, but I wouldn’t have met my wonderful parents either. Honestly, I’m beyond lucky for the person I am right now, today.
I do worry about things like what about when I get married? Whose names do I put on the invitation; you know the part that says “daughter of”? What about wedding dress shopping? When I have kids? Or anything else mother or mom related for that matter?? I’m such an anxious person, but I’m trying to learn to live in the now with the things I have control over.
So Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom, my Mother, my boyfriend’s Mom, my best friend’s Mom (who is my Jewish mom in LA), your Mom, and ALL the Moms and Mothers out there.
Let me know how your thoughts on having two moms (or dads!), situations that are stressful, and how you deal with them.