A lot of people say that you don’t know what motherhood is until you have your own. I have to disagree because I’ve helped raise quite a few kids in my time. And while I don’t have to be financially responsible for these children that I’ve helped to raise, I know that I have helped their parents look for pre-schools, day cares, high schools and other important things in their lives. I’ve changed their diapers. Helped feed them. Helped clothe them. I’ve rocked them to sleep during the day and at night as they were growing up. I’ve witnessed their “firsts” – first steps, first words, first birthdays, first days of school, first boyfriends/girlfriends, first proms, first everythings.
I’ve been a part of their lives from the beginning. Helped them with homework. Helped them learn. Taught them their alphabet. Helped them do math. Watched them learn how to ride their first bike. Helped them with science projects. Read them bedtime stories. Taught them how to read. I’ve watched some graduate high school and go off to college while others are still reaching that milestone. I’ve moved them into their first dorm. Discussed options for their future and what majors they want to study.
I’ve been blessed to be part of their lives since they were in their mother’s wombs and I’ll never forget all those memories. Because although I did not give birth to them from my womb, I still consider them my children as they consider me their “other” mom. I have been there with them every step of the way. Watching them grow. Watching them mature. Giving them advice. Watching them become their own people in this world. And I’m looking forward to watching them graduate high school and college. Excited to see them go on their first interviews and getting their first jobs. To see them finding that one person who they will grow old together with. To witnessing their marriages, their children, and all the other firsts in their lives that are still to come.
This to me is motherhood. Having helped to raise the many children in our family. To having witnessed their lives. To having participated in how they are raised. Celebrating their triumphs with them, but standing by them when they struggle. Being that person they go to for advice. This is my motherhood. And to anyone that denies that you can’t experience motherhood without having children come out of your own womb I say – why don’t you give my kind of motherhood a try?