Adventures in Co-Parenting: Mother as a Verb

If you mother, you are a mother. Mother is just as much a verb as it is a noun, if not more so. It is an action, unceasing, deeply satisfying and never ever fully complete. Mothering doesn’t go on a resume, but it should, because being a mother can truly be the most difficult job in the world. Today we’d like to take a break from our regular format to offer up this tribute to all mothers – and we’re quite serious when we say all mothers. Whether you consider yourself a mother, stepmother, adoptive mother, mother-to-be grandmother, half-mother, whole-mother, mother figure, or any other kind of person who makes a child their number one priority in life, you are a mother. We are talking to you. Here’s to you, moms of the world. Thank you for all that you do.

From your fellow mothers

Thank you for raising socially conscious children who will one day figure out how to actually fix this world.

Thank you for opening that door for me so I didn’t have to do the awkward hold-door-while-wheeling-stroller-with-foot move that is oh-so-attractive.

Thank you for teaching your children manners. A little please and thank-you can go a long way.

Thank you for giving me the “I’ve been there” mom-nod in the middle of Target when my child has decided that this is the perfect location to have a full-on meltdown.

Thank you for looking at my burgeoning baby belly and not saying any of the following things: Wow, are you having twins? You’re pregnant and you’re eating THAT? Let me tell you my traumatic birth story…

Thank you for teaching your children to say “I’m sorry” when they’ve hurt someone, no matter how defensive you might feel about what happened.

Thank you for not telling me the best way to do it, because you know, I may have my own little tricks up my sleeve.

From your children (If they could find the words, this is what they’d say…)

Thank you for worrying about us – every minute of every hour of every day from the moment you knew we were on the way.

Thank you for reading us the same bedtime story three times a night for eighteen nights in a row…and not skipping pages even though we can tell you want to.

Thank you for making us eat our vegetables even though we sometimes put up a fight. Broccoli’s actually not that bad.

Thanks for not leaving us in Target when we have a meltdown in the middle of the aisle and people are staring at you.

Thank you for buying us the incredible amount of “stuff” we need, or think we need, or other people tell you we need.

Thank you for teaching us to take responsibility for our own actions even if, “But Mah-ahm, he made me do it.”

Thank you for letting us have fast food or candy as a treat every now and then.

Thank you for remembering to always keep a sense of humor while parenting us because it’s really fun to laugh along with you.

Thank you for saying you’re proud of us...it’s the best feeling in the world.

So please, go ahead and thank a mother today. Heck, make it your mission to thank a mother every day. As a mom, there’s nothing better than feeling that you’re doing a good job, or an ok job, or even a good-enough job that your child has made it through another day unscathed because sometimes, that’s all that we can manage.

Fellow mothers of all kinds, take a moment and gaze at your little angel sprawled out on the dusty floor of Target, kicking his pudgy legs and flailing his sweet little arms and remember this: he’s yours. You may have birthed him or he may have come to you through some other means, but he is yours and there is no greater gift than that of being able to raise a child to be a contributing, valuable, good-hearted citizen of humanity. After this brief moment of existentialism, scoop him up (yes, this does count as your workout for the day), inform him that, no, he is not allowed to pick out a treat and promptly hightail it out of there before the “judgy eyes” can bore a hole in your back. After bedtime, pour yourself a glass of the good wine, open up a carton of the full-fat ice cream, crack open a salacious read, or watch some trashy reality TV.   Whatever your vice is, indulge in it. You deserve it because you’ve done some damn good mothering today.

Julie Cox lives in Saratoga and is a high school English teacher. She loves being a mom to Jackson (10), Declan (2), and is looking forward to welcoming a new baby this fall.

Katie Nemer is a true Saratogian who is loving life as an at home mom to Jackson (10), Zoe (2) and Cocoa (their chocolate lab).

To read more Adventures in Co-Parenting, check out Part One here, Part Two here and Part Three here!