I am no more a mom than you.
Being pregnant is a strange phenomenon-it suddenly gives people the freedom to share their opinions on your body, how you carry, if you look too small or too big…and advice on how to care for an infant, your marriage, your house, your body…
Being pregnant has been an interesting experience for us, because, although I’ve never been pregnant or mommy-ed a newborn, I’ve been a mommy. I’ve cradled a wimpering one year old into the wee hours of the morning, knocked down fevers, loaded my car with three little (big) boys to take to and from school, to and from football, to and from baseball, speech therapy, friends’ birthdays. I’ve faced that exhaustion of overrunning but knowing I can’t stop because there’s no one that can take my place-not as a superhero complex, but, just as the reality of raising three boys on your own. You, and you alone, are their everything.
I’ve laid on the floor next to one boy as he melts with a tantrum, yelling about a jacket, but my mommy-heart telling me there’s something deeper, way deeper, happening here.
I’ve grounded and taken off doors (well, now, that would be we, since I’ve become my husband’s bride), because of grades and choices that need someone to say “enough…” because we believe he is worth it.
I’ve cuddled and cradled and sang and danced after hours of work, exhausted, because the giggles and toddler ramblings are just…the best.
But I’ve also experienced the deep stab wound of people saying “Yea…but you don’t really know, you’ll never really know until it’s your own."
These are my own.
They are my own.
I know birthpains, maybe differently than you–but I know them in the sense of enduring trial and heartache and holding on when I felt like giving up so many times. I understand the endurance that bears joy on the other side (John 16).
I understanding nurturing, and giving my body to a child in constant need, maybe differently than you–but I know what it’s like to have six arms tugging at your only two, and losing sleep for so many reasons, missing out on dates and fun…because you’re needed. And I can’t shape the deep anguish that resides in my heart, my stomach, every day, as a nursing mother who leaks at the sound of her babe’s cry (Isaiah 49:15).
People have told me I don’t, I can’t understand what being a mommy feels like until I experience these physiological changes. They’re wrong on so many levels, to so many people.
I am no more a mother than you, because I’m incubating this sweet babe in my body. I feel blessed, and honored, and in total wonder and awe, but I’m no more a mother than any other forms of mommies just because my baby is growing in me. I am no more a mommy today than I was when I answered that call from the police at 3am almost three years ago.
I am no more a mommy to this Babe than I’ve been to my three Little Lost Boys–this is a new experience in some small ways, but not in the amount of heart it takes to mother, momma, mommy.
I am no more a momma than you–this is what I need to hear. I am no longer a momma today than I was three years ago.
And I was no less a momma the day we said goodbye to our precious boys.
Even though I carry this babe in me, I am no more a momma than you…
you who choose to stand in the gaps, fostering, giving up much of yourself to love someone who hasn’t seen true love before, so they push. Your mommying is not in vain.
you who have adopted, loving someone different than you in color or size or eyes or hair, getting questions about your choice.
you who chose the hard road of waiting, or in vitro, or any fertility treatments. You are a mommy, even in your waiting.
you who are single, and using these years to open arms wide across the nations, or maybe in your own backyard. Your hugs are making a difference.
And to all the different kinds of mommies–who birth or auntie or foster or adopt–we have different stories, different backgrounds, different understandings, but it’s not a comparison trap. How the enemy would love to separate and entangle us into different categories. It is rather an area to learn and serve and celebrate the diversity as we strive towards a single goal: to raise up and love on the babes entrusted to us by God’s hands.