The Other Mothers: The Village Reinforcements-Part I

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There are those among us whom have not been graced with mothers whom are both healthy and attentive. There are those, much like myself, whom had a mother that worked often, but were surrounded by a bevy of women to usher you into womanhood. Not to be forgotten are the teachers, the foster or adoptive mothers, whom step in and do what women have done for the millennia:  we make it happen, because the situation calls for it.

To them, I say, “Thank you!”

The march towards motherhood and child-rearing is one that defines the innate strength society believes most women have. For some women this honor and position proves the best of them in the highest regard. For some mothers, the demand of this position proves to be too much. However, then there are those whom, like my mother, had to work as much as a two people in order to care for their children. My mother worked as a nurse all of my childhood. My parents were together until my father’s death in 1998, but my childhood was filled with the presence of my maternal grandmother and my mother’s siblings.

It was my Aunt Linda that showed me the awesomeness of reading, my Aunt Valerie who taught me to be meticulous, and my Aunt Myra that took care of me while still a high school student–showing me the awesome nature of being a scholar and pretty. Their presence was invaluable in showing me that family is indeed a working organism, something to feed and respect. My grandmother was a pillar of my world until her death in 2013. It was her strength I like to believe I have which has steered me from utter calamity. In losing her, my world grew a little more fragile–perhaps a little darker.

It needs to be said that motherhood is thankless and it is a rare that it can be done with no outside support. I am graced that my mother took advantage of her village. I am happy that I got to see what it is to be both mother and worker. I am in a unique position now to create the same organism for my own children. I take full advantage of my sister, close female friends whom are now family, and my still vital mother!

The role of these other mothers I believe are seen as invisible–supporting characters if you like. These spirited entities that can be conjured and erased at will. In believing this, we cheapen their contributions of  them to the lives of the children they love, raise and influence. These people, these essential members of our villages have to be recognized and identified.  My grandmother said this in regards to helping people:

“It’s never convenient to help somebody. That’s why they call it help.”

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Indeed, Grandma.

From the aunts that love children whom are not theirs; tend to children whom are too young to understand why their mothers work so hard; sign report cards, field trip forms and do parent-teacher conferences; bind up the wounds from children they take to play; know you are loved and appreciated.

For the foster mothers and adoptive mothers whom love the children in their care with no motive other than a mother’s love,  whom decide to take in children whom may never understand why their lives have broken at the seams, thank you.

To the teachers whom speak life and courage and talent into their female students, thank you.

Motherhood is the most infuriating phenomenal thing I have ever experienced. And I am humble enough to know that every good mother needs reinforcements. The Marvel Universe has The Avengers, The X-Men and Fantastic Four. I, too, have had that–and build my own superhero team right now.  Even Mama knows when she needs reinforcements.

[Images taken from Google–hmothersday.com & WeHaveKids.com]

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