Every single one of us comes from inside someone’s womb. Even if you were created in a lab, you still had to develop and grow in the warm, liquidy (not a word, but we will say it is) confines of the inside of another human being. It is a pretty wild concept if you think about it.
Every single human has been, at some point, or is lucky enough to still have, a mother. Some of us have been lucky in the mom lottery and some of us not so much. Some of us are proud when we are told we are “just like our mother,” and some of us not so much. It’s the luck of the draw.
As a boy mom (definition — a mom of only boys, to be clear), which I am proud to be, you are put in the unique situation of raising humans who will never experience what you have experienced — the ability to bring life into the world. There have been many conversations where I have to say, “You will never know what I am feeling, because you will never be a mother.” Fathers might be insulted by this, but that is just too bad. No matter how much a father loves his child, he still will never know what it is like to be a mother. There is nothing like lying in bed, many months pregnant, and watching your belly move, knowing that there is a tiny human swimming around in there.
A man will never know what that is like. Just like a man will never know what it is like to have a tiny human look up at you and realize that you are their food source. (Though, to give credit where credit is due, a man does know that when you pee standing up, the stream defies laws of gravity and that is how it doesn’t all end up on the toilet seat. Everyone has to be good at something.)
There are two days a year when I have high expectations for recognition — my birthday and Mother’s Day. That is it. Those are the only two days when I expect/wish that I will be showered with gifts and praise. What I have learned is that the bar needs to be set very low. Like on the floor low. Actually, is there something lower than the floor? That is where the bar should be set. Heed my words boy moms — this is where you need to set the bar.
Some years, I am happy and proud of my family after both my birthday and Mother’s Day. Some years, they totally nail one day, but not the other. Very rarely do they screw up both. The problem is that even though I set the bar unbelievably low, I am still disappointed when they don’t come through. It makes me feel like I have been talking to three walls for the last 20 some odd years.
As most of you know, I am no wallflower. I let my feelings be heard. If I want something, I ask for it. I am not going to passive aggressively beat around the bush. I want cards. I want flowers. I want presents. On only two days a year. That is it. So what happens when you are clear about what you want and you don’t get it? Keep in mind that this implies to all aspects of your life.
When I was a therapist (yes, I was a therapist in a previous life), I would ask my families what they wanted from each other. (I asked it in a more professional way.) “I want you to talk to me for five minutes when you come home from school,” the mom might say to the son. Communication is important. If you tell your loved ones what you want from them, you would hope they would listen to you. Well, folks, apparently that only happens if they are really scared of you. And, without going into what happened this past Mother’s Day (since it is over and I am not talking about it) apparently, only Husband #1 is really scared of me. And there you go. You can only “mother” the best you can, and hope that some of it sticks.
And that’s all I got this week.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck got herself a lovely pocketbook with her name on it because her other one broke. She really has nowhere to go, but when she does, everyone will know her name.