Stretch Marks Don't Make You a Mama

The other night I was watching an episode of Intervention, one of the handful of shows I am currently obsessed with. In fact, I was pondering....what happens if you're addicted to watching Intervention? Will they do an Intervention Intervention?

The addict had a daughter, but the daughter had been raised by the addict's sister, because the addict had never been able to take care of her. She always chose the drug lifestyle over her child.
And you might think the addict was grateful to her sister for providing a safe, stable home for her child when she obviously couldn't. But not only was she not grateful at all, she was quite resentful. She hated that her sister and daughter had a close relationship and at one point said, "I am the mother! I can show you my stretch marks right now! I carried that kid!"

At which point I wanted to jump through the TV and smack her around a little bit.

It blows my mind that anyone can honestly think that giving birth is all it takes to make someone a mother. I guess they think that once they push that baby out, they're done - anyone can take care of the kid; they did it all in that 9 months. They got the morning sickness, and stretch marks, and birthed the child. The next 18 years of parenting apparently don't count.

It's something I could picture Andrew's "egg donor" of a mother saying. She did in fact give birth to Andrew, and even managed to stick around for 6 months. Since then, she's been in and out of Andrew's life, totally inconsistent, until 2 years ago, when she dropped out altogether.

But she gave birth to him. Her pregnancy wasn't easy; after her first child was born prematurely, she had to have a cerclage and was very closely monitored.
She went through labor and childbirth.

But it takes more than that to be a Real Mom.
A real mom invests time and love into their child, and doesn't bail when things get hard.
She's there for the fun times, and the not-so-fun times. Let's face it folks, raising kids has its share of frustration, anger, and tears. And let's just be honest....some of it is just tedious and boring. But real Moms....we do it all.

I remember Andrew's bio-mom showing up for his preschool graduation. Front and center with her camera, all teary-eyed and "proud", demanding that we give her his graduation cap (which we had purchased...she has never contributed monitarily in any way, even before she disappeared). It was sickening.

Andrew is only eleven years old, but he knows one thing. He decided on his own that it doesn't matter who gave birth to him. What matters to him is who takes him to soccer practice, who helps with his homework, who cooks his dinner every night, who throws his birthday parties.

You know....the Real Mom.


Erin said...

Okay first I LOVE the holiday decorations you've decorated the blog with.
2nd, I saw that intervention! I wanted to cry! I could never imagine! Glad Andrew knows who his mom is!
Anyone can be a "Mother" is takes someone very special to me a "MOM"

Myya said...

I love the new design, the header is adorable with all the stockings :)
Once again I am sooo glad that you talk about this. It is absolutely right that it doesn't take strech marks or dna to make a mom or dad, it take ALL THE OTHER STUFF!

C said...

right on, sistah! couldnt have said it better meself. i like "egg donor" lmao

Amy said...

My kids have a "sperm donor" like that. 11 years without a phone call, birthday card, Christmas card, visit or any type of him acknowledging their very existence but on HIS birthday he gets drunk and cries about "his" kids. Can't remember when their birthdays are and only remembers they're alive when his family is around on his birthday. So glad my baby is now almost 16 (and the others all over 18) and they are all old enough to have working brain cells with logic (not that they ever use them but still...)

You are the "MOM". Glad Andrew recognizes this.

The Nice One said...

Wow. This kid is so lucky to have you!!!

♥ Kathy said...

You are definitely Andrew's mom & I know he's proud of that fact!

Anonymous said...

You are 100% Andrew's real mother, and it sounds as if you are lucky to have each other!

diane rene said...

love the christmas feel ♥

while I don't deal with an egg donor, I do a sperm donor. I try so hard not to let it have control over me, to not give it any power of my emotions, but to see it carry on about what an amazing daughter it has?? sometimes it gets the better of me and I cringe and gag before telling myself, she is an amazing young woman, despite the lack of effort on it's part :)

Aunt of 14 said...

You're so right, giving birth doesn't make you a Mama. Its the raising part that really does it. Maybe mother by blood only, but a;sldkfjgh!

April said...

I, too, am addicted to Intervention and can hardly wait for the new season to begin on Dec. 13th. My DVR is already set to record every episode so I don't miss a thing! You nailed it...giving birth does not automatically make you a MOM. It's all the time, blood, sweat, tears, and love you put into raising a child...END OF STORY! ;)

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

A wonderful and honest post. And full of truth. Andrew is beautiful, just as you are. Angels around you.

Kat said...

Exactly! Kids know better. He is so lucky to have you for his mom. :)

Tara R. said...

*applauds* biology is NOT the only thing that makes a parent - mom or dad.

You are Andrew's mom... period! and he knows that too.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Awesome post and you are 100% right. Andrew is a smart boy, your love has given him a mother that he loves and who loves him totally.
I am so proud of you.

Amy said...

You are definitely an awesome Mom, to ALL your children. :)