Our Story Begins:
Learning to Be More Like Mom
It’s not an easy thing to contend with. On a daily basis I bounce from being who I am now to being the Midwestern-raised dad. You know what I mean, right? The guy who goes to the park and tosses the football in the fall and throws the baseball in the summer and when things go wrong . . . he fixes then.
As this is Mother’s Day, you should know that I learned a lot about being a Mom, even though I am not one.
But then five years ago I had to take on the role of doing the best I could to mother these four kids of mine along with being their dad. That isn’t easy, either. The typical “guy” thing doesn’t work there. Guys don’t tend to listen. I know that’s a generalization (and not 100% true) but it’s still the reality of the situation. We also like to fix things. That boyfriend treating you like crap? I’ll give him the what-for and make sure he thinks twice before hurting my little girl!
Well . . . in the last few years not much. I have called their aunt, my mom, the moms who helped us when we needed it, all the proper moms.
One year my daughter, Hannah, gave me a card that said “Happy Mother’s Day, Dad!” She told me I did both jobs so I deserved it.
Doing both jobs has given me a whole lot, too. I am a far better person, far better man, and far better person in a relationship because I learned how to listen, not try to fix things, and be more attentive to what people are saying. I learned sometimes tears are just tears that need to be shed. That’s true if it’s you kid or it’s your girlfriend. I learned that you don’t have to be a Mom to be more aware or more attentive.
And since my kids were born I have been the person that hugged them, read to them at night, kissed their scrapes, bandaged them up, made lunches, even sent them on their way to school. None of that diminished what their Mom did, but it certainly helped me appreciate what their Mom DID do.
But I don’t pretend I’m a Mom, either.
At the end of the day being a Mom is a lot more than this guy here acting like he’s always known how to be a Mom. It’s not just that I didn’t carry them inside me. It’s not even that I had to gain more empathy or maturity. It’s that sometimes it’s just good to have your Mom around. I certainly learned that over the last five years.
So I take these few words and column spaces to celebrate and appreciate Moms and what they have given to all of us. I learned a lot from having to pick up where my late wife left off. The other thing it’s done for me is show me how much I still have to learn.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you and all my dear friends at Good Enough Mother.