A “real” mother

What makes someone a “real” mother?

This was precipitated by a comment by a young family member who referred to his “real” mother in a conversation. Let’s just say that she is the woman who gave birth to him, but she has not really been an integral part of his life. She does love him in her own way, but she has had a number of other issues, and so the father has been the primary (and constant) parent.

So what is a “real” mother? Is it the one who gives birth? Maybe…and that is an important part of it.

But for me, a “real” mother is so much more. She is the one who is there when a child cries…whether it’s from fear, anger, pain, loneliness. She deals with the unpleasantness of sickness–regardless of which end it comes from! She attends teachers’ meetings…supports…encourages…and yes, disciplines. She’s the one who may hear the child say “I hate you!” when difficult decisions have to be made–and yet can reply with “I love you.” She goes to the doctor–and the hospital–with the child when necessary.

A “real” mother loves a child for who he is–and for who he can become. She loves him simply because he is, not just because he happens to be the child of the man she is married to.

God bless all those who are “real” mothers…whether that is through birth or adoption or step-parenting or fostering. They truly are blessings to others.