What is the definition of a “Mother”?
Is it a woman who gives birth to a child?
A female parent?
A woman who nurtures, encourages and loves unconditionally?
A woman who adopts a child and raises that child as her own?
A woman who marries into a family with children and raises them with love and guidance?
Yes, those are all definitions of “Mother”, “Mom”, “Mommy”, and “Mama”.
But the word “Mother” has several other meanings.
For instance, here are a couple of my favorite definitions:
That one is a favorite of mine.
Once you are a mom, you get the honor of experiencing the never-ending public embarrassment that comes along with that title.
Pretty much on a daily basis I find myself hiding my face, slinking out of a store, sweating profusely in humiliation, or apologizing to everyone in sight. The list goes on and on.
Before children can talk, moms’ embarrassment is usually not the kids’ fault. It’s usually due to something like projectile pooping in public or screaming during an entire church service. Something the kids can’t avoid doing.
But once they can talk, the fun, I mean humiliation, increases tenfold.
* I’ve had the color of my underwear announced in public.
* One of my kids once pointed to a woman at the library and said, “Oooh, look. She has a baby in her belly”… uh nope, she didn’t.
* One child announced at the grocery store that my boobs are “so fluffy”.
* At a restaurant, my other child asked me loudly whether the waitress was a boy or a girl (I should add it was while the waitress (not waiter), was standing right in front of us taking our order and turning very red).
* Another time, one kid saw a priest in town and asked him why he was wearing his bathrobe outside.
* My favorite… at a clothing store, one of my kids pointed to the lady next to me and said, “Mommy, look how giant her butt is!”.
O-M-G. – I literally ran out of the store that day. AFTER I mouthed “I’m SOOOOO sorry” to the lady with the giant butt (in my child’s defense, it actually was very large).
HANDLING THE HUMILIATION
Never in my life, before I had children, had I been subjected to such feelings of embarrassment on a daily basis. I became scared to go out in public with my kids, for fear of what they would say.
The only thing you can do as a mom is to give it a little time.
I promise it gets easier. Once the kids are old enough to reason with, they do understand the concept of saying things quietly. They also understand about saying only nice things out-loud.
But oh man. There are a few crazy years when whatever they are thinking, just comes pouring out of their mouths. They are full of honesty. They say what they think, whenever they think it. With no filter.
And that is a very tough time for moms.
HOW CAN STRANGERS HELP?
Next time you are somewhere and a kid points at you and says, “Hey, that lady’s hair looks like a bird’s nest!”, or “Mommy, is there a baby in her belly?”, please have sympathy for that kid’s mom! She is dying of embarrassment. Crumbling inside. Have some pity and tell her it’s okay.
She will really appreciate it.
I speak from experience.
THE BEST DEFINITION
All joking aside, the most accurate definition of “Mother” is this one:
It’s not always an easy title to live up to, but the rewards that come along with the humiliations, are well worth it!