Recently, my four year old saw a princess on the TV. I asked him “Am I a princess?” To which he said. “No, you are just a mommy.” Sheesh, kid.
“JUST a mommy”? I was shocked and horrified by this answer. Cue all of my insecurities and defenses.
I mean, really, like I want to be a princess. I’d rather be a warrior or Wonder Woman.
I digress. Back to the point.
Just a mommy? Just a mommy? The word JUST has such a negative ring to it when paired with the word mommy. Well, when paired with any word actually; JUST a wife, JUST a teacher, JUST a dad, JUST a nanny, etc.
If I am being honest, it hurt my feelings a little bit. That lasted for a second or two and went away. I mean come on, he’s four. Once he told me there was an elephant in my ear; clearly there was not.
It occurred to me he doesn’t know language the same way we “intelligent” adults do. He’s way better off….
Then I thought “what does JUST a mommy mean for him”? Well, I don’t really know. I didn’t ask him.
Then I thought, what does it mean to me? Does it mean anything? After all, we give meaning to anything and everything that is said and happens to us. Words are words and they mean nothing until we give them meaning. It’s a brilliant concept to get, accept and practice.
In reality, what he said means nothing at all. It’s just something he said.
But let’s play with this statement and what I have chosen to make it mean for myself. I made it mean “I am nothing more than a mommy and I am not valuable in society.”
Since my husband passed away, I am, and do, everything for our son.
I read all the books, sing all the songs, plan the activities, cook the meals, give the baths, put all the toys together and away, help him meet goals, like riding a bike, etc.
I do everything, from laundry, to grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, tending to tantrums and upsets, answering questions that I don’t even know the answers to, calming fears, etc.
I say the “I love yous” and the “your daddy would be so proud of yous”. I share laughter and tears with him. I share the ” I miss daddy. Why can’t he come back?” conversations and do my very best to explain it to him so that he understands.
I kiss every boo boo and wipe away every tear.
I am the one he wants when he is hurt and when he is sad. I am the one he wants to read to him, to tickle him, to share funny/crazy stories with, to play with dirt and with bugs.
I am everything to him; I am just HIS mommy.
He gives me big hugs and yogurt kisses. He tells me he loves me before bed every night and that he loves my heart.
If all of these things are what it means to be “just” a mommy….
I’ll take it…