I had a feeling when I wrote my previous post about Mother’s Day on Saturday night, I would fail to include a few important (to me) things about the subject matter. Indeed, I had only made passing mention of three not-so-traditional forms of mothers in this world. One of those was the single-parent setup, of which I was part of during my very young years: My mother was a divorcee, and she looked after and provided for both my sister and I on her own for several years. Even after she remarried, had another child, and took another job, she still cared for us and made sure we were doing alright even with our latchkey kid setup (she worked nights for a while, and Dad was on the road quite a bit). Things weren’t always hunky dory, but we turned out okay for the most part.
I also mentioned in passing mothers mothers who are in same-sex relationships or marriages. Here it is 2019, and I’m still stunned that there are those from conservative circles who feel that a family should be headed by one male and one female, with no variations. They conveniently ignore the fact that children who are from families headed by a couple of the same gender tend to thrive very nicely.
I regularly follow the blog and social media of a female couple, who are nothing but positive role models for and loving figures to their children. Just because their family is headed by two moms doesn’t make them any less of parents, nor does it make their family any less equal than a traditional family with one mother and one father as its heads. (It’s the same way for families headed by two dads, but I’ll save that for Father’s Day. No offense, guys.)
But what about a family where one of the parents has transitioned from father to mother? A couple of other people I follow on social media were father figures in their families, and even after making the transition in gender from male to female, they’re still involved in the lives of their kids, and in a positive way too. Does the fact that they once had to present as men before transitioning make them any less mother figures now? No, for they’re being there for their children, making them parents first, regardless of what they were before or who they are now. And even without having a uterus, they That qualifies them for recognition on Mother’s Day, regardless of the conservative naysayers.
And while we’re at it, let’s take the time to recognize mothers who didn’t carry those they care for into this world. They may be adoptive mothers, foster mothers, nannies, caregivers, grandparents, aunts, or even hosts to exchange students. But they all have that maternal instinct, likely picked up from their own mothers, that they bring to their duties of caring for, for lack of an unused term, their own charges. Mother’s Day is a day where they should be applauded as well.
And there was one other type of mother that I didn’t think about until this afternoon: Male Mode Me follows on Twitter a local junior-level hockey team. For the uninitiated, junior hockey features players ages 16-21 who are sharpening their skills in actual competitive leagues, hoping to impress the scouts of a collegiate team who may want to sign them to a commitment or a pro team looking to draft young talent into their system.
A drawback or benefit (depending on how you look at it) in the junior hockey system is the fact that many of these kids (and 16-21 is still kid range) are away from home, and away from the parents who helped foster their dreams of skating in the big time. That’s where billet families come in. They provide a “home away from home” for the players, providing room and board, and support and guidance, for those players in need of parental guidance.
And for sure, the teams these kids play for are very appreciative of these families serving as hosts to their players. Want proof? Here’s a tweet the local hockey team shared today:
No, billet moms may only be a proxy for the mothers that brought these teams’ players into this world and saw them take this big step in their athletic careers. But they should be recognized on Mother’s Day as well, for providing something the young players still need: Parental support, even if it is by proxy.
Regardless of what kind of mother you may be, here’s hoping this Mother’s Day finds you receiving the recognition you so richly deserve.