This was my first mother’s/auntie’s day. I’m not a mother, not a biological or adoptive mother. But on a day-to-day basis I have the role and responsibility of a parent. As Mother’s Day approached I had a lot of questions about what my role in Miss 9’s life was. Our situation isn’t a tricky situation by any means, but it isn’t a situation that we encounter often. In many ways Patrick and I co-parent with Miss 9’s parents. We’ve come to realise that we have the responsibilities of parents but we also have the leeway that is enshrined in our rights as an aunt and uncle. I’ve come to accept that we actually have it really good.
For Mother’s Day itself, I wasn’t expecting anything. I woke up to a lovely brunch which Miss 9 and Patrick prepare for me every Sunday. Half-way through brunch they gave me a card each and a little present and that was it. I spent the rest of the day thinking about my mum, the supportive women in my life (few and far between!) and what they mean to me and how I could be a similar presence in the lives of the women that are in my life.
Around 11pm I was sitting in bed, reflecting on the day and thinking about my sentence for our ‘Days’ book (Patrick and I have been writing a sentence a day about our relationship since the day we got married, some 2200 days ago). During the almost five months that we’ve had Miss 9, we’ve done everything we possibly could to ensure that we spend quality time together, that Miss 9 doesn’t become more important than each other. This is not saying that we ignore her, or that she isn’t a priority – if you know us, you’d know she is well looked after and loved infinitely but she is not more important or more of a priority. I know a lot of parents get lost in their children and sometimes put each other after their kids. This is something we didn’t want to happen.
Unlike children, your partner is the person you chose. You picked that one person out of many to share your life with. You may choose to have children or adopt or become parents but you’re not necessarily ‘shopping around’ for a child the way you ‘court’ and then decide on a partner. It is for this reason, among others, that as I thought about Mother’s Day, my emotions came back to the man I have by my side. It’s not something I thought I would feel or ‘learn’ on Mother’s Day. I’ve always thought the day would be about your child/children, but instead for me it, just like most other days, became about my relationship with Patrick.
Did you learn anything new? Something about yourself?