During a debate yesterday, a commenter at Now Is Good suggested that a father’s significant other could “play mom” and therefore invade Mom’s territory or otherwise strain relationships. I responded in the comment thread, but I thought this might be worthy of a full post, so here it is…
I looked up “mom” on dictionary.com and read “an informal term for mother”. So I looked up “mother” and found various definitions, many of which might be offensive to a sensitive mom. Why? Because “Mom” isn’t simply a mother. Mom is special, dammit!
“Mom” is not a job description. While some moms cook breakfast and drive kids to school, other moms hire nannies to take on those duties. One mom might take her daughter to get a manicure and a different mom will take her daughter camping (did anyone else see the Kate Gosselin episode of Sarah Palin’s show?). Activity does not equal Mom. If that were the case, there would be no nannies, no teachers, no family restaurants and no children’s hairdressers.
Mom is about a connection. Mom signifies an emotional bond. Anyone can cook, clean, kiss boo-boos, read stories and give hugs. Yet, everyone knows that sandwiches taste better when Mom cuts the crust off. It is a fact of life.
The essence of Mom can be neither created nor destroyed by the actions of others. The relationship between Mom and Child is theirs to nurture or neglect.