I'm a mom collector. It took me a long time to realize that. I'm super good at collecting sweet caring attentive mother-in-laws. At adopting mother-figures and grandmother-figures. I've been married twice, divorced twice, and have had awesome in-laws both times. I still am very close to both of them.
Whenever I talk about my childhood, I give all the credit for raising me to my Gram. I feel like my mom shouldn't get any credit, since almost none of the positive things I've learned have been because she taught me. I learned how to be loving and protective despite her best efforts, not because of them. My mom was quick to backhand us if she felt we were "mouthing off." If she thought I was "giving her that look," SMACK! Sometimes you didn't even see it coming. She had a quick temper and saw us as a burden.
The first mom I collected was my first husband's mom. She was kindhearted. I'll admit that as my MIL she was annoying at first, but I grew to love her dearly.
My second MIL was sweet. At first I found her to be kinda bossy, telling my husband what he should do, asking how he was going to manage his addictions/treatment, etc. This was her way of showing her love. I didn't realize until later that he had misinformed (read that as 'lied to') me about many things. I thought she was being pushy, she knew that I didn't know the whole story and was trying to let me know before we got married. I love her dearly.
It wasn't until I had been married to husb2 for about a year that I actually felt comfortable calling my MIL "mom" and not her name. Before that it'd seemed like an insult to call her mom. I had a mom and my mom was a fuckin monster. Why would I insult my MIL by calling them the same name?
The third mom I collected came in a roundabout fashion. If you'd told the 15 year old me that the 40 year old me would have 3 moms, not including my biomom, I would have said you were crazy.
Here's how that happened. I'll do the short version now and I'm sure I'll get into all the details in a later post. When I was 18 my biomom told me that my dad was not my real dad. Ffwd a few months and I got to meet my real dad.
For the purpose of clarity I shall refer to them as S-dad(stepdad) and R-dad(real dad) for the rest of this post.
So R-dad didn't know I existed. Like, at all. My mom never told him she was pregnant. He lived about 4 hours drive away from where I grew up. He was married. I had a stepmom, L, who was nice enough. (I didn't call her mom though, for the reasons mentioned above) She had 2 kids from a previous relationship and she and my R-dad had 3 kids together. Holy crap! I had a whole other family! I had 5 new brothers and sisters! This was kinda mind-blowing.
They, my R-dad and L, divorced a bit later, and he moved to Oklahoma. We lost track of each other for several years. Honestly I thought he might have died, because the last time we spoke he was staying in an extended stay hotel and had told me he was going to go into see a Dr about his chest pains. I literally didn't hear from him for years after that. Finally, through his brother (my uncle) I got in touch with him again. He was remarried to a very sweet woman I'll call MomK, for blogging clarity. MomK is awesome. In person I just call her mom. She is my mom.
So I've kinda been going through some shit this past year and all three of these moms have been there for me. MomK especially. I told her I've been writing to get some shit outta my head and asked if she mind if I send her some. Her reaction was just what my inner child needed. She said that she was proud of me. I cannot begin to describe how powerful those four little words are. I know I didn't hear them enough when I was little and that's why they have so much weight now, 4 decades later. She asked how I felt now, after writing. She said it was sad and she cried for me, but she read it all and she was so proud of me for writing it.
That is why she's my mom. The mom I most closely think of when I say "mom." Because she cares about me, because your real mom isn't just there for the fun stuff, the happy times, she's willing to wade into the muck with you and help you find your way out. She's there for advice and reminds you to take care of yourself. She actually gives a shit about your well-being, physically and mentally. She's willing to see you through the worst and not shame you for it. That is why my biomom got renamed to biomom and my other moms are now just "mom." They are the real deal. My birthmom earned her demotion. Biomom is a more accurate description anyways. It states exactly what she contributed to my life. DNA. Sorry, every living thing on earth reproduces, ya don't get a special medal for that.
That's all for now,