Some of you probably heard all about Teleflora's "non-mom" contest category that included adoptive moms. (They got floods of complaints. Read the small print at the top of the page and you'll see their hasty apology.)
Calling adoptive moms non-moms is offensive, sure, but unfortunately, common enough. Most of us have been asked if we have/couldn't have/want to have "children of our own." It's pretty much about like that.
Ultimately, who cares if others don't think I'm a "real" mom? I know I am, my kids know I am and when it boils down to it, I have my children. Whatever anyone says, I get to be the one they go crazy for greeting when I've been out. I get to be the one to cuddle them on the couch in front of the t.v. all day when they're feverish (Nat, today). I get to teach them to read and write and eat a meal with good manners. I get to watch them grow and change and I get to guide them to adulthood. It doesn't really make any difference to me whether some ignorant person insists this isn't "real." I get to have my kids.
Who are the real "non moms" according to pretty much everyone on the planet? First moms, of course. They didn't even get a Teleflora contest category. Why is no one up in arms about that? Because folks actually believe it. They believe first mothers don't count, shouldn't count, should closet themselves and stay invisible. Some adoptive parents like to imagine first mothers as angels in the hospital bed, laying there, passing the baby off to their superior care. (I had a venty chat with a first-mom friend today so this image is fresh in my mind.) But that's where they want them to stay. First moms aren't supposed to go on and have actual lives and continue to be mothers after the soft-focus photo op.
Maybe it's because I'm queer and I'm used to people thinking my family relationships aren't real. But so far into this adoptive parenting gig, I am far, far less concerned about being dissed by the public than I am about first moms being dissed. Those are my babies' mothers, folks! Their flesh and blood.
Teleflora "fixed" their adoptive mom slight and posted the apology. (Frankly, adoptive moms should just be mixed into all the other categories if you ask me.) They also sneakily (no apology) changed the description of their adoptive mom candidate from, "mother to one daughter of her own and six other children who began life at Meth babies."
It's all P.C. now. But the first moms are still invisible.
I'm not the biggest fan of holidays invented to sell stuff. We wouldn't really recognize mother's day around here if it weren't for the fact that we had mothers galore--Cole, me, my mother and Fern--in the house on Sunday for Selina's big event. So we bowed to [email protected] and passed out the gifts. To all the mothers here.