An Open Letter To My Unintentional Mothers

You may be wondering why I am writing to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day when A) I have my own mother whom I love very much (your gift is in the mail, Mom!) and B) I did not come out of your vagina. I shall explain. I think it takes a village of “mothers” to raise a daughter. There is one special woman who conceives, carries, and births you. That woman is technically your mother. Duh. But lots of women can be a mother to you (as anyone who has been adopted, for example, can attest to).

At some point in my life, I think it was around the time that good ‘ol puberty kicked in, I realized that no one woman, no matter how superheroine-esque, could provide me with all the “mothering” that I needed in life. It’s just not possible. That is where the unintentional mothers came in, to supplement that love and provide me with experiences that were out of my own mother’s sphere of knowledge and expertise.

Because these women don’t get the attention they deserve for their motherhood, I’d like to take a moment to give a shout out to the unintentional mothers who have been part of my life. To Jean, for teaching me to follow my instincts; to Francis, for teaching me what it means to be a survivor; to Barbara, for teaching me that I am perfect just as I am; to Amy, for teaching me powerful thinking; to Anne, for teaching me unconditional support; to Tamra, for teaching me how to make and carry out a logical plan; to Kimberly, for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself; and to Susan, for teaching me work ethic and perseverance. You have all been mothers to me at crucial moments in my life when I really needed your special brand of nurturing. Thank you for that and for all that I’ve learned from you. Happy Mother’s Day.

Your unintentional daughter,