Monday, May 12, 2008

The One Where I Find Myself On The Opposite Side Of The Fence...

So the interwebz is all aflutter about the NBC/Teleflora gaff. The "Non-Mom" category in a contest. All across the interwebz there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. So much so, the category was retracted and renamed forthwith. "To arms, to arms!" "We are just regular Moms!" "Boycott NBC!" Boycott Teleflora!" "Call the FCC!" Adoptive mothers everywhere seem to have lost their collective minds.

Being an adult adoptee of an adoptee, I can tell you that both my mother and my grandmother were not "regular" Moms. Their paths to family were different than a great percentage of the population and I can't see any reason not to acknowledge them for that. When I see grandmothers, aunties, gay partners, anyone, taking on the challenge of parenting a child, I'm in awe and I can't bring myself to call them "regular" at all.

The internet supports a plethora of "mommyblogs" and within that plethora, one can see mommies separating themselves from the pack and breaking off into groups of people with like experiences. There are single mom blogs, adoptive mom blogs, gay mom blogs, gay men as moms blogs, grandparents raising grandchildren, etc. And that seems to be okay. It actually seems natural. But heaven forbid, anyone outside that small world acknowledges it. Prepare for the wrath of the Gods to descend.....

To all those moms out know who you are... you are different. You're not a "regular" Mom. You didn't travel the same path as the majority of society. It doesn't make you better or worse than any other mother out there, but it does make you different. And to try and erase that difference is doing yourself and quite possibly your child, a disservice. Your path, your journey, is uniquely your own. It sets you aside from a great majority of society and it should be celebrated.

What seems to get lost in the melee is that this is not about love, it's about labels. Why in the world would anyone want to share a label with someone who has not made the same journey as themselves? Why would anyone want to be "regular"?

So here's the part that's going to get me in trouble with gazillions of Non-Mom moms out there. This entire hullabaloo is less about how the world sees you, it's much more about how you see yourself. To me, it's extrodinarily sad to see folks denying their own reality and scrabbling to join the ranks of the ordinary. It's heartbreaking and disheartening to see people take a label as judgement. It also breaks my heart to see that so many of you still consider the biology important, even as you deny it matters.

I think NBC could have done a better job with their categories. I'm not sure how, but I'm sure there's a better word for it. What kills me, is that there are a bunch of kids out there who just might have participated in that contest, and who just might have a "Non-Mom" mom who loves them unconditionally. And now, because the grown-ups in their life chose indignation over understanding, their view of the people that love them is being challenged. Instead of their Mom being unique and special and different, their Mom must be like all the other Moms or someone's feelings are going to get hurt, or someone's going to get mad. Nice message, don't you think? Whatever your vision is, it's alright as long as it's the same as everyone else. And the same as mine.....And the same as the guy down the streets, and the same as the lady in the grocery store, and the same as......

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