Written from the perspective of an African, runaway, street kid turned foster kid and American, foster dad
To the moms who relearn grade school subjects to help with homework, hold feverish kids, and serve as the favorite bedtime storyteller—you are a superhero.
To every mom who eats the edges of the casserole, so the kids can have the center—you are a superhero.
And every mom that responds to the zillionth question of the day with patience and an educated guess as an answer—you are a superhero.
Being a mom is one of the only roles in society where you have to be “on,” even when you’re relaxing. Even if your kids aren't in the same room, they're on your mind. Your kids are in your space during your “down time”! When people become parents, their thinking shifts—in a good way.
But I would argue that even in our "modern" society, moms are the default parent and tend to carry most of the mental load regarding their children's best interest and safety. In all the mundane, everyday moments, loving moms show up for their children with kindness and offer a safe place for them in this world.
My mom did this for me. She responded in love, kindness, grace, and tenderness despite horrible life circumstances standing against her. She couldn’t meet her own needs or mine because of the poor economic situation of our rural African community. She didn’t know how to save herself or me from the constant rage and abuse my father dished out. But she knew she loved her kids and was dedicated to seeing us succeed.
My mom was dealt an unlucky hand in life. She suffered from financial insecurity / poverty, fear, trauma, neglect and abuse—but still, she made the most of her life.
As a poverty-stricken female, living in a patriarchal farming community in rural Uganda (near the Rwandan border)—my mother was shunned by her family when she found herself pregnant by an abusive man. My lovely mother, my siblings, and I all grew up under terrible abuse, but I want to highlight the love and care my mom showed to me in the midst of the most evil, undeserved circumstances.
Often, I think about how my mom loved her children every moment of each day to the very best of her ability—even in an oppressive country and position she could not control. She had been kicked and beaten down at every turn of her life. But still, we ate as often as she could find food in the fields; I was glad to help her when I was old enough to understand the hunt-and-gather routine.
Nothing improved as our family grew, yet she still chose to protect me and my siblings. She is my real-life superhero!
As a mom today, you may not see all the good you are doing. I'm here to remind you that if you’re an intentional mom who’s doing her best to love her kids every day—you’re showing up for your children in the same superhero way my mom did! I applaud you. And if I could, I'd give you a hug.
In our world today, I believe sometimes we address moms as “the one to blame” for a child’s appearance, behavior, or even circumstances.
Think about it… Who’s the first person people blame if a child steps out of the car on a cold day without a jacket? What if a kid comes to school with a messy head that just rolled out of bed? People always go first to blame the mom—but I take huge issue with assuming moms “should” care for their children in a particular way. I’d say it indicates a huge need to re-examine our priorities as a society…
The next time you see a mom, I challenge you to reframe your thinking. Notice the way she anticipates the needs around her, how she’s considering the needs of her kids above her own most of the time. Being a mother is arguably the most important work you could do! You are in charge of stewarding young minds and showing young hearts the unconditional love they deserve...
There isn't anything more important than ushering in and nurturing the next generation. That hard work starts with intentional parents loving their kids at home.