The joys of “not just a regular kind” of mommy

 Here’s another amazing article from a “not just a regular kind” of mommy we used to know.

Read on, and you’ll see what I mean.

...and she smooshed my Filipino nose

“…and she smooshed my Filipino nose”

What is being a mother to you?

When I married my husband, I knew I would become an instant Mommy. My husband has a daughter from his previous marriage. Despite what happened in the past, I knew that I would play an important role in their life and in my step-daughter’s future. My step-daughter’s name is Ashlyn. She calls me MAMAGOO. My mother came up with that name because it is not a Filipino custom to call people older than you by their first name. My nickname is Magoo and of course, you know what Mama stands for. After we got married, Ashlyn immediately called me by this name.

I may not have given birth to Ashlyn, but I knew that she is a part of me now. After her Daddy and I got married, I immediately learned that being a mother is not an easy role. I learned that my time is no longer mine. My weekday schedule now includes Ashlyn’s schedule: making breakfast (nowadays, she toasts her own bread); fixing her lunch or snacks for school; fixing her hair (only if she wanted it braided, otherwise Daddy does a very good ponytail job!); making sure that we have family dinner; working with her spelling, vocabulary words, math problems and reading 20 minutes; giving her a bath; helping her pick her outfit for the following day; and making sure that gives us her good night kisses before she goes to sleep. Whew! Imagine how mothers with more than one child handle it? On weekends, we get up early to bring her at the Dojo for her karate class. Sometimes, we attend kids’ birthday parties, kids’ workshops, watch cartoons or a movie and play with her. In other words, being a mother is sharing your time with your family.

Another thing that I learned when I became a mother is how to respond to sensitive questions like divorce, bullying and having a sibling. I learned that it is better for Ashlyn to ask us those questions than to learn them from other people. You also become your child’s nurse or doctor. When Ashlyn gets a cut or a bruise while playing, she always tells me which part of her body got injured. My bag always has a first aid kit and a bottle of hand sanitizer in it. Being a mother means you are your child’s number one fan in every activity that they do. I watched her practice her kicks and punches for her karate class and took pictures while she is in her class. I held her legs as she learned how to flip with one hand in her gymnastics class. I cheered for her after she learned how to swim back stroke during her swim class. I also helped her memorize her lines for the school play. When you become a mother, you become their teacher. The first time I met Ashlyn, we did a lot of arts and crafts together. She learned how to make paper airplanes and paper boats from me. She learned that whenever she makes a mistake in spelling that she has to write the word three times. She learned how to keep her room clean, and she learned how to use the vacuum cleaner. She learned how to separate colored and white clothes before we put them in the washing machine. She knows that if she does a good job in school, she will also get a reward. The other perks of being a mother includes being a fashion consultant, being a party planner and being her Mrs. Fix it. And best of all…

Ashlyn taught me to love someone like her. The very first time I heard her say “I love you” was music to my ears. I never thought that I would hear those words from her. I didn’t have be her real Mom to learn how important this role plays in a child’s life. I wish all the step-mothers are as lucky as I am to feel loved by their step-child/children and vice versa. I would also like to thank my mother for her patience and for being a good example for us. I don’t think that I would be able to fulfill this role without her upbringing.  Ashlyn told me six months after I met her father these words: “I want you to stay with my Daddy forever.” I guess those words came true because this Mother’s Day, her Daddy and I will also celebrate our first year wedding anniversary.

Margaux Sanchez Black, Atlanta, Georgia

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