Do you know the impact that you have on the children in your life?
Today is a day of blessings and thankfulness. I get to spend Mother's Day with my very own mother and my fabulous kids, as well as my hubby. As I observe my little family and notice all that I am thankful for, I can't help but think about the many people who walk into my office and lack their own mother to celebrate with.
Yes, we are all born to a "mom." However, there are some moms who do not understand or are unable to implement the duties that go into the job title "MOM." There's a saying in the therapy world, especially when working with kids, that a client will ask you to be what they need you to be. In other words, when a child walks through my door and has no mother, they very well need me to act in that role of mother for the period of time that I am with them in their life.
I take this role very seriously. I may only see this kid one hour a week for a short period but you can guarantee that for that one hour a week for however long I see this kid, I will be the best mom they have ever had. I will listen to their heart, I will wipe their tears away, I will offer support and I will help them problem solve. Above all, I will give them love and treat them lovingly. Yes, I will maintain boundaries and I will set limits because moms do that, as well.
As I sat with a young lady whose parents are both in prison, I held her hand and hugged her closely. As I sat with the little boy whose grandfather died and he had no relatives to live with, I played airplanes and cars and didn't say a word. As I sat with the mother of four who has no parents to turn to, I shared mommy experiences about taking kids to the doctor or working with teachers.
Often, people come through the therapist's door looking for answers to problems. However, I've learned that some problems just can't be solved with words. A little girl once said to me, "Will anyone ever want to be my mommy?" But, there's no answer for that question. While I would love to say, "yes," I refuse to make promises I can't keep.
So, what's my response? I wrapped my arms around this little pumpkin and said, "Most kiddos don't get to pick their parents. As you grow up, you will get to choose who you want in your life and who you don't. Pick a mommy who loves you so much and will listen to you with all her heart." Somehow, she understood what I meant.
A young boy said to me once, "When we talk about Mother's Day at school, I just don't say anything because I don't have a mommy. I wish I could stay home from school on that day." After offering him all sorts of empathy, I said, "Do you have anyone who just loves for you?" He said, "My teacher is the best!" So, we talked about how maybe, for right now, his teacher is sort of like his mommy, giving him love everyday and guiding him to be the best little boy he can be. He agreed.
My family is getting ready to move to another state so that we can be closer to our extended family. One of my clients said to me, "I understand why you are moving, I just wish that I had family who wanted to move closer to me." These little nuggets of wisdom remind me of how blessed I am to have a loving, caring family and it reminds me to not take that for granted.
I am also reminded that I may be blessed with the role of being a "mom" to someone else, even if I don't ask for that role or are unaware of that role. As we live and breathe each day, we impact those around us. Take this seriously and love your neighbors to the fullest.