Mother’s Day creates visions of potted flowers, breakfast in bed, greeting cards, and children’s arms outstretched with pastel-colored gift-wrapped boxes. On this day, we honor our mothers. The question I pose here is when does a woman become a mother?

I was a teenage mother. I can question if I was even a woman when my son arrived. I had not yet attended my senior prom. So, I suppose on March 3, 1972, at 12:30 pm MST; I became a woman and a mother. I know whatever happened at that moment was many things.

An instant bond with this 8 lb 6 oz bouncing baby boy, amazement that this life came out of me, and fear that this tiny human would need me to care for it. What would I call him? The list goes on and on, but I felt a new kind of love that filled my heart for sure. Again, am I a mother because I had biologically given birth?

I have met women that have not given birth, but love and nurture their spouse’s child. Some who have miscarried, some who support their widowed sister, or a teacher who chooses not to have a child to create a better future for 20 new children each fall. Could all of the above be classified as a mother?

The women I know are mothers in more ways than one. So, this year let’s not make any exclusions and wish all the “mothers” out there a Happy Mother’s Day.

-Yvonne Stowe, OctoClean President