Tiger mom. Hipster mom. Mama bear. Good enough mom. Helicopter mom. Soccer mom. Stage mom. Super mom. Moms like to label themselves and each other. We may shift back and forth between labels depending on our confidence level or our mood, but we typically like to keep our identities nailed down as precisely as possible! Mostly, we want to do our best to raise our kids right and we want to see evidence that our chosen approach is working.
What happens, however, when we find ourselves in stormy, uncharted waters, when the tags we use for ourselves (or others) no longer seem adequate? This dilemma is the reason the title of this blog is entering the mix — Spoudazo. It’s the Greek word for diligence. To be exact, it means ‘to hasten, make haste to exert one’s self, endeavor, give diligence.’ I’ve taken this word and turned it into a new label: Spoudazo mom!
So, what, exactly, does this mean in terms of motherhood???
This kind of mom holds on through the dark nights, when what she sees vexes her beyond all measure, when confusion, strife, and frustration tempt her to drop everything and walk away, even abandon the project altogether. It means surrendering to love without conditions because people are worth it even if you get nothing in return. It means fighting for someone’s life when they think they want to destroy it.
My daughter, a high school senior, was diagnosed with depression as an 8th grader. She struggles with self-harm (cutting). She attempted suicide twice, both occasions accompanied by stints in psychiatric facilities. There have been run-ins with drugs, bad boyfriends, stupendously negative peer influences, and all types and sorts of high-risk behaviors. We’ve become intimately acquainted with the ins and outs of the mental health system. I was unprepared for all of it.
Please join me as I attempt to define this new category of mothering. There are many Spoudazo moms out there, an army’s worth of lone soldiers whose circumstances force them to reach beyond their comfort zones and find a way to rise to the occasion of unforeseen challenges and confrontations. We need each other, for there is strength in numbers!