Mother’s Day

10 May

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This post is for my mother. This is in recognition of the countless hours of unpaid labour she did and continues to do for my sisters and I. This post is an acknowledgement of the fact that I have taken her for granted; she’s given her time and energy to me so freely and generously that it wasn’t until I had my own child that I understood how much this must have personally cost her. She is someone whose love and support I can rely on even when she disagrees with the choices I make.

This post is for all the people who work in childcare and are underpaid because what they do is undervalued by our society. This is for the folks – mostly women – who are often offered minimum wage or less to nurture, engage, educate and love a child.

This post is for all the people who are helping me raise my kid – my husband, my family, my friends. Thank you for being a part of his life. Thank you for being a safe person. Someday, when there’s something that he needs to work through that for whatever reason he feels he can’t talk to me about, he might come to you. Thank you in advance for being amazing when that day comes.

This post is for all the ways our culture simultaneously fetishizes and belittles mothers. This post is for all the women who have been told in the same breath that motherhood is the hardest job they’ll ever have but also staying home with their children is lazy, unfulfilling and un-feminist.

This post is for the mothers who couldn’t afford to go back to work.

This post is for the mothers who couldn’t afford not to go back to work.

This post is for the women who can’t take time off work to care for their sick children. This is for the women who have been threatened with termination if they take one more day off because of their kids.

This post is for my grandmother, who was appalled that I was breastfeeding because for her formula had been a miracle that allowed her a freedom her own mother had never enjoyed. This post is for the women like my Nanny who choose to go back to work a few weeks after giving birth because they love their jobs, but at the same time don’t love their children any less for that fact.

This post is for the mothers who have no choice but to go back to work only a few weeks postpartum because their government doesn’t guarantee them access to a maternity leave.

This post is for the mothers who have no choice but to go back to work only a few weeks postpartum because although they have paid maternity leave, their wage is reduced during that time to 55% of their income.

This post is for every mother who’s had to spend time on welfare or food stamps and has gritted her teeth through ignorant comments about government hand-outs.

This post is for every mother who is doing everything she can to make sure her family survives.

This post is for all the mothers of Black sons who are afraid for their children’s lives. This post is for every woman who has to teach her child to view police officers as people to be afraid of rather than people who will help them.

This post is for all the mothers who have felt ashamed of the ways their bodies have changed during pregnancy. This post is for the women who never appear in photographs with their children because they hate the way they look.

This post is for the mothers who receive endless societal messages about how they should always be sacrificing more, more, more for their kids. This post is for the women who have been told that if they really loved their kids they would breastfeed/stay home/give up caffeine/never check their phone/make all their food from scratch.

This post is for every mother who has been frightened by yet another sensational “study” that somehow proves they’ve ruined their kids. This is for all the women who have lost sleep wondering whether their children have been put at some kind of risk because they had too much screen time or not enough Omega-3.

This post is for the mothers who struggled silently with postpartum depression because they were afraid that if they told anyone, their children would be taken away from them.

This post is for the mothers who struggled silently with postpartum depression because they felt a crushing guilt over the fact that they didn’t love motherhood the way they thought they were supposed to.

This post is for every mother who has complained about some aspect of child-rearing only to be told to enjoy it while it lasts and it all goes so quickly and all the other trite platitudes that just make them feel worse.

This post is for my great-grandmother, who wouldn’t let her kids get after-school jobs because she wanted them to have real childhoods, not like the one she’d spent working under the eye of her brutal stepmother. This is for all the women who have had difficult childhoods and, instead of furthering the cycle of abuse, do their best to make sure their children have time for fun and play just plain being young.

This post is for those of you who are estranged from your mothers and have to endure endless questions and advice from prying strangers, as if it wasn’t a decision you’d properly thought through. I can’t imagine how tricky it must be to navigate holidays like Mother’s Day, when you’re inundated with reminders of your loss.

This post is for the women who wish so badly that they could be mothers, but for whatever reason can’t be.

This post is permission for you to mark this day however you want or need to, in grief or in joy or something in between.

I love you, Mom.

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36 Responses to “Mother’s Day”

  1. kimlhine May 10, 2015 at 2:09 am #

    Awesome, wonderful post, you made me cry, again today!

  2. Mr. Militant Negro May 10, 2015 at 2:11 am #

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  3. bluestgirl May 10, 2015 at 2:29 am #

    thank you

  4. AmazingSusan May 10, 2015 at 2:42 am #

    This comment is for the daughter who chose in her youth not to have children and because of that choice then had the freedom to choose to care for her mother who has dementia and thus in a supremely ironic way become a mother herself long after she was physically incapable of bearing children of her own.

  5. Ciara Raven Blaze May 10, 2015 at 2:58 am #

    “This post is for the women who wish so badly that they could be mothers, but for whatever reason can’t be.” <— that would be me, even though A, I made the choice to be motherless by getting my tubes tied (I don't want to put any potential children, or their children, through the same hell I was put through by being deaf and autistic, nor do I want to put them through the same hell that my parents went through for that reason, even though I know they adore me), and B, I know I'll be happier in the long run.

    thank you, Anne. 🙂

    • Ciara Raven Blaze May 10, 2015 at 3:00 am #

      D’OH!!! “motherless” = “childless”. derp. it won’t let me edit. DERP DERP DERP.

  6. beckyblogger79 May 10, 2015 at 3:38 am #

    I love this post.
    I think you covered all the bases of being a Mom.

  7. Rashmi May 10, 2015 at 4:07 am #

    Beautifully said.

  8. sfshippingservice May 10, 2015 at 5:24 am #

    … To see the world love him …… Love him ….. 10 months and 10 days that you have conceived …… … The foot of the gardens you have to love him ……. She is the mother of ….. …

  9. flotts May 10, 2015 at 6:20 am #

    Reblogged this on flotts.

  10. aqilaqamar May 10, 2015 at 7:07 am #

    Reblogged this on Iconography ♠ Incomplete.

  11. Different24 May 10, 2015 at 9:43 am #

    this is such a beautiful post ❤

  12. zacharykmiller May 10, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    This was beautiful! 🙂 Happy Mother’s day to you!

  13. ilmondoinbellezza May 10, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    tanti auguri

  14. Amanda Martin (writermummy) May 10, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

    Reblogged this on writermummy and commented:
    Beautifully put. Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who celebrates it today

  15. Andrea (aka rokinrev) May 10, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

    Posted on Facebook. This is for the mother who was told at 16 after contracting polio between the two epidemics that she would never walk or have children. She was a captain in the Army in WW2, and had 2 children…take that!

  16. starbursteyes May 10, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

    Reblogged this on Behind starburst eyes.

  17. yullakilma May 10, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

    happy mother day u.

  18. Rekha @ Dew Drops May 11, 2015 at 3:18 am #

    Reblogged this on Dew Drops and commented:
    For all woman…mothers or not. #MustRead

  19. oshrivastava May 11, 2015 at 6:20 am #

    Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole and commented:
    Happy mother’s Day,,,

  20. parulthakur24 May 11, 2015 at 6:31 am #

    Wow! this was such an awesome post! Totally in love with your writing! 🙂

  21. Kris May 11, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

    Thank You for writing this. Mother’s Day is a minefield of emotions for me as I am estranged from my own mother yet am a mother to four children I love beyond measure. I spent yesterday reliving the grief of being motherless and had difficulty experiencing the joy of my children. Your piece is the first thing I have read that validated how I felt. I can’t thank you enough for putting words to my experience. I think you are fabulous.

  22. BatingawNgPintakasi May 12, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    I wish my mother and I will be ok soon

  23. izzy82 May 13, 2015 at 2:45 am #

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I love my mother but I have a very strained relationship w/her (to say the least). I try to see her within the context of patriarchy and the impossible standards society sets for women because I think a lot of the tension in our relationship is the result of misogyny and really, it’s hard out there for a lady/mama.

  24. deadrosemary May 16, 2015 at 6:37 am #

    Your amazing! I wish my blog could be just like yours!

  25. arrlife May 17, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    Reblogged this on optimistic45.

  26. splendidsin May 22, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    wonderfully said 🙂

  27. 4wallsnaroof May 23, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    Thanks for this wonderful post. I just lost my mom this year and it was a challenge to celebrate with my own children while missing my mom.

  28. CookieCrumbsInc. (@meepeevee) May 25, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    This has got to be the best Mother’s Day post ever.

    Thank you for this.

    Mums be the bestest ever ❤

  29. caitlinlpham June 9, 2015 at 2:17 am #

    Reblogged this on Wild Souls.

  30. CulturallyUnbalanced June 13, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

    This is lovely! I can’t wait to read more of your work. 🙂

  31. Annette Celia Rosemary July 6, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    Beautiful post, it really gives you introspective towards how selfless parenting is.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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