Only the 365th day: Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is not my jam. All the women in my biological maternal parade have all turned the corner before me into the afterlife. Most recently my Gramma found her peace among the mothers gone before her. Standing on their shoulders, I can’t help but honor their bodies and motherly intention no matter how imperfect.
Mother’s Day is a complex paradoxical existential and activist adventure for me. I value so many mothers around me, including the ones who’ve mothered me regardless of biological connection, the ones who’ve mothered each other through the dark times, the ones who mother each other’s children, the ones who mother regardless of the traditional definition of motherhood. And while I value mothering, I’ve had to asphyxiate, revive, and reinvent in mothering and motherhood myself.
We mother 365 days of the year despite the culture devaluing motherhood 364 of those days. And today is that magical 365th day. It’s that one day each year that Americans remember that every human is grown in a uterus and comes out of a vagina owned by a mother and that those humans don’t grow into (hopefully) responsible adults by accident. By no means am I devaluing other parenting regardless of gender. It truly does take a village after all. If you have been anywhere near a young child in your life you know that every human in their midst is a role model.
Yet there is something about that mother, that universal giver who puts most everyone before herself, and most certainly the children. There is a deafening silence regarding motherhood 364 days each year. This one day of brunches and flowers is a loud juxtaposition for us all to hear.
If you can respect women one day each year, you can respect women every other day as well. Women hold up a heavy half of the sky every single day. Consider carrying your Mother’s Day awareness beyond this one Sunday in May and into your everyday existence. Recognize the women in your life going the extra mile, doing constant emotional labor, quietly being the caregivers and champions of those who need some mothering.
Motherhood is a powerful force, often unnoticed in its gentle ferocity until the violent disrespect of the world pushes us too far. We see this power in women working three jobs to make ends meet, women standing in front of their children to block the hurts, women marching for those who will come after, and even Mama Earth reminding us to listen to the calm reminders before she now begins to yell since we haven’t yet listened.
Mothers live every day. Mother’s Day can be every day. Respect. Every day.
Art credit: ékō (work in progress)