May 3rd, 2016


Let's get Mother's Day back to its roots

Mother's Day is upon us again. It's a day when we honor mothers for everything they sacrifice for us by taking them out to brunch. Does that do it?

The original intention was very very different. What started was a Mothers Day of Peace, when activists took to the streets to say "We gave up everything for our babies, please stop sending them to war!"

What started was a Mother's Day Work Club, because children were dying from poor sanitation conditions. Women went out to improve public health and educate each other in preventing infant mortality so they wouldn't lose any more babies.

Any mother will tell you that motherhood is not passive and not easy. It requires some fight in you - strength for yourself, strength for your babies, and that's what Mother's Day was supposed to be about. I'm asking you today: when did we give up the fight? When did it become about flowers and tea?

If we lived in an age when infant mortality was as low as possible and nobody's son or daughter was being sent off to war I'd say great, bring on the brunch. We can move on, sit back, and be glad mothers have it so great now. But when you look around do you really think we can move on and reduce Mother's Day to a greeting card and flowers? Or do we still have work to do?

I say shame on you marketers who tell women to play nice and go shopping when the enormous sacrifices of mothers are still being wasted. When there are mothers losing children to needless gun violence, when there are mothers whose babies drown in the ocean trying to escape a war-torn country, when there are mothers whose children die because we still can't get food or medicine to the right places, how can you sleep at night thinking that what mothers need is the "perfect gift for her?!"

We don't need brunch. What we need is to know that our mothering efforts will not be in vain. Treat EVERY life as if someone made sacrifices for it. Long pregnancies, long labor, long fights with adoption bureaucracy, long nights without sleep, long hours at work, long conversations with teachers... if you throw any woman's sacrifice away by taking her baby's chance for a meaningful life, you have failed Mother's Day.

It has nothing to do with flowers or jewelry. it's about bringing back respect for Mothering. It is still time to take to the streets. Not to not move on.

also posted to facebook