i was initiated into “mothering” by practicing (with much fumbling + failing) on the many littles in my family who arrived before i became a parent 7 years ago.
then, on my son’s 1st birthday, it suddenly dawned on me that the celebration was not singularly for him, as culture and industry have dictated. it was a day for us to honor the blessing of our journey as parents, our vision for ourselves and our child(ren), and the circle of loved ones who support us in the process.
the day my son took his first breath holds most meaning for me and is what i officially recognize as mother’s/mothering day. it is when i became the mother that was seeded and nourished in the wombs of countless generations. through teresa, gene, sylvia, mary, dora and all the mothers before them, i bloomed into being. and it is this very specific moment in april 2010, that cord of memory, and those bodies that i wish to connect more deeply to — our collective labouring and birthing day.
and less and less to what feels fabricated and complicated by the realities of internalized grief and trauma, interpersonal strife, unjust institutional policies/practices that create inequities, disparities and barriers for children and caregivers/parents, and distorted gender-biased ideologies about motherhood that upholds a narrow vision of who can lay claim to the experience of mothering.
so i arrived at this day with mixed feelings for many deep-seeded/emerging/evolving reasons.
nonetheless, as always, i continue to celebrate:
mothers + all others who love, advocate for, educate, empower, inspire, nurture, and protect children.
while also reflecting on the ways that consumer culture + commercial industry dictates who, what, when + how we celebrate.
especially when, under the influence of profit + politics, these same commercially-driven institutions fail to advocate for (or struggle to protect) the health, education + well-being of children, caregivers, and parents.
this illustration by mari andrew is the most authentic expression of my it’s-complex-and-complicated “reframing” of Mother’s Day/Mothering Day.