Mother’s Day is one of my favourite made-up “Hallmark” holidays of the year for several reasons. First, it reminds me to take time to appreciate how wonderful, strong, intelligent, and brilliant my own mother is. Second, in today’s sharing culture on social media, I get a glimpse of the genuine side of my friends’ lives when they share childhood photos of themselves with their mothers. I love reading their sweet messages uplifting the most important women in their lives. (I just hope that they get off their phones to spend time with their mothers, if possible!) Finally, it reminds me how I want nothing more than to be a mother one day. Plus… flowers everywhere and who doesn’t love flowers?
But with motherhood and Mother’s Day comes mixed reactions. For most, I would venture to guess that Mother’s Day is generally a happy day filled with appreciation and love, bottomless mimosas, or breakfast in bed. For others however, Mother’s Day can be a reminder of painful memories. It reminds some of us of mothers we have lost, mothers we have strained relationships with, mothers who perhaps even abused us or abandoned us. It can also be painful for women who desperately wish to be mothers but despite everything– miscarriages, rounds of IVF, surrogacy, adoption– still can’t be a mother. It can also be complicated for women who have chosen to forgo this passage and have actively chosen not to become mothers. And in some places, it can be a brutal reminder of not wishing to be a mother but being placed in a situation without an exit strategy.
I’ve learned from my mother, friends, cousins, and acquaintances that motherhood is largely about sacrifice. Most blatantly, mothers give up their careers, their life’s savings, their sleep, their ability to laugh deeply without peeing a little bit or their banging figure (sometimes) for their children. Not to mention the countless single mothers who give up even more of their time and effort without a partner for whatever reason. Some mothers give up their own childhoods far too soon, or the right to own their bodies. And those who choose not to have children sacrifice their social standing, for it can be viewed as abnormal to not want peanut butter smeared walls and late night temper tantrums.
More than anything, I have learned that motherhood (as with womanhood) revolves around choice. Being a mom, or a mum, mommy/mummy, or mama is about choosing how to approach this beautiful aspect of life. For me, it’s about feeling comfortable expressing that I vehemently wish to become a mother while still actively fighting the feminist fight. (Fact, you can want to be a mother and still be a feminist career woman). It’s about speaking to my future partner when I’m ready and discussing balanced childcare and being able to choose to return to work quickly or not be judged by my peers if I decide to stay at home to raise my children.
So today, I hope all the beautiful moms out there enjoy their macaroni art or avocado toast at brunch. Today is your day (probably historically because Hallmark said so), and we celebrate the magnificent women you are and the choices you have made– choosing to love us unconditionally despite our own flaws. You are everything good in the universe and the most powerful force on earth and we love you!
Featured Image: Instagram @sonialazo