Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mothering (not the act of having a child, but the responsibility and love put into caring for and teaching a child how to live, behave and participate in life) is older than humankind, but it has become underrated and disrespected.  It is a complex list of tasks and skills and emotional ups and downs, often passed down from one generation to another, transmitted orally between friends and strangers. The labor performed by mothers, is known as reproductive labor to those who study labor.  This has nothing to do with biological reproduction, but everything to do with the fact that this sort of labor is reproduced every day and over every generation. Cooking, cleaning, child and elder care (24 hours a day), nursing, teaching (everything from table manners to etiquette; reading, writing, mathematics, history, ethics, religion) are undervalued in terms of money, but without them, culture does not survive and society does not function.

For every woman who gives care to others, Happy Mother's Day.  Your labors are not in vain and there are people who notice and appreciate all the ways you touch lives.  If you are a mother, or just a person who mothers others, take pride in the things you do.  Without you, the world may still go around, but it wouldn't make sense.

For everyone else, take a moment to let these remarkable women in your life know that you appreciate them, even if they aren't YOUR mother.  Mothering is not just about biology, it's about compassion and responsibility and love.

There are many women I have to thank in my life for their time, caring and support. Happy Mother's Day, to all of you; without you, I could have never become who I am.

To my mother, thank you for expecting better for me.  Thank you for the support, and most of all, thanks for letting me be who I wanted to be; it couldn't have been easy.

To the many teachers I have had, thank you for all the lessons, both in and out of the classroom.  Thank you for the encouragement and opportunities you presented to me.

To all of the amazing mothers I have met in the course of being a mother myself: I am in awe of the grace, humor and strength you exhibit each and every day as you face the challenges of raising your children.

To my children and my husband, who have taken me on this journey, I love you and I hope that I live up to your expectations.

And of course, I cannot forget to thank the Divine Mother who has always been there for me.

Happy Mother's Day!

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