If you are a woman, and especially if you are also a mother, this last year has been a tough one. With all the political backsliding that we've been seeing (This is 2012, not 1912, right?), it's tough to keep up my spirits. The Violence Against Women Act is being re-written without many provisions that have saved lives. Fetal personhood and abortion restrictions are being presented in many states, to the point where doctors will be required to keep potentially life saving information from women. Men are trying to take away our rights to determine if and when we will embark on motherhood; women still see a wage gap, and just this week, a Republican strategist was heard talking about the "mistake" of "letting" women vote (as if women didn't have to fight tooth and nail to get that right). It's enough to give any woman a permanent case of P.M.S. (Putting up with Male Stupidity). It's made me mad, made me sad, and it's made me wonder why the hell more woman aren't screaming at their elected officials. It also reminds me of why I'm here, right now.
I have a pretty good relationship with my mother. I understand her motivations, and therefore, even when I don't agree with her, I know where she's coming from. She gives me credit for being a better mom than I think I am, and she did everything she could to give me a great life. She wasn't taught to defend her children tooth and nail; she had to learn as she went, taking the difficult lessons of her childhood, of her relationship with her mother, and doing better for me than was done for her. For all of you who didn't have strong, brave, loving mothers who did their best for you, you know that it's not easy to be a mother without a good role model. It's even harder to raise children without the support of extended family or community, but women all over the world, everyday, are asked to do just this. These faces of motherhood are faces that reflect the fundamental strength of women and the power each of us has to touch the future.
All the bitching and advocating and soap box sermons aside, it is important to remember that motherhood, while currently the most unappreciated vocation in the world, is also the most fundamental relationship of our lives. We all have a mother; whether she was the cookie baking, PTA member who stayed home with you through out your childhood, the working woman who spent her days at a crappy job to feed you, a total loser or someone in between, she shaped you. Whatever you take away from your own relationship with your mum, it's made you who you are. Understand that, embrace it, and use it as a spring board to a better relationship with motherhood.
My Mother's Day wish is for all the mothers of the world: the ones who stay home, the moms who work, the good moms, the ones who tried to be, the ones who sacrificed themselves in countless ways for the good of their offspring, the mothers who have adopted, the mothers who understood they would never be able to raise a child and gave their baby up or had to make the decision to end a pregnancy-for whatever reason- embrace your humanity, love yourself, even if it's just for a moment, and understand that you have done more to change the world than you think. Own your past, embrace the possibilities of now, and look, with hope, towards a future where you are valued for contribution to humanity. Celebrate this wonderful and excruciating job, and know that I am thinking of you as I spend the day celebrating the mothers in my life, including myself. In motherhood, we have an opportunity to touch our own role as Creator Goddesses, and nothing makes Her happier than we do, and nothing brings us closer to Her.