I wished my mum a happy mother’s day yesterday, on 9th May, instead of today. I told her I wasn’t sure about the date. She smiled and said, “Isn’t it mother’s day every day?”
Well, no. Our mothers do things for us every day. We don’t.
Motherhood is a dam that holds so much — responsibility, care, concern, worry, societal pressure and expectations, sacrifice, tears, hardship, sleeplessness, tolerance, patience, fear, anger, hurt and so much more. The little that we see are the little spurts that the dam lets out.
I am not going to glorify this patriarchal sacrificial version of motherhood. I am grateful for the mother I have. But mommies have a right to be their own person and put themselves first. While our mothers clean, cook, wash, iron, feed, and comfort, they also teach, manage, organise, budget, strategise and plan. They are complete bosses, except they rarely get the credit they deserve.
Motherhood is the unpaid business that runs the world.
How ‘Mother’s Day’ became a day is a whole different story. Some say Mother’s Day began in 1908 in America when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother after her death. Some say it began much before that. It began as a women’s movement to better the lives of others. Down the road, it has changed. It’s become commercialised. We’ve begun to celebrate mothers for a day — gifts, brunches, dinner dates, special treatment, holiday from housework and the sort — for a day. But, motherhood is so much more than that.
Mother’s Day is a day to acknowledge, honour and celebrate mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds.
This includes mothers beyond gender, mothers beyond those that give us birth, mothers through adoption, mothers who have lost children, mothers who might have not had a choice, mothers who are doing the best they can, carers, nurturers, and all those tied to us through maternal bonds.
So, thank you, to mothers, today and always for all that you do. Thank you for raising us in the best way you could. Thank you for preparing us to face the world. Thank you for teaching us to fly.