To all the mamas out there and to the people who support them: Thank you. For the hours of labor, the sleepless nights, the tears (ours as well as yours), thank you. This blog however is directed to those of us who have mamas in our lives: I propose a cultural revolution that requires your action if it is to succeed.
Some cultures throughout the world—various Latino and West African communities and perhaps others— do not have a specific day dedicated annually to all mothers rather they honor their mothers on their birthdays– not on their mothers’ birthdays but on their own birthdays. They commemorate their birth each year by thanking the person who gave them life and by celebrating the anniversary of the work they did to bring them into the world and raise them.
Motherhood takes so many forms that we can expand the practice to include the many kinds of mamas we may have in our lives—biological mothers (the person who supplies the egg), birth mothers (the person whose body carries us), adoptive mothers (the person who made us who we are today), people have two mothers, their grandmother or an aunt raises them…
These people should be honored as part of any celebration of our own lives. What could this look like? On your birthday, call the mother/s in your life and thank them. Send them a card or a gift. Write a song to the tune of “Happy Birthday,” and sing it to them.
And there would likely be few protests to celebrating these fine people again on the second Sunday in May.