Monday, May 21, 2012

Celebrating Women

So I know Mothers Day has come and gone but I'm a bit behind on my "daily" reading of articles, other blogs, magazines, on and on and on... So bear with me.  This week, I'll be writing a few different posts responding to a couple of things I should have read closer to Mothers Day.  I want to reflect on these, mostly because my mom is a) awesome and b) incredible but also because it's worth discussing the power of awesome and incredible women every day not just one day in the year where Hallmark tells us to talk about it.  That's not to say I think of Mothers Day as just a Hallmark holiday in the least.  Quite the opposite.

This paragraph from a recent Math Geek Mom post on Mama PhD, a blog I read regularly from InsideHigherEd.com, has stuck with me.

Mother’s Day is often anticipated with advertisements for flowers and greeting cards, with hardly a mention of the very radical origin of the day. Indeed, the day was created by Julia Ward Howe in 1870 as a day for women, especially mothers, to come together to work for peace. The day’s founders proposed that the women of the world, with a vested interest in the well-being of the next generation, could find ways to create a better world. As I think of the women I know who mother, I have to agree.

If that's true, which I'm assuming it is, that's awesome.  Seriously awesome.  In part because Mothers Day isn't about being a good mom or a bad mom or a trying-really-hard mom or not being a mom at all.  It's about celebrating women.

Celebrating the power of women coming together to change the world.  

Celebrating leaving this place better for those that come after us than it was for our own generations.

I've talked about this a little before, but I want to discuss it again.  I am not a mom.  I don't know that I ever want to be a mom.  But I cherish the children in my life who I am blessed to be close to.  And I serve as a mother / big sister / crazy aunt / mentor to dozens of students at the many colleges where I've worked.  I had multiple "Happy Pseudo-Mothers Day" messages.

That in no way diminishes true moms out there.  I made a point to reach out to all the mommies in my life - my friends who have small children or are expecting - and was so grateful to spend Mothers Day with my own mom and sister - something we haven't always had the luxury to do since we're all spread out.

But Mothers Day was created to be bigger than that.

It was created to to celebrate the power of positive female interaction.  And again, that's just awesome.

Too often, women are tough on one another.  We get down on each out about how we look and what we wear, what we say and what we don't say, how we parent or don't parent (more on that in a later post)... really, we get down on each other for just about everything.  And in turn we get down on ourselves and it's a ridiculous vicious cycle.

Basically this long "Mothers Day" rant is a reminder to be nice to one another.  To remember the origin of Mothers Day every single day.  To remember to celebrate the power we all have when we work together instead of working against.

It's worth reading the entire article I linked above, by the way.  All of those women mentioned are worth celebrating.  All of them.  As are all of us out there not mothering but who are trying our damnedest to make a difference in this world.

It's not that men can't do it.  It's that we shouldn't let them do everything when we could be so powerful on our own.

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