Monthly Letter || Mother’s Day: Complexity and Community

Mothers Day

Every month, Birthing From Within sends a letter to our membership and the public, containing our reflections on happenings in birth, in the world at large, and in our organization. See a selection of our monthly letters on the blog here; sign up to receive our newsletters directly in your inbox.

Dear friends,

In many parts of the United States, Spring is in bloom. Cherry blossoms, lilacs, and tulips are in their full glory – the days are warmer and longer – and Mother’s Day is on the horizon. This is always such a complicated holiday in that YES, mothers deserve to be honored and recognized and taken out to brunch – AND ALSO, there’s more to it than that. There are many realities that rise to the surface when we bring discernment to a holiday that is so directly gendered and privileged.

At Birthing From Within, we value the ability to see the BOTH/AND of situations, and Mother’s Day gives us a clear opportunity to reflect on the complexity that such special days can hold.

  • To those who have given birth and/or are in a parenting role, but don’t identify as a mother, and thus don’t have a specific day of the year set aside to honor you…we see you.

  • To those who do identify as a mother, and who are (perhaps this year even more than ever) working hard to provide protection, education, nourishment, and love to your families…we see you.

  • To those who are single mothers working to “do it all,” and don’t have the privilege of taking the day off…we see you.

  • To those who, on Mother’s Day, and every day, fear for their children’s safety because of systemic racism and oppression…we see you.

  • To those children who have lost their mothers…we see you.

  • To those mothers who have lost children…we see you.

  • To those whose dreams of becoming a mother have not come to fruition…we see you.

  • To those who have a painful relationship, or no relationship at all, with their mothers…we see you.

  • To those of you who are care-taking, but aren’t mothers…we see you.

This is an invitation to twist your personal kaleidoscope a notch or two, to remember that we can BOTH honor mothers around the world who are doing the best they can in each given moment to raise the next generation of humans, AND recognize the complexities and truths that come with Mother’s Day. This understanding does not erase those who are celebrated on Mother’s Day, but rather expands our embrace to encompass those whose identities and/or experiences are excluded by the word “mother,” as well as all those who have their personal reasons to struggle with the holiday.

And so, on this Mother’s Day, we at Birthing From Within extend our love to you who are mothers and you who are not; you who have identities, experiences, and emotions that align with traditional expressions of this day, and you who do not. In this time of uncertainty and distancing, it is more important than ever to acknowledge the bonds of community that join us all, and our common need to give and receive nurturance, love, and support.

With love and respect,
Erika Primozich, Carrie Kenner, and Nikki Shaheed
Birthing From Within co-owners

Click here for more information on inclusivity and social justice issues as related to birth and parenting.

About the Birthing from Within Team

Birthing From Within is blessed to have a team of bloggers that includes childbirth educators, doulas, and birth story listeners who, in addition to being deep thinkers and skilled writers, are dedicated to the amplification of the BFW mission and philosophy. Birthing From Within is a collective creation, always evolving to reflect the new layers of understanding and unique approaches to the childbirth experience. Our goal is to change the conversation about birth in our culture, and to uphold the possibility of growth and transformation for birth professionals and birthing people.

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