Photos taken by an advocacy group of two women breastfeeding in uniform have set off another round of controversy about how and when women should feed their children. The military clarifies that they are not concerned about the breastfeeding, but that the photos may have violated a rule stating the uniform cannot be used to promote a product or cause. In fact the military encourages mothers to breastfeed.
What if all the grassroots groups who work with the families who are consistently pushed to the margins and thrown under the bus talked about their causes as if they were all connected? What if we worked as if we were facing the same stigma and hate? What if I, in my parenting, felt connected to immigrant mamas fighting to reclaim their community? What if I, in my resistance, understood deeply my relationship to mothers who lose their children to juvenile justice, foster care systems, and/or incarceration?
A part of keeping families safe and secure is making sure that in times of misfortune, children and their parents are able to communicate.
Sometimes I want to be “that mom.” Not the mom that wakes up and first thing disconnects a tube from her son’s belly that just administered medication. Sometimes I want to be the other mom, whose kid grows out of their shoes so fast she hears the cash register at Foot Locker ringing in her sleep.
When I think about Mother’s Day, I usually picture a Dad in plaid pajama pants destroying the kitchen with his kids in a clumsy effort to make his wife breakfast in bed. Mother’s Day looks a little different in our house.
My daughters! Remember that the secret of eternity is being in the moment, connected to everything real while breathing the dreams of the past and the future.
The mothers whose lives are not being reflected on greeting cards are in need of something that can’t be delivered, worn, or eaten. They need policies that accurately reflect the reality of their daily lives.
Being a queer mama of color, in all of the ways that we are queer mamas of color, means that we have to talk about race, immigration, disability, class, gender, gender identity, and sexuality. We have to name these things because they shape how, where, when, and why we parent.
The question of motherhood, of raising a child, of being a mother to another human life is so loaded for me that I spend an equal amount of time trying not to think about it and obsessing about it.
Mother’s Day has a way of making everyone feel like an outsider. This brunch-y, kid friendly version of Mother’s Day, creates the feeling that there is some elusive “right way” to celebrate and be celebrated. We want to flip that.