Well, my Mothers Day hasn't really gone as expected. I woke up to find my youngest (aged 5) and my partner are sick. On Saturday mornings I sit down with the family and make a list of everything we need to do over the weekend - homework (or, this weekend, speeches to prepare - I swear, when I was at primary school we never prepared speeches, and I really don't feel the need to do it now), washing, mending , cooking meals, appointments, parties and so on. This weekend I still haven't put away about three loads of washing that have been hanging around all week. I still haven't finished writing the community newsletter that other volunteers are waiting on. And I can't find the new school trousers I bought and need to hem, and the compost is overflowing.
But, we did eat well, I did see my mum and sisters (without the sick child and partner), and we are all OK. And the kids made those little teacups made out of marshmallows, so that was lovely.
Last Mothers Day I was banging on about how Mothers Day began as a day of political action and we should reclaim it as a day of political action. Guess what I got for Mothers Day last year? Nothing. This year I helped on the school Mothers Day stall (which last year I objected to on environmental grounds) and the kids were excited to give me their gifts. Also, my eight year old wrote me this poem:
The Best Mum Ever huggles
The Best Mum Ever cuddles
I feel like we are always together
And that's why you're the best mum ever.
She's a good poet, my daughter. I like her.
So, this year I'll just say this. While I can't really see Mothers Day becoming a day of political rallies, wouldn't it be good if Mothers Day became a day of action for wealthy mums (us) to help poor mums? That would be meaningful, and also means we don't buy into the consumerist stereotyping that Mothers Day has become. We don't need new appliances or slippers or flowers.
Some ideas here:
Women's Empowerment $20
A maternal health pack $40
A maternal Health Kit $200
Now that would be a happy Mothers Day.
In the meantime, here is an update of mothers movement organisations, feminist sites and organisations for action. Australian ones are marked *.
The Mothers Movement Online (US)
Moms Rising (US)
Mothers Acting Up (US, international aid, on stilts)
Mothers Ought to Have Equal Rights (US)
The Motherhood Project (US)
Mothers and More (US)
Association For Research on Mothering (CAN, 1998-2010)
Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (CAN)
Journal of the Motherhood Institute (CAN)
Demeter Press (CAN)
The Museum of Motherhood (US)
Mother: The Job (US)
Studies in the Maternal (UK journal)
Stop the Traffik (campaigning against children being trafficked onto cocoa farms)
Mamapalooza (US, moms rock!)
Brain, Child (US)
Literary Mama (US)
The Imperfect Parent (US)
Mothers' Union (UK Christian group which is active for change)
Mothers for Womens Lib (UK)
Take Back the Day (Mothers Day)
The Parents Jury* (children's health/food/obesity)
Australian Breastfeeding Association*
Maternal Coalition* (childbirth)
The Australia Council on Children and the Media, Young Media*
Kids Free 2B Kids* (protecting children from sexualised themes in the media)
Collective Shout* (protecting children from inappropriate media)
Say No 4 Kids* (protecting kids from pornographic imagery)
The Democracy Project*
The Women's Electoral Lobby*
Women's Forum Australia*
What Women Want* (political party)
Australian Conservation Foundation*
Mothers Be Heard*
International Mothers Network
Women for Women International