Revisiting Mother’s Day

In recognition of the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday, we congratulate the many staff, volunteers, interns, board members, and women with whom we work at Sakhi who have recently experienced the joys of motherhood.  We have celebrated and are celebrating the journeys of several expectant mothers in the past year and many more Sakhis will be mothers in the near future.  The dedication it takes to be a parent is amazing. And it has indeed been a festive and joyous time here at Sakhi!

We also acknowledge that Mother’s Day itself as a holiday has complex overtones.  Motherhood is only one aspect of many of us as individuals.  The political and social expression that goes with the holiday can emphasize the social value of motherhood to a degree that can interfere with it being one of many life choices available to women today.  After all, motherhood is beautiful when we freely chose to be mothers.  As women and as Sakhis we have the power to reclaim the holiday with the many identities with which we define ourselves as women, motherhood being one.

So let us celebrate the upcoming Mother’s Day as a day of respect and appreciation of all women – those who are mothers, those who will become mothers and those who are and will not – for all of their contributions.   A woman is a multi-faceted being, and motherhood only one component of what makes us unique and whole contributors to society.  We honor women in all their roles, and thank them for all their contributions: showing us how to juggle multiple responsibilities, fight oppression quietly or loudly and challenge the boxes that society attempts to put us in.

It cannot be denied that the expectation of meeting the predefined role of motherhood can be a form of social control for many women. Therefore, we honor the idea of freedom of choice. Women are defined by who we are as people, sisters, breadwinners, parents, surgeons, police officers, social workers, journalists, scientists, survivors of oppression, anti-war warriors, soldiers, and mothers alike. You see a countless number of us in the public sector helping others to empower themselves as we have seen ourselves empowered by others around us. We hope that all women have, on some level, the courage to seek fair treatment in their own lives and not only to wish for it in the lives of others.