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The Mother’s Day Debate

Every year as Mother's Day approaches, I see this pattern start popping up on Instagram and Facebook. Posts start to fill my feeds, questioning and asking who should be honored and celebrated on Mother's Day. Is it the mothers who are currently deep in the "trenches" of parenting, the grandmothers who are also moms and a lot of times in today's society are very much still helping out and who have long held the fort down, or should both be celebrated equally? As expected, these posts bring on a lot of fighting and conflicts in the comment section, heated debates, and strong emotions.

Yet, there are never these posts and debates on Father’s Day... no posts about who should come first, dads in the trenches, grandpas, or both. Why is it that on Father’s Day, there aren't any of these posts and comments about who should be celebrated?

The debates on Mother’s Day seems to highlight societal views on motherhood but also a deeper issue: there is a huge lack of support for mothers in our daily lives.

In our society, we face pressures both as caregivers and as working professionals. Despite our role, the support systems that should make our responsibilities more manageable are lacking. Consider the availability of affordable childcare, which remains a huge issue for many families. The high cost of childcare services means that moms have to choose between their careers and staying home to look after their kids, a choice that fathers are less frequently expected to make.

The options for paid maternity leave in many places are not there. Unlike countries that offer extensive paid leave for new mothers, many women find themselves hurried back to work, not yet recovered physically or emotionally. This lack of support not only affects our health but also our ability to bond with our newborns.

Mental health support for moms is another area that is severely lacking. Postpartum depression and anxiety are common, but the resources for addressing these health issues are hard to access. If moms received more consistent and better mental health support, maybe the well-being of the entire family could be better secured.

The debates that surface each Mother’s Day are symptomatic of these broader issues. They reflect an ongoing struggle to recognize and address the immense load carried by mothers. If we could create a society where moms receive the support they need through more affordable childcare, generous maternity leave policies, and accessible mental health resources maybe the tension around who to celebrate on Mother’s Day wouldn't be there.

This Mother’s Day, let’s do more than just post tributes on social media. Let’s advocate for policies and practices that support mothers in both word and action. Only then can we hope to see a shift in the narrative, not just on Mother’s Day but throughout the year. Mother’s Day should be a time of celebration and acknowledgment for all mothers and grandmothers, without comparison about grandmothers already had their time and now its all about the moms deep in it. Yes, we are exhausted no matter if you have a newborn toddlers, kids, tweens, teens, 20 something year olds and older. A moms job is never done and we will always worry about our kids. I know my mom has always and is still always helping me out and she is my mom so why wouldn't I want to celebrate her too?

Whether it's a mom in the thick of parenting, a grandmother who continues to offer her love and support, a dog mom, moms to be, women as mother figures in other's lives, and those ladies trying to conceive all these forms of mothering are demanding and deserve acknowledgment.

Ending the Mother's Day debates isn't just about deciding who to celebrate but recognizing the contributions of all mothers and the challenges we face. This Mother's Day, I want us to shift the focus from who should be celebrated to how we can support all moms better. By doing this, we can begin to create a society that appreciates and helps all mothers, those in the trenches of toddlerhood, in the office, empty nesters, or anywhere else in between they may be.

As I celebrate Mother's Day this year, I want to show gratitude and recognition to every kind of mom, especially my own mom. I encourage you to use this day as a reminder not only of the happy times and joys of motherhood but also as a reminder of the need to support all the women who nurture, teach, and care for others, in all the ways they do so.

Mother's Day is a perfect time to celebrate the big range of motherhood and to push for the changes necessary to support every mom better!

What are your thoughts on who should be celebrated on Mother's Day?

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