Mother’s Day is celebrated in the second week of May every year across the globe and families offer flowers, chocolates, and shower gifts upon mothers.
It was known to be a celebration and culture of the west but slowly it has taken a spread globally.
Now every year, this day is celebrated to give homage to all the mothers and their contribution in our lives.
With a growing social celebration each year, we often tend to forget how as a society we can make simple changes that can support mothers at all levels and at settings. Being a mother comes with a great set of responsibilities, expectations, and even greater challenges.
The phenomenon of motherhood unfortunately in our types of societies has been disconnected as an identity.
If a woman is a mother, she is a mother first and then anything else. Their identities and basic human rights get compromised the moment they enter motherhood. There are many studies that talk about hardships of mothers and the list is long.
Particularly in lower middle-income countries there are many factors that contribute to the struggle of mothers. Malnutrition, cultural pressure, social stigmas, non-flexible working hours, expectations to act like a super woman and what not. But there are simple routine strategies/actions that we can do to support moms. So, the question comes as to how we can support mothers:
– Focus on their health first be it their physical health or mental wellbeing. A healthy and happy mother can foster a healthy and happy family.
– Give them an eye of respect and understand parenting and child rearing is a joint venture and not sole responsibility of any one parent.
– One approach is not the solution. Equity is what is needed to support mothers. Every mother has their own set of limitations, challenges, and needs. These mothers must be supported based on their context and the setting they are in.
– De-stigmatize the role of motherhood. In our society the expectations from mothers are way too many, they are considered and expected to show superpowers. They are expected to perform their duties even when they are sick or unwell. Mothers are just like any other human beings with similar physiological, biopsychological, and social characteristics.
– Stop the blame game. No mother is spared in our type of societies. If a mother is a working mom she must listen to her set of taunts, if a mother is a home maker she is disregarded in a different way and if a mother is uneducated living in a village she is challenged of her own capacity. We need to stop this culture of blaming mothers for children’s outcomes. It is said that to raise a child we need a whole community.
– Give flexibility and resources. For working moms, we can offer them flexible work hours. For home makers, we can give them space to engage in other social interactions. For moms in villages working in field rigorously, we need to give them better nutrition.
– Educate. When a girl child is born before thinking that they will be mothers, think and accept that they are human beings and given them their basic right to education.
– Empathize with other women who are doing relatively tougher jobs to support their families i.e., house helps, factory workers etc. They need someone who empathize with their situation and understand they are women and mothers too and they are required to provide the same responsive care to their children just like many of us.
– Build systems to support mothers, especially the ones who are working or who wish to go out and work. We need more and more childcare services and learning centers. Women who work professionally or in the fields of village are contributing to the economic growth of their families and country at large. They are one of the best human capitals who require opportunities to work, grow, and contribute to their best potential.
‘A mother is a human being first and then a mom. Let’s not take away basic rights from them in shadow of raising generations’
To every mother and every member of our society who supports mothers. A very happy Mother’s Day.