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I've Been Thinking About Moms

Friday, May 12, 2017 8:50 AM

One of the great honours of my work with One Spark is having the opportunity to meet women who share their stories: every story unique and every one of them – like all of our stories – rife with joy and struggle; questions and convictions; reflection and uncertainty; moments of complete peace interspersed with moments of complete upheaval.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood: about how while there are unquestionably shared experiences among the universal sisterhood of moms, being a mom looks poignantly different and unique in almost every home; in different communities; and in countries around our world.  When we celebrate Mother’s Day, we celebrate our treasured relationship to a woman who gave us life and/or nurtured our personhood, as we absolutely should.  If I can speak personally, my mom has been my model of kindness, determination and grace throughout my entire life, and one day a year doesn’t seem like nearly enough to capture how essential her strength, wisdom, and joy have been to my life experience and my growth from baby to girlhood to womanhood.

At the same time, Mother’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on the value of moms to our world and on the work that is done by mothers globally to ensure the health, safety, education, growth, development, and well-being of their kids.  This brings me back to thinking about the stories that have been courageously shared with me over the past number of years.  I think about moms who have surrendered their right to almost all of their financial resources and entitlements to ensure the safe exit of their children from unsafe environments.  I think about how those same moms, as a result of trading financial security for safety, lack the financial and legal resources to advocate for their children and themselves, putting their safety at ongoing risk...and how they fiercely advocate anyway.  I think about moms doing all they can to patch together the income necessary to afford shelter and food, while wondering how they can afford the basics when daycare will eat the majority of every pay cheque.  I think about how those same moms will struggle – and endure - when their children need glasses or life-saving health care that they can’t afford.  I think about moms around the world that know education is a critical cornerstone to quality of life, but live with the knowledge that their children can’t go to school or face grave risks if they do. I think about moms in war-ravaged areas that are focused on the mere survival of their kids from one day to the next.

I think about these things and then I think about the moms I know (and those I don’t) that have shown courage, resilience, strength, power, creativity, tenacity, humour, grace, conviction, joy, fear, compassion, and a mama’s love when dealing with these – and so many other – challenges, struggles, and experiences.  I think about those moms and I feel love, gratitude, admiration, and hope.  And then I know that there are two things we have to do:

1.      We have to continue our work to ensure no woman – and no mom and child -  have to ever trade basic financial security for personal safety; and
2.   We need to celebrate and never lose sight of all the countless ways that we benefit from the strength and power of motherhood and to work towards a world that understands, values, and meaningfully supports the work – both challenging and rewarding – that falls on the shoulders of moms: work that they carry fiercely, even when it is overwhelmingly heavy.
Moms  - as you look to the days ahead, in all of your day-to-day sacrifices, may you also know moments of complete joy, rest that feeds your spirit, resilience to trek forward; and hearts at perfect peace.

Happy Mother’s Day.


Executive Director, One Spark

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