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5/13/13: Why I wish you wouldnt wish me a happy Mothers day I was intrigued yesterday when on account of Mothers

day there were a few people who made a point to thank me for all the people who I had mothered over the years. I heard a lot of language being offered that included mother figures such as aunts, or godmothers among those worthy of recognition on this day setaside specifically for moms. Though I appreciated the sentiment of wanting to recognize my worth, despite not having actually been a mother myself, I find this sort of logic problematic. My objection lies mainly in two issues first, that it degrades the concept of motherhood into something far less significant than it actually is and second, it implys that a woman must in some way be recognized as motherly to have worth. In regards to the first objection mothering is far more than mentoring, to be someones mother, to me, implys that you have taken on the resposibility of raising a child, or that you have given birth to a child. Not all mothers do both but one of these things must be true to be called a mother. When you havent given birth to a child to be called mother should mean that you have taken on the primary responsibility of raising a person, it means more than contributing to the raising, or personal growth, of someone. Instead it means

sacraficing part of yourself, your plans, your dreams, your fiances to take care of someone else. Motherhood is a huge sacrafice and just because someone is nurturing, kind, or loving does not make them a mother. A mother gives unconditional love to a human being they have now put before themselves. This is an incredible feat and something worth being honored. A birth mother has sacraficed her body to bring life into the world and whether or not this mother decides to continue this sacrafice and really become a mom, I think the very feat of birthing a child and giving a human life is worthy of the title mother, esp in a time when giving birth is oftentimes a choice not an obligation. I dont want to imply that birth mothers who abandon their children are more worthy of the title mother than a mother figure who has cared for and been present to a child. I also dont want to exclude birth mothers who couldnt raise a child but still made a decision to give birth to one. I also hope not to insinuate that there arent aunts or godmothers out there who have take on the roles of mother, Im sure there are. However, I dont think it is common enough to blanket all mother figures as worthy of praise on Mothers day. In essence by attempting to include all women who have played the role of mother but are exluded from the title we are degrading the very thing we are attempting to honor in them. In regards to my second objection, that it is wrong to assume all woman want to be acknowledged as mothers, consider that fact that some women may never be mothers. This does not make them less of a woman, a womans eagerness to help, to listen, to encourage and make sure everyone is safe and taken care of are part of her humaness, and by the way,men

are capable of these qualities as well. Are these qualities helpful and hopefully present in a mother, yes absolutley. Does having these qualities define me as a mother, absolutley not. The real problem with being likened to a mother here, for me, is the implication that the most important factor of my person is the potential for me to be a mother. For so many woman motherhood is not a priority or even a possibility, why then must those woman be defined by this role? Mothers are incredible and to be likened to one is quite the compliment however, it is not always a compliment that is welcome. When you praise someone for something they havent done the praise immediately feels insincere. So lets save the praise for the mothers and recognize that it is okay to be both a woman and not a mother.

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