I’ll take breakfast in bed with an extra-large helping of revolution, please.
In anticipation of Mother’s Day this weekend, here are a few things I’ve listened to, or read, or heard about lately that have inspired me to think of Mother’s Day in something of a different light.
Reclaim: The DoubleShift is a new reported podcast about working mothers, which is to say, all mothers. In their latest episode they implore all of us to reclaim Mother’s Day’s revolutionary roots by putting the focus back on labor.
Get paid: Speaking of labor, seventy-one percent of American mothers today work outside of the home, but outside work or not, mothers are still shouldering the lion’s share of childcare and household tasks, to say nothing of the invisible emotional labor that also gets punted their way. Put a dollar amount on the invisible labor of mothers. See also: Bill the Patriarchy.
Remember: “Every parent plays many different roles, and every child defines their parent in a different way.” I love the More Than Mom photo essay that Wear Your Voice published two years ago for Mother’s Day. It’s a celebration of families that takes into account single parents, gender non-conforming parents, LGBT parents, and non-biological parents and caregivers.
March: American women today are 50% more likely to die in the period surrounding childbirth than their own mothers were. This staggering statistic reflects the experiences of Black and Indigenous women, for whom maternal mortality is often three times higher than it is for white women, regardless of income or education. This Saturday, join March for Moms to help raise awareness about and discuss policy and practical solutions to address the crisis of maternal mortality in America today. See also: The MOMMIES Act.
Empathize: As access to women’s reproductive healthcare is increasingly under assault, conversations around abortion become heated and political and the women and mothers whose stories are at the heart of the matter get lost. Last week’s Longest Shortest Time episode is about one mother’s late-term abortion. It’s not easy to listen to, but it should be required listening for anyone engaging in the subject. The show notes also include a comprehensive list of resources for parents coping with Child Loss.
Listen in: Motherhood Sessions is a new podcast from reproductive psychiatrist Dr. Alexandra Sacks. Instead of tackling the struggles of motherhood related to sleepless nights or diaper changes, Dr. Sacks focuses on the “psychological big-bang” that is motherhood. In each episode, listeners hear Dr. Sacks and a patient work through a problem or question related to motherhood—”from career uncertainty to sex to ambivalence about even being a mother.”
Reframe: Words matter, and in the newly launched NYT Parenting website, which covers everything from “fertility and pregnancy to the basics of baby-and-kid care and developmental milestones,” the editors won’t be using the term natural birth.
PS. I’m wearing the trusty Storq carryall in the photos above. For any parents-to-be out there, Storq is offering Reading My Tea Leaves readers a chance to shop their Mother’s Day sale one day early. Use the code TEALEAVES20 to get 20% off. The sale runs through Sunday, May 12, 2019. This post isn’t sponsored, but this is an affiliate link which means if you make a purchase, Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission.
PPS. In case you missed it, a few ever-so-slightly revolutionary gift ideas for the mothers in your lives—whether yourself, your spouse, your sister, or anyone else at all who claims the title.