This post was written by Women’s Center director, Jess Myers as a tribute to our UMBC moms. Special thanks to the moms who provided photos to help curate our Women’s Center moms collage. Wishing happy thoughts to all our UMBC moms in your first and hopefully last quarantined Mother’s Day!
Self-Care Content Note: There’s lots of reasons why Mother’s Day can be hard for a lot of different people. We see you and your story and your pain and hurt matter to us too. Be kind to yourself. Create boundaries in ways that feel right for you. Reach out to someone who can validate your real emotions that don’t require censorship.
Okay, so let’s just put this out there. My mom is my favorite human being. So much so, I just got teared up writing that last sentence.
How else can I explain it? I remember one Mother’s Day when I was in high school. My mom and I were in the car to go visit my Busia (that’s grandmother in Polish). We were listening to the radio and a caller request came in. The caller explained that the requested song for her mom was “their song.” And, as caller requests go – she shouted out her mom, said she loved her, probably gave a woooo!!!, and then the song came on.
It was Celion Dion’s Because You Loved Me.
It took all of three seconds for my mom and I to look at each other with the biggest “wows” on our faces (also mom upside down is wow). A love song. A love song for a mother and daughter. By then we had pulled up to my Busia’s house, but we just sat in the car, listened to the lyrics, and cried. And, that was the moment we too had a love song. I am everything I am because my mom loves me.
I could go on and on, but the point of this blog post isn’t to gush about mom (well not exactly). It’s about gushing about you, Dear Moms of the Women’s Center at UMBC.
♥ To the moms who serve or who have served on the Women’s Center Advisory Board
♥ To the Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates Moms and all of our student moms
♥ To the moms who have spent countless hours in our lactation room pumping away
♥ To the moms who have served as staff members over the decades
♥ To our Friends of the Women’s Center Moms
♥ To the moms who have donated their money, their time, their skills to support our mission
♥ To those who aren’t moms but support and champion the work of the Women’s Center because of the space and meaning it holds for moms
Thank you for you. Thank you for being a part of the Women’s Center community. In the words of Celine Dion, we are everything we are because you love us… you make us a stronger and richer community because we get to learn from you, benefit from your skills, and call you our friends and allies.
So, in honor of all these brilliant moms we offer some suggestions and action items to take this Mother’s Day weekend:
Virtual ways to celebrate or honor a mom in your life:
- Plan a virtual Mother’s Day celebration. I know, the Zoom burnout is real but how can you get creative so it doesn’t feel like another work or school meeting? Send invites, encourage people to dress up or bring some fancy snacks to the call, or make it a game/trivia call.
- Not up for organizing something? Watch something together that’s already planned like Un Dia Especial con Mamá (Special Day with Mama) hosted by Creative Alliance, Somos Baltimore Latino, Nuestras Raíces Inc., and Artesanas Mexicanas. The live stream begins at 11am on Mother’s Day.
- Zoom again but this time with the kiddos! Give a mom you love the chance to take a deep breath by offering to entertain their little ones via Zoom by reading them a story or leading an activity.
- Send or drop off a care package or meal.
- Create a grateful jar. What are the things you’re grateful for when it comes to a special mom in your life. Write it down and put it in a jar so that gratitude can be called upon in times of need. This can be an individual or collective effort.
- Send some snail mail (or a text!). ! If there are people in your life that could benefit from feeling seen and appreciated on Mother’s Day, consider writing them a thoughtful note, reminding them you’re here for them, or simply drawing something that words can’t quite capture. As we reminded folks in the content note above, there are lots of feelings people can experience on or close to Mother’s day. Acknowledge and validate those feelings.
- This list not working for you? That’s okay! Let Google be your friend or let this simply be the beginning of a creative brainstorm session.
To help advocate for a mom in your life:
For those of us who aren’t moms, we may have no idea what it’s like to be a mom in quarantine. Even moms in quarantine won’t know exactly what other moms are going through. What we do know, though, is that at home and on the front line of this pandemic, women are essential.
So how can you learn more? Here’s a few recommended readings and podcasts. After checking out those, consider ways you can advocate for mothers in your own life and spheres of influence. As always, we appreciate your own ideas and suggestions in the comments!
- A Working Mom’s Quarantined Life
- Women at Work’s We’re Beyond Stretched episode (and with more time, check out the archives too)
- Here’s a specific higher ed lens as it relates to faculty and publishing and a fact sheet about student parents
- There’s also a lot of really good reading about women in the workplace over on the Association of American University Women’s (AAUW) Issues Page.
- Beyond Mother’s Day, follow intersectional feminist organizations on social media to stay in touch or learn more about how our privileges and marginalized identities can shape and inform motherhood (not sure where to start? Check out our Instagram account to see some of the orgs we follow for inspiration and accountability!).