For the second year in a row, many of us can’t celebrate Mother’s Day with the most important women in our lives. This is hard beyond measure.
I think we can all agree that today isn’t just about mothers – the definition is expansive. Our positive female role models carry broad representation– step mothers, foster moms, coaches, colleagues, neighbours, and more.
I am a mother to two amazing kids and there is nothing I will ever do that is more fulfilling than that. I have the greatest example of motherhood in my own amazing mom, and I am eternally grateful for her kindness, devotion, love and wisdom.
Mother’s Day is about celebrating our mothers and mother figures, and honouring all they give, the sacrifices they’ve made, and the lessons they’ve taught.
Mother’s Day is also about truly reflecting on the contributions of maternal nurturing in all its forms. And yet, let’s also be mindful that for some, for those who long to be mothers and can’t, have lost their mothers or are estranged from their mothers, today can bring with it grief, stress and isolation. As a mom who has lost a child myself, this day can bring with it a wave of mixed emotions.
This pandemic – the greatest health crisis of our lifetime – has put moms around the world on the front lines. They have disproportionately carried the burden of care of the sick and vulnerable, while also bearing the brunt of the economic devastation.
At home, they have worked hard to help their children with the challenges of virtual learning and coping with the distress, uncertainty and hardships of the pandemic.
Our communities, our nation and our world, would undoubtedly be better if we more fully and completely embraced the concept of mothering – our responsibility to look after each other.
Working together to care for those left out or left behind is the core mission of United Way.
I couldn’t be prouder of the work United Way Halton & Hamilton does locally for women and girls – investing in 23 programs that serve more than 18,000 across the age spectrum.
The pandemic has only amplified the economic stress, the burden of caregiving, and even domestic violence experienced by women. There is much work ahead.
We have an opportunity when we emerge from this public health crisis to finally and truly address so many barriers for women and girls by: instituting highquality, accessible and affordable childcare; ending wage discrimination; ending sexual harassment and violence through a national action plan; and providing paid sick leave.
Mothers and mother figures undoubtedly influence the future. Their boundless love and hard work inspire us at United Way.
You may not be able to be together this Mother’s Day, and for some your mom may have passed on, but you can honour her sacrifices and selflessness.
Today, let’s celebrate all women through the lens of gratitude.
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
United Way Halton & Hamilton