On this Mother’s Day, I can’t help but think of a conversation I was in recently about girls and self-esteem where I was stunned by how much blame we put on the mothers. Blaming the mothers for saying and doing and wearing things that “negatively impact a girl’s self esteem,” is pretty much the same thing as blaming the girls themselves. I kept wanting to scream, “Can’t you see how women and girls are affected by the very same system?!?” Women say and do those things because we have all been brought up in a society that rejects the feminine….teaching us lies…teaching us that strong traits-like care and connection and compassion- are actually weak. This is confusing and hurtful and is the real source of negative impact on our girls…and our boys. This is the reason we have such a compassion deficit.
On this Mother’s Day, I have written this poem for our mothers.
Below is the text of the poem…would love to hear what think.
What would our society look like if we actually praised mothers instead of blaming them?
we blame the mothers
with the hardest job on earth
It’s so fun to pick
at their flaws
judge their choices
“I can’t believe anyone would do that…
pushing the blame outward in concentric circles like
that kaleidoscope might distract
the rest of us
from blaming them
which we will
because that’s what we do
It’s why we allow “Toddlers & Tiaras”
to exist on TV
when it should be
The Real Housewives of our own
fear and shame
Kids know that mothers are superheroes
able to leap tall buildings and make us tell the truth each
with her own kryptonite
comes with the job
but so does a cape and maybe
she couldn’t fly but she could
wrap me tight in it and use it to
take care of herself
It’s why kids get gay marriage.
The thought of having TWO moms just
kids grow up and
learn that mothers are women
they have learned to hate
This superhero must become the fallen angel
the Dark Knight who is the cause of all of my
let’s still give her a day
for some flowers & chocolate covered strawberries
She’ll like that.
What if we praised the mothers?
I don’t mean insisting on her superhero status
too much expectation for a
insisting on her super
Praise Her for her power of creation
Praise Her for having to wake up each day & make 90 million choices that affect 90 million lives & do it again tomorrow even when she’s made
90 million mistakes
Praise Her for her tears
Praise Her for her pains
Praise Her for teaching us that tears & pains aren’t
the whole story but that
no story would be good
Praise Her for making us our own people
(because we can be nothing else)
with our own brains
with our own hearts
with our own choices
with our own children
You know you are no superhero.
a mere human…perhaps…
with a cape.
What if we praised the mothers?
Wrapped that cape around her
pushed the mute button &
silenced our shrieks &
served her strawberries for being a
with the courage to take the blame
3 thoughts on “Everywhere We Blame the Mothers”
Reblogged this on Go Girls! Blog and commented:
Some Mother’s Day Reflections by co-founder Lynn Johnson.
this is beautiful… lump in my throat at the level of TRUTH spoken in this poem- hard to find these days. thanks for invoking such a response!
Thanks Ezra!!!! It felt like a risk to take…posting it on Mother’s Day when the tone is usually not so heavy. But, I, like you said, I am working on telling the truth these days.