Sunday, May 10 2020
Today we are honoring and celebrating mothers and all the strong, empowering, amazing women and people who care for us, love us, and nurture us in our lives.
Something that has been very much on my mind this mother’s day is the mothers who are struggling. Right now we know that many parents are wearing many hats and under additional stress. We also know the role of mother is naturally hard. Additionally, we know that 1 out of 2 women experience sexual violence in their lifetimes. That means a huge number of mothers are not only those who are caring for the needs of other humans, but are also caring for their own needs as survivors.
Sexual violence can affect mothers throughout a lifetime. It creates additional stress during pregnancy and post-partum, and may have an impact on health. It can make breastfeeding emotionally and mentally harder. It can create triggers when children reach certain ages. It can cloud the experience of motherhood with fear and worry. It may also create feelings of shame, guilt, self-blame, and trauma if a child experiences sexual violence.
Motherhood is also not always created consensually. Reproductive coercion—the act of manipulating someone’s contraception or reproductive choices—can make motherhood even more challenging and it’s more common than you might think.
This is not to take a happy, positive day and point out all the dark spots in it or make it about sexual violence. It’s simply to say to those mamas out there who feel incredible joy and deep sadness, we see you. We have so much respect and appreciation for the mothering you do and the strength that you have every day to care for yourself and others. We also want you to know that it’s okay to be vulnerable and sad and to allow others to care for you. Let us know if you need anything. We are caring for you today and always.