Something I’m constantly learning and understanding is when to take up space and when to make space and pass the mic to others. It’s a constant balance of assessing each situation and wondering whether my voice can add something here or not. Working over the past few weeks has helped me to understand that being an intersectional feminist and part of a marginalised group isn’t about taking up space everywhere we go but rather, when we find ourselves having more privilege or being more represented than others, ensuring that one of the first things we do is make space and pass the mic. Part of this is listening and validating the lived experiences of others.
This Mothers’ Day I want to make space for everyone and anyone who doesn’t feel represented or included in this day. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many people and listening to our stories confirms that there isn’t one single experience of motherhood, it is diverse and complex and it’s important to acknowledge that so we might begin to change the narrative that surrounds this day and ultimately be more inclusive.
So, here’s to the non-binary and transgender parents who don’t identify as either ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ but who are no less a parent than the mothers being celebrated today. This is your day, we see you and we celebrate you for the wonderful parents you are.
Here’s to everyone who’s mothers have damaged them, broken them or have never taken the time to get to know them when they should have been loving them. Your feelings are valid, we hear you, we’re making space for you today to process the complexity of an abusive parent. As a society we are so quick to acknowledge an abusive father but acknowledging a mother’s neglect can still come with a certain amount of shame, but not anymore! This day might not be easy for you and it may be filled with sadness, so be kind to yourself if and when you can, self-care is key. Remember you are NOT to blame.
Here’s to the people who long to be mothers but can’t be. I know this day is hard for you for so many reasons and in so many ways but you are not invisible, we see you. This space is also for you today.
Finally, here’s to the mothers whose little ones left too soon. Miscarriage, still-birth, infant death. It’s not something we ever truly talk about openly in society but some of the most amazing womxn I’m honoured to know are changing that. They are ending the silence and smashing the stigma by encouraging openness and asking us to listen. This space is for every single one of you. For your grief and your joy. We see you, we hear you, you are a mother, now and always.
Thank you to every single person who has shared their stories with me over the past few weeks, I am truly so lucky to know you all and I am ready to change the world with you.