If you’re a parent like me, the last 14 months almost broke you.
This time last year we were well into a pandemic, currently exhausted (particularly if we were the moms of little children) and heartbroken. If we were lucky, we waved to our own mothers on Mother’s Day, gingerly and by a distance. If you are like me, you spent last Mother’s Day yelling, since you missed your mother and because being a mother had become intensely tough beyond any imagining and there appeared to be no end in sight into the guilt, to the too muchness of everything.
A year after: Some things are better. I am endlessly thankful that my own little tribe got through. My family is vaccinated and on Mother’s Day, my husband and 2 children and I will see my mother-in-law and my mother, and throw a big brunch, and also do some of the beautiful tender work of reconnecting. My partner makes a mean frittata. Maybe some flowers will be traded.
But oh, golly, it is also an awfully strange year to be getting these chipper e-reminders to buy something. If anything, this year has reminded us that this one commodified day which attempts to thank overworked mothers in the kind of highly marketed consumer goods cannot possibly compensate for the dreadful care-less care economy that shapes America every day of this year.
And this year especially. This was a year after parenting was shocking: Faculties and childcare disappeared from our own lives and the whole world become hazardous, but we needed to keep working anyhow. Despite anxiety and heartbreak and isolation and threat and mass illness even of loved ones, we needed to go on building some semblance of a secure world for our children while we labored, too.
The brunt of the year’s tribulations dropped on moms , who often lost their jobs or shelved their dreams tried to juggle manner, way too much.
This Mother’s Day I want to mention: Yes, this year ripped us open and tested us beyond our wildest dreams, and no, it wasn’t OK. And no, following a year of homeschooling and running on empty, no, the $600 pleated dress that Coach is trying to sell me as a consolation prize does not feel close to hitting the mark.
What I want is really much larger than that. What I’d love is for somebody to provide free, abundant high-quality childcare for our state’s children. What I would love is economical practices and occupation practices that encourage others and me in being a fantastic parent. What I want is more support for many of our state’s families.