cover photo by Chucha Marquez
This one’s for you, people with dead moms and moms or mom-type figures that Hallmark doesn’t make cards about and stores don’t make promotions for:
My mom died seven years ago, and this time of year is always daunting. It’s always felt lonely when I’ve been surrounded by people casually (sometimes resentfully) talking about what they’re doing for their moms. It’s also grating when businesses take the two weeks before Mother’s Day to berate the general public to buy stuff to show your mom you care. But even though it sometimes feels like it, I know I’m not the only one who experiences this, which is why I was so thrilled to find Mamas Day last year. We’ve talked about this campaign before, but it’s worth remembering on a weekend that can be difficult for some people and some families.
Strong Families’ declaration of Mamas Day recognizes that, “being a Mama is a profound act of community that should be acknowledged and celebrated.” To me, this is comforting. I can celebrate my Mama with my family and friends, or by myself, and I can also celebrate the other people in my life that nurture and love me.
Strong Families’ series of ecards and blogs from all kinds of Mamas and all kinds of kids celebrates family and community resilience. Mamas Day honors mothers’ work, in and outside of the home, and the power in mother/child relationships. Mamas Day breaks the silence Mother’s Day holds for incarcerated and immigrant moms who are separated from their children, and this year, Mamas Day has centered the narratives of teen Mamas through #NoTeenShame, a movement to destigmatize and support young parents.
And no, the lack of an apostrophe isn’t an error:
“Mamas Day is not just grammatically correct, it’s also a total embodiment of our hopes and goals for this campaign. Mamas Day shifts the frame from a singular and possessive celebration of a mother’s day to a collective celebration of a day about Mamas. In a year when everyone is talking about “leaning in,” Mamas Day helps us celebrate and lift up how many mamas lean on networks of support.”
Mamas Day cards show so many different iterations of Mama relationships: Mamas and babies at a political rallies, two Mama hens in a nest with their chicks, Mamas of all races and ages and gender presentations kissing and hugging their children. A lot of their cards don’t show people at all, they just have images representing love, connection, growth and power. All of them have space for customizable text, so you can decide what the picture means for you and your Mama, whoever that person is.
I love Mamas Day because I don’t feel like I have to awkwardly try and squish my own life around to try and make it applicable. Happy Mamas Day to all the Mamas!