If you live in the Middle East as an expat mother, you get to live your special day several times. There’s Arab Mother’s day which is celebrated on March 21st and then be appreciated again during UK Mother’s day (which floats depending on the year but also a Sunday in March).
And then American Mother’s Day which is the second Sunday in May.
Not that appreciating mothers is a bad thing. We have upped the sappy greeting card and breakfast in bed to social media posts with flashback photos and odes to maternal sacrifice.
Men have tried stimulating the pain of labor with somewhat hilarious results.
But do stay at home mothers get to say that they work?
Do mothers who work outside the home get paid the same for doing the same job?
Can they find jobs after ‘taking time off’ to start their families?
For producing “the miracle of life” do women get an adequate amount of support or time to adjust to the addition of each child in their families?
In the process of producing children, do they have access to the healthcare that won’t bankrupt them?
And, most perhaps most important of all, do women get to decide for themselves whether or not they want to be mothers? I don’t know a woman from any culture who hasn’t had social pressure or governmental encouragement to embrace the “most natural” of all instincts.
My second crime novel, No Place for Women, alludes to the idea that the world is not a safe place for women.
If we revered mothers and motherhood as much as we say, our legal and social codes would be far, far different. Mothers would get more maternity leave, better pay, and experience much less guilt from the heaps of judgment heaped on them.
I hate to be the voice of doom and gloom. It is much easier to buy a card or upload a photo.
This Mother’s Day, I hope we can realize how much further we still have to go in advancing the rights of mothers all over the world. Because that is a gift we would be giving all women.