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What it means to be a mother is a challenge. When I first went home with my baby son, 25 years ago, I was in disbelief that the hospital trusted me to take this living, breathing human home without any supervision. How did they know that I could take care of this child? My husband and I, were on the same page. We had to make sure to keep this thing alive. Never mind celebrating the fact that we had a child. It was really just about trying to keep it eating, breathing and not crying.
The learning began before he was born. Of course, we tried to get as much information as possible to know what to expect. The reality is that much of this information becomes moot when the tiny thing comes home. It really is about survival.
With spring in the air, and newness around us there is a sense of the unknown. Mothering, and learning how to mother, are emotions that reappears at this time of year. As we build to the celebration of Mothers in May, this time is the beginning of this marking of this moment.
Understanding that the lifestyle choice of being a Mother is an innate human condition that balances between choice and obligation. What it means to be a mother can be complex and difficult. What "mother" means brings in a definition of sacrifice, strength, love, nurturing and power.
Considering these are the definitions of "mother", then men can take on this role. The concept speaks to being a central figure in the family structure that maintains the engine of support. This central caretaker, is often the one who runs the pieces; insuring that the children are fed, taken care of and nurtured. Mother make certain that opportunities are provided to educate. That social change and diversity in experiences are provided. To just give love and nurturing.
It isn't about mother vs. father. It is about how the role is defined and maintained.
Unfortunately, not enough men take on this role. As seen this past year, it was women who sacrificed their work and their own personal goals to insure that the children were ok. Maybe the reason was the economic difference, in that men could bring in more of the dough. Or maybe it was that the Mother was the woman.
Why do they do this? The reality is that mothers know that they have to sacrifice themselves to make certain their kids survive. Mothers ultimately know that this time will pass, and that they can find their track again and work. This past year has shown this.
Considering the role that mothers have taken this past year; it is time to really focus on what this means. Just saying Happy Mother's Day is not enough. Understanding the importance of providing support to Mothers to succeed in their own life is a reflection of a culture that supports children. What does this mean? It means providing universal childcare, flex time work schedules, remote working opportunities. Just simple structural changes that enable women to provide for their families and be a Mother.
This spring, a new series Mother's Memories Project, will be presented that highlights the power of the mother. They will celebrate the sprinkles of happiness that celebrates motherhood.
Take a moment, enjoy the pieces, and think about how, without mothering, we are a culture of chaos and sadness. Most importantly, cherish the images to reflect your own value. Whether you are a woman or a man, being the Mother, means being the centre. These works will be a direct expression and result of this role.
Children and Mothers are part of my Home Sweet Home series. A group of pieces, now available as prints, that looks towards the "home" where we connect, find our place, and be nurtured. Each piece from the Mother's Memories Project will be part of this series.
To see full selection of prints see www.memoryartgirl.com
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Fine art giclee prints digitally capture the original work. They are printed on heavyweight canvas using archival inks, and museum gallery wrapped on 1.5" stretcher bars. Fine art prints are a textured 100% acid free, heavyweight, white watercolor paper. Ready for matting and framing of the client's own choice. Art prints are shipped direct to the client from the Print Company in Austin Texas
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