No, we are not celebrating the beginning of COVID! (I heard it’s actually a thing)
Have you started thinking about Mother’s Day? Probably not. It’s the type of celebration that you have in the back of your mind in April, and then panic when it’s upon you because you haven’t made firm plans yet and all the flowers have been picked over. And for some people, Mother’s Day can be a painful reminder of a lost loved one, or perhaps of how their family is non-traditional and excluded from the celebration.
International Women’s Day is Monday, March the 8th and this year the theme was #ChooseToChallenge. This means challenging what may be the norm, if the norm is not showing equality for the genders. And while I may have missed this day, it doesn’t mean we can’t have this concept in our minds all year long. Speak up when you notice that there is inequality between genders (or anyone really: race, sexual-orientation, etc.); make conscious choices that show your support for women in all areas of life. Make sure women’s issues are everyone’s issues! Challenge your politicians, co-workers, bosses, and friends to be objective.
There’s still Women’s Month (March) - yes, we get a WHOLE MONTH! It doesn’t have to be a specific family member that you celebrate, or even a family member at all. There are millions of amazing women that deserve to be recognized for the everyday work that they do (and whether or not they are paid what they deserve). Women are the strong and silent mentors, role-models, “doers”, who get the job done even if it’s a volunteer role. They are vulnerable and open and share their love with the world without asking for anything in return.
According to Statistics Canada, as of 2015, despite there being many changes in the division of childcare and household labour, women are STILL taking on more of the unpaid work at home and are generally responsible for the smooth functioning of a household. From the report: “Although women often spend substantial amounts of time doing such mental and emotional work, it is largely invisible to others (except in its absence), typically lacks social recognition, and goes unmeasured in time-use surveys”. So, while women have become successful in the workforce, they have continued to do much of the same tasks as a stay-at-home mother would and their partners are helping, but not to a proportionate degree. Imagine the mental burden that can be and how it can wear a person down.
For all the women, don’t be afraid to ask for help and lean on others when you need it. Take care of yourself mentally and physically because that too is a life skill you want to pass on to your children. We may want to be it all, and do it all, but you are enough. You. Are. Enough.
Let’s celebrate equality. Let’s celebrate the people who work hard all year long in all their roles.
I have to go call my mom.
RECE, single mother of two crazy boys (who have no idea what Mother’s Day is)