I attended the annual Mom Conference at the USF St. Petersburg campus. The conference was put on by the Museum of Motherhood. I know, right.. there is a Museum of Motherhood!!
The conference was more like an intimate symposium. I had the pleasure and honor of meeting some amazing women from the world of academia, scholars and artists, students, and partners. Absolutely, one of the best gatherings I have attended.
What was most inspiring were the many artist/scholars who shared their personal experiences of mothering through their art work.
I learned the clear distinction between the institution of motherhood (defined by patriarchy) vs. the act of mothering as a practice, and the work of mother. There were discussions about gender, race, and patriarchy. I was reminded of my days at the University of Massachusetts as a young, curious coming of age woman. I was and am a feminist. I have redefined it for myself over and over, as a mother, and a wife, a daughter and a sistah to many friends and colleagues.
Back when I was in college I had the attitude that marriage was an oppressive institution, that I would never marry and have children. Never say never!!!
I found home when I had my first son. Giving birth and becoming a mother can be a very powerful experience. Mothers deserve a voice in feminism, and the women’s movement. I’m loving this revival of myself as an activist for mothers and women, which means for families and our future. It is so much more than about childbirth.
It is about teaching our young girls and women to speak their truth, and be a stand for themselves in all aspects of their lives.
The 2nd annual #marchformoms is in Washington, D.C. on May 6th. I plan to be there. Moms get to be heard, respected, and treated with dignity in pregnancy, birth, and in mothering. We have a lot of work to do in the United States, and together, anything is possible.
Mothers matter!! Mothers are powerful!!