SAFIRE talks mamas

Friday, May 18, 2012

By Mai Doan

Think about someone who is a mother in your life. It can be your mother or caretaker, your sister, your grandmother, your cousin, yourself. What do they look like? What are some things they are going through? Are they happy? What makes them strong? What’s hard for them?
It is not very often that we are given intentional time and space to think about the mothers in our lives to think about how they are doing, what they need. During our Mama’s Day workshop, SAFIRE young women had time to reflect on these questions. After sitting with these questions, I asked SAFIRE young women to think about this person, what they appreciate about them, what’s hard about their relationship with this person, and what this person needed in order to make their family stronger:

“I appreciate my mom because she spends a lot of time taking care of my brother and me. Our relationship is hard because we don’t usually agree with each other and we often argue. My family would be stronger if my mom had a more relaxing life, since she spends most of the day working and taking care of the family.”

“I appreciate my mom because she’s my mom and she always has good intentions. Our relationship is hard because she is always busy or tired. My family would be stronger if my mom had days where we weren’t busy or tired so we could do things together.”

“I appreciate my cousin because she didn’t get a lot of support since she went off to China and met up with her husband who she'd never met in person, but she did what SHE wanted, not what others told her. She stood up for herself. My relationship with my cousin is hard because I don’t see her a lot. I don’t know what exactly she’s going through and don’t know if she needs my support or not.”

“My relationship with my cousin is hard because we don’t have much communication with each other and she has to face being a teen mom.”

Mamas in our communities work hard. They do their best to support our families financially and provide the love and care we need to survive. And it’s difficult for all mamas in our communities to get what they need - support, love, time, rest, respect, acknowledgement, services, and adequate pay for their labor.

Visioning is a powerful tool for us to start building the world we want to see. SAFIRE spent some time getting creative and making collages of a world where all mamas had what they needed:

So now, for this Mama’s Day, we ask you to envision: What would our families and communities be like if these mamas had everything that they needed? What would our families and communities look, feel, smell, taste, and sound like if these mamas had everything they needed?

Mai Doan is the SAFIRE Youth Organizer at Forward Together.

This blog is part of Strong Families Mama’s Day Our Way blog series. Make and send a custom Mama’s Day e-card at Strong Families is a national initiative led by Forward Together. Our goal is to change the way people think, act and talk about families.