12 May 2015

A mum is a mum is a mum unless she's um, you know, different


A couple of days ago, my feed was full of people saying "Happy Mothers Day" or "Happy Mother's Day" which are both very lovely and very nice and very festive and yes, both are deemed grammatically correct.

But they were all followed swiftly by a bunch of posts where everybody vied to connect with people who weren't (and I quote) "mothers in the traditional sense".

"Happy Mother's Day to the single dads who are mothers to their children." 

Or like Dads.  You know, who are of course great but are, um, Dads.

"Happy Mother's Day to grandmothers and great-grandmothers alive and dead."

Or like mothers who had kids a while ago.  But are still, um, mothers.

"Happy Mother's Day to the women who are mothers in spirit but can't have babies."

Or as one comment so eloquently put it (*sarcasm alert) "I love it when people feel sorry for me, especially when they tag me so now everybody knows I can't have fucking babies."

"Happy Mother's Day to the women out there who inspired me 'as much or maybe even more than my own mother'"

Cheeses.  I hope your mum is not on Facebook.  Oh she is? Charming. Bet that made her feel good.

"Happy Mother's Day to the mums that partner the birth mother"

Or um, the mother.

It went on.  So many explanations of what people actually meant when they said "Mum".

I get it. In brief -


"We would like to wish everybody who has ever been nice to us, and who is in possession of a vagina, a really lovely day. "

And that is absolutely ace.  I'm all for saying that.  In fact, lets make it a day.

But it's also okay to just wish Mums a lovely day without specifying the six billion different ways that a woman can mother.

By defining mothering in all those different ways you are essentially implying that there is only one definition of 'mum' and the rest of those that mother need to be patted on the heads and given gold stars for taking part.

We all know that's absolutely bollocks.

Not to mention grossly insensitive and incredibly patronising.

You say "Happy Hanukkah" to some, "Merry Christmas" to others, "Happy Diwali" to some others and "May the force be with you" to others again.  None right, none wrong.

You say "I love my 5 kids" not "I love my vaginally birthed child, my c-section child, my two adopted children and my sister's child who I have brought up since birth because Annie fucked off with that no hoper to a Byron Bay commune and I've never seen her again."

Patronising people by labelling them in public displays of sensitivity is one of the grossest things we indulge in collectively on social media.  Even when we do it with good intentions.

So can we stop? And just let mums be mums.

Unless they are dads of course.

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