On this Mother's Day, a reminder that every mother you know has called forth life in a pool of blood from a state of unimaginable agony.
Or advocated for the foster child in her care for months or years.
Or provided a home for children in need, however briefly or however much it tore open her heart to say goodbye.
Or fought an unjust CPS system to keep her kids.
Or spent years of time and sweat and tears and money trying to adopt her child.
Or given birth to a baby she then gave to someone else; or carried someone else's baby for nine loving and difficult months.
Or said goodbye to her own baby at birth, before birth, during birth.
We stay up all night with screaming infants, then get up and lovingly care for them and go to work and act like everything is fine, then stay up all night only to get up and do it again and again, day after day, month after month, year after year.
We hear that, if we find this difficult, it’s because of our crazy woman hormones, not because it’s exhausting, thankless, infinite work.
We care for children in a society that says our work doesn't matter, that we should be grateful to do it, and that we should return to work immediately after birth, bleeding and in pain, even if it kills us, or we should suffer through poverty and no pay to take time off work. We listen to blowhards on the right lecture us about the value of life as they insist that we deserve no time off when we bring that life into the world.
The data tell us
that mothers are more productive than any other worker, but we get penalized for motherhood and productivity.
In a society that ignores us and mocks us.
We put everything we have on the line for our children. We put up with abusive partners, unhelpful partners, a society where we no longer have a village, isolation, postpartum depression, endless criticism and shaming. We tolerate a maternity care system that leaves 50,000 of us with lasting disabilities every year, and that leaves a quarter of us traumatized.
We keep going. We smile for our children no matter how many childbirth injuries we sustain, no matter how aggressively our male partners undermine us, no matter how much additional work the men we live with create for us (spoiler alert: it’s an average of
7 hours a week).
We are not superhuman beings. We don't have an endless supply of compassion and patience. We are not magic.
But we find a way to make magic anyway, because we have no choice.
Because mothers are tough as shit, and the strongest, scariest people you know.
And that is why no one, anywhere, ever, should ever be forced to become a mother without freely choosing it.
This man, Samuel Alito. The empty vessels who support him.
Samuel Alito has never brought forth life where none existed before.
He makes nothing.
He gives nothing.
He is nothing.
Unlike mothers, who create life and breath where nothing existed before, he has contributed nothing to the eternal.
And then, he has the gall to lecture us about the sanctity of life.
This man whose sole source of power is the love of his death cult.
This man whose sole contribution to the world is his zeal for executing more prisoners, throwing more children into poverty, destroying more lives.
Apparently no one ever told this bloviating man baby that the most dangerous animal in the wild is a threatened mother.
Those who would force us to give birth in a country with the highest maternal mortality rate in the wealthy world; in the only nation where maternal mortality is rising; in the only nation where we have to bankrupt ourselves to become mothers have overplayed their hand.
We understand the value of human life more than anyone who would try to force us to bear it. We know what human dignity means; we devote ourselves to it everyday.
This Mother's Day, maybe instead of flowers (which most of us don't get anyway) and food (which most of us have to make ourselves anyway) and time off from household labor (which most of us either don't get or have to make up for tomorrow anyway), you should get the fuck out of our way and stop trying to make laws about our bodies.
If you want to support mothers to defend themselves this Mother’s Day, please consider giving to one of these organizations (I’m pasting the whole link for accessibility reasons):