Boycott Mothers’ Day?

Monday, May 07, 2012

Last May 2, Cole gave me a beautiful artwork (oil pastel on paper) as a gift for Mothers’ Day. He wasn’t even sure when that day is celebrated, but since he’s been hearing about it, he decided to give me a surprise. He wrote a heartwarming poem in his painting that ended with, “…and everyday I will give the world to mom.” 

I can remember him once asking why he hasn’t heard of a “brothers’ day”. I told him what I considered was the truth, so the kid wouldn’t feel bad about not being “celebrated”. I don’t know about other cultures but the Philippines for sure is carnivalesque in the celebration of mothers’, fathers’, grandparents’, and of course, Valentine’s Day. Brothers’ day is yet unheard of but I’m quite certain it won’t be long until a marketing plan will brew somewhere and the media (and the malls) would promptly tell us about it. In that conversation, his father told him that while it’s great that there are celebrations like mothers’ day, it’s very important to remember to celebrate family every single day. The message: never take any of the people around you for granted. 

I believe that’s where the “everyday” in his poem came from. As a mother, it delights me so to get surprises from Cole, especially if they’re artwork because he’s not only honing his skills in the arts, he also embraces the values we taught him about gift-giving. A real gift has no price tag attached to it.

No Mothers’ Day?
It sounds like a cruel request initially, but the call to boycott Mothers’ Day is geared towards raising awareness about maternal mortality. “Every Mother Counts”, a maternal health advocacy founded in 2010 by Christy Turlington Burns, reports that there are 360,000 women around the globe who die each year due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. 

With the campaign, Burns hopes to let everyone see “the absence that a woman leaves behind” after dying during childbirth. To those who are willing to give a day to the mothers who have passed on; those they left behind; those who are yet to find out what cause maternal deaths and how they happen; those who want to help make a change in the lives of women, mark May 13 on your calendars as No Mothers' Day. Make your absence be felt by not texting or calling, e-mailing, sending gifts to other mothers, and not updating your status (the latter was emphasized in one of the campaign materials for reasons we all know). 

The simple move will help give some attention to maternal health, and hopefully, changes could be done especially that 90% of the cases are said to be preventable. 

Spread the word. This is also a good time to teach kids that Mothers’ Day is not about the gifts, the mall, or special dinners outside the home. 

Mothers’ Day should be celebrated every day. 

Please watch this video to learn more.

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