On Sunday a good friend sent me a text saying, "Having a sick mom on Mother's Day is complicated, right?" Right. So many rights. Taking on a parenting/caregiving role as a (adult) child is just one example of the many that can affect our relationship with our mothers.
I can't speak to each of these nuances. I've experienced some myself and others alongside close friends. You may have seen this beautiful illustration by Mari Andrew that underlines these complexities. I do think one particular variation of mothering is one to which most women can relate. It's the idea of women in our communities, within our inner circles, who act as mothers to us. It's sisters, cousins, best friends, teammates, neighbors.
In last year's Listen To Your Mother Show one of my co-performers, Lottie Joiner, spoke of this beautifully. Lottie talked about her single girlfriends who are her family of choice and who show up for her; always, unconditionally. They provide everything a mother provides: nurturing, encouragement, sunshine, truth. My absolute favorite line in Lottie's piece was:
We are more than our Sister’s Keeper. We are each other’s Mothers.
We all have women who mothered us when we were younger and who do so today. I love the idea of opening up my narrow view of motherhood (my mom, my kids) to include the other beautiful and strong women who raise me. Read Lottie's piece. I hope you'll find it expansive too.