Ah, Mother's Day. Such a beautiful opportunity to celebrate Moms and all they do. There's absolutely nothing to hate about Mother's Day - it's an 'easy-in.' Right? But, is it just me, or has the perception of 'mothering' experienced a slight reputational decline in our recent, fast-paced-stock-market-innovation-tech decades?
Once a revered role, it now seems there is a diminished awareness of the value of mothering. Maybe it's a Disney, terrible-mother influence now taking root, or the unnecessary new 'Karen' description of women truly trying to do the right thing. Or, perhaps it simply boils down to the age-old frustration that it's simply impossible to know everything mothers are actually doing.
It's mothers who truly celebrate mothers.
This morning, I had the opportunity to speak with MC member Jennie Gill who I felt captured the concept of 'motherhood,' and the nuances of what 'mothering' means.
For years, she's noticed. She was an avid (and undoubtedly integral) volunteer in all three of her kids' schools. She noticed when the school Lacrosse team was languishing and started it back up. She noticed when children with disabilities needed help, so she volunteered at the non-profit organization supporting them.
"It's always about children. I have compassion for them. I’m a very motherly person, so the kids have always ended up at my house. That's why Marin Charitable just hit the nail for me."
There it is. It's about children, and I'd say it's about noticing, too. It's noticing what needs to get done...and doing it. It's the "It's ok, you can have my bacon" moments. We share our abundance and relinquish our needs to ensure things run smoothly. We just keep noticing, and doing, giving, solving. We fill needs.
"I feel so lucky to have what I have. I am so grateful," Jennie said. "A couple weeks ago, I went to Safeway and saw a woman living in her car. I came out and gave her cash, and she started crying." I could deeply relate to her story - having helped a homeless woman during the pandemic by starting a GoFundMe campaign so she could have her own hotel room in the coldest months. After being chastised for 'taking on too much,' and 'getting involved,' I was so grateful I wasn't the only one.
It's mothering, and always noticing. Mothering and being a mother doesn't just happen in the home. It isn't just dishes, laundry, monotonous dinners and aprons. It's hard work that blends into every moment. It's worrying that a family who you don't know won't have a meal tonight, and wanting to help your friend who's daughter is suffering from an eating disorder and wishing that every child could learn to play an instrument if they wanted. It's wanting abundance for everyone.
"It gets me all worked up seeing how little people have and how fortunate I am. I guess that’s the long and short of it, and why I joined Marin Charitable," Jennie said.
This. THIS is the sentiment we're celebrating this Sunday; the sentiment that many don't understand, and the very foundation upon which Marin Charitable was formed (if I may say so myself). It's why we're all members and supporters and "noticers" who understand each other and who continue to plug along just making it all happen.
Photo Credit: Matt Hoffman