The job of mothering is done by more than mothers alone. This year, I’ve learned that motherhood is but one aspect of womanhood.
This weekend, I’ve had my fair share of Mother’s Day greetings, and I’ve exchanged the greeting with any woman who appeared old enough to be a mother without stopping to think about whether these women were mothers or not. I never even thought to ask! (Shame on me!)
This morning, I contemplated the adage that “mothers are the backbone of the community”. I think it’s the other way around. Communities are the backbones for mothers. Mothers cannot and should not have to solely raise children, nor do it alone. Whether the women who aren’t mothers are aware of their influence, their impact does not go unnoticed.
There are incredible women in my circle that aren’t mothers themselves, however, they model behaviors and attributes that inspire excellence in children. These women give undivided attention when they are with my three children, reinforce a sense of self-worth for them, and offer examples of excellence that empower my daughters especially, who can now aspire to be pastors, scholars, writers, or business owners.
In the novel “Ma William and Her Circle of Friends“, by Giftus R. John, the author shared his perspective about the central character, Ma William. She is presented as a businesswoman and shopkeeper, but also as a mom to many, who lends an attentive ear to others as they go through their trials and travails.
I am familiar with this type of “Ma William” because she is much like all of our moms, nanas, grannies, aunties, or Ma “Name Du Jour” women in our lives. They could be called upon when we could not reach “Mom”, literally or figuratively. She is God- and play mother to almost everyone’s child because of her motherly instincts and to help provide for the unmet needs of the children in the community.
On Mother’s Day, I am reminded about the importance of broadening my understanding and test of a woman’s ability to offer sound counsel. It cannot be based on whether she is a mother like me, but rather, on what I know to be true about her; that she has her own standard for truth, demonstrated by her life experiences and values. Her ability to empathize and offer emotional support cannot be dismissed. This is why womanhood and sisterhood trump motherhood every day!
So, to all the mommies out there, “Happy Mother’s Day!” To all the women who have a momma, had a momma, want to be a momma, or know a momma, and make the job of being mother a bit easier, I say to you, “Thank You!”
Happy Womanhood Day!
Feel free to join Giftus John on his virtual book tour, which begins today. You can pick up a free copy of Chapter 1 there also. Click on this link if you would like to experience more of Dominica, via this cool, green YouTube video.