On the heels of the past weekend’s Mother’s Day celebrations, I wanted to explore the meaning of the term “mother.” For me growing up, a mother was someone of the female gender in relation to her children, While the traditional gender roles in which I was raised by my family of origin are still valued, I believe that being a mother or father does not necessary equate to being of the female or male gender. Females who give birth may not be “mothers” in the sense of what this may mean to some (e.g., primary nurturer) as males adapt to this role based on family dynamics specific to their experiences. Likewise, males whose sperm produced offspring may not be a “father” in the sense of what this may mean to some (e.g., provider) as females adapt to this role based on family dynamics as indicated by their experiences. In addition to the traditional mother and father roles defined by society is there is place or latitude for freedom and the importance of not being limited by social constructs which often change.
I embrace my identity as an African American female and mother and I do not have any concerns or desires to change how I see myself. As a person of color and woman of faith living in today’s world, I see myself in a position of great influence. Who said that windows of opportunity have to be shut after a certain season has passed? Beyond my eyes, I see huge living rooms, corners to turn, a full basement, and open doors to where the roles of nurturer, provider and more can exist and thrive. The needs that others have in this heartless world are never-ending. Instead of ignoring, hiding, or downplaying the seriousness of people’s concerns I act. Yes, in witnesser role I have “pulled a uey” to watch how Po Po handles the person of color he just pulled over or stopped. Who are you and what about it makes a difference? What doors will you walk through? Comments welcome as usual.