Motherhood in Precarious Times

Mother’s Day is a subjective experience. Some of us will start the day with breakfast in bed, others will be taken to lunch followed by a leisurely afternoon and some will struggle through the day. Being a Mother is an experience shaped by our surroundings, our environment and our interactions.

It seems almost a cliché but we live in precarious times. Wars are being fought, terrorism affects mothers in one half of the world almost daily while the other half live in fear of being caught up in one, cuts to our essential public services and, for many, job insecurity blights our lives.

When the social infrastructure around us fails, when social supports wane, when natural or man-made disaster threatens us, what do mothers do? These insecurities threaten the quality of our children’s lives. As mother we strive to mitigate the worse effects on our children. But how do we do this when we have to mother under the harshest of circumstances?

‘Motherhood in Precarious Times’ features essays and poems about the adversities that mothers face and how we attempt to overcome these. There are moving stories, stories of hope and stories that will assure you that you are not alone with your worries about mothering during difficult times.

The journal opens with an extremely moving poem about domestic abuse titled: ‘Mama, your bruise is a beautiful colour’. The child likens the bruise to an eggplant or a “purple pansy face in a giant’s garden” and offers to “kiss your bruise”. In the UK, 70% of the 1.9 million people who suffered domestic abuse were women.

There are stories about women fighting for climate justice. A woman called Meghan wonders how mothers can take up the fight without being called crazy or hysterical which is a common slur heaped on women? Another woman called Josephine writes about how the mainstream environmental movement tries to influence poor women’s choices over pregnancy because of worries about overpopulation.

In featuring mother’s anxieties, this journal is a timely and lucid look at the state of our world for mothers. Using personal experiences to amplify these difficulties lends perspectives that we can all identify with as something that we have experienced in our own mothering even if fleetingly.

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