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Mother's Day: 4 Ways to Better Show Our Appreciation to Our Working Mothers

By Anna Gilchrist | May 11, 2024

Women holding a bouquet while child holds up a rose to smell
Daughter giving Mom a rose to smell/ Wix Media
Our mothers are the backbone of our society, raising the younger generations today to be the compelling leaders of tomorrow. However, policies and cultural beliefs in the US make the state and responsibilities of motherhood more challenging, especially for working mothers.

Now more than ever, working mothers are also the heads of household, the breadwinners of their families, and are doing it all by contributing to our society while raising our society's future.

This Mother’s Day weekend, we should take the time to focus on not only what we could give our Moms on Mother’s Day, but also what they deserve so they can continue to provide for their families and support their development.

Below are 4 ways we as a society can demonstrate that our mothers are seen, heard, and truly appreciated:

1. Our mothers deserve longer maternal leave

In the US, new mothers are only given 12 weeks of unpaid maternal leave by their state government, if they are lucky enough to qualify, through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Only 11 states provide paid family leave, and only 3 states, including my state of New Jersey, have an active maternal leave policy. This is the lowest amount of maternal leave given from a developed country, which forces new mothers to go back to work prematurely, sometimes as early as 2 weeks, and place their newborns in increasingly understaffed and unaffordable daycare centers. 

Son hugging his mother
If we appreciate our mothers, we need to pressure our leaders to finally provide guaranteed paid federal family leave for at least 6 months so that mothers and their partners get the time and assistance needed to support the needs of their new little one(s) they are responsible for.  This leads me to the next point….

2. Our mothers deserve affordable childcare.

As inflation increases, so does the cost of food, diapers, and childcare. Yes, due to the rising costs of feeding and caring for a child, childcare has increased by over 30% since 2019 and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. 

Mother showing daughter how to wash her face
To ensure a working mother can return to work - to which they have proven to have a significant impact on the US labor force  - affordable childcare is essential and should be a non-negotiable. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention we must also ensure our childcare workers, many of them mothers themselves, are paid a livable wage.

3. Our mothers deserve better maternal healthcare, particularly for Black mothers.

Mother and son facing each other smiling
Let’s be honest; pregnancy can be one the most beautiful experiences, and also the most dangerous, especially if you are a Black mother in the US. The Black mother mortality rate is significantly higher than their White and Hispanic counterparts, and studies have shown it is due to racial bias and fallacies that are still believed in healthcare - like how black individuals have a higher pain tolerance or have thicker skin. Our mothers should also be able to choose to have healthcare where they can get an abortion if medically necessary, and if they decide they cannot have any more children for any reason without government intervention.

If we are going to protect mothers, we need to listen to their needs without bias. Doulas and midwives are the essential workers who are certified to make sure the needs of mothers are met before, during, and after the pregnancy, and should be provided to every pregnant person. Doctors should be the only ones involved in a mother's reproductive care, even if it involves the termination of a pregnancy.

4. Our mothers deserve a Mother’s Day day of self-care.

As much as mothers may adore their little blossoms, motherhood is a 24/7 365 labor of love, and Mama needs a break! Every mother deserves at least one day of self-care, and some leisurely time away from the family to destress, decompress, and rejuvenate to feel her best! 
Some ideas that may work would be booking her for a spa day, volunteering to watch the kids all day without her present, and making breakfast-in-bed so she can stay in bed until she is fully rested. That way, she can properly care for her family and be the boss lady she is.

Unfortunately, the state of motherhood is one our government may take for granted, and that’s why we have only a day to celebrate how important mothers are to our society. Our mothers are the nurturers of our world, ensuring the stability of future generations by protecting our children's rights and development. Their work ensures the security of our country and economy, therefore we have a responsibility as a nation to make sure our mothers have the resources they need to be the best mothers possible. 

Let’s agree to do a better job showing our appreciation towards our mothers, and have a Happy Mother’s Day!



Anna Gilchrist is a children's author, youth rights advocate, and founder of Sandfish Publishing. She received her MFA in Childhood Studies at Swansea University and has published two children's books, both of which can be found on Amazon and her website. When she is not writing, she loves to spend her free time cooking gourmet meals, singing and dancing to 90's hits, and tending to her multiple plants in her New Jersey home.


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