There are two big differences between last Mother’s Day and this one, one political, the other personal. The political difference is that not only does this Mother’s Day take place during an election year, it hits just a few weeks after motherhood, the value of mother’s and women’s work more broadly were at the center of the news cycle.
Apparently hoping to revive this theme, Ann Romney wrote an op-ed in USA Today called, “Three Seasons of Motherhood” a bit of Cult of Domesticity nostalgia that extolls the “Crown of Glory” that all mothers wear.
The personal difference for me, of course, is the birth of my daughter. Today I’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day with my own mom and the mother of my child.
So much about the birth of one’s first child is vivid and indelible, almost as if it happened in another country you briefly visited and might some day go back to. But there was one specific moment that’s stuck with me, that I think about a lot in the context of our national political conversation about mothers and children and social opportunity and hard work.
It’s the terrifying surreal moment when you leave the hospital, crossing the threshold into the fresh air, bearing this tiny creature toward a waiting car, and you think: this is it.