Of all the quasi-holidays, Mother’s Day is perhaps the most fraught (unlike National Pancake Day, which is perfect). Between the saccharine, over-simplified messaging we offer mothers, the pressure to celebrate even if you don’t like your mother, and the alienation of women who have lost their mothers or are having a hard time becoming mother’s themselves, there’s a reason why so many women opt to sit this one out. And this year? Well, let’s just say we don’t feel great about it…
Perhaps that’s why, when we were thinking about what Iris&Romeo should do for Mother’s Day, we felt we needed to do something different. Yes, we’ve got a great (and on-sale!) 3-piece gift set we’ve dubbed “Better Than Breakfast in Bed,” which includes Best Skin Days in pocket, Power Peptide Lip Balm, and Brow Up that we know any mother-figure in your life would love. But we also wanted to explore motherhood in another meaningful way—by supporting causes we care about and asking some really important questions.
What does it mean to be a mother, and what does it mean to be mothered by someone else (especially if that person is a friend, a lover, or even a stranger)? Why are mothers put on a pedestal, and at the same time, cut off at the knees? And most urgently, how can we help those who struggle with postpartum depression, infertility, grief, reproductive healthcare, and all the other hard parts of being, having, or hoping to become a mother? What, if anything, can we do to make needing and losing a mother any easier?
So if you want to skip the corny greeting cards and spend May 8th exploring the realities of motherhood—and perhaps even finding affirmation for your own experience—we’d love for you to join us.
Here’s what we’re getting into:
Donating to Every Mother Counts
Maternal healthcare is a nightmare. Every two minutes, one woman in the world dies of complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. In the United States, a woman is twice as likely to die from complications of pregnancy or childbirth than her mother was a generation ago, and Black and Indigenous women are 2-3 times more likely to die from complications of pregnancy and birth than white women. That’s why we’re donating 10% of our profits during the week leading up to and on Mother’s Day to Every Mother Counts, an international organization working to improve maternal health outcomes throughout the world. Because we can’t say we support mothers if we aren’t doing everything we can to keep them alive.
Giving the Gift of Poppy Seed Health
For many women, the path to motherhood isn’t easy. Along with rising rates of infertility, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. And even for those fortunate enough to get and stay pregnant, there’s so much anxiety around every decision, before the baby comes, and definitely after. Poppy Seed Health, an on-demand service that offers pregnancy, post-partum, and loss support through an easily-accessible app, can make a huge difference in the lives of those on the path towards motherhood. With around the clock support from doulas and nurses, users can trust the information they receive. If you’re looking for a gift for a hopeful or expecting friend, a subscription to Poppy Seed is definitely the way to go.
Subscribing to Mother Tongue Magazine
Hate cutesy mom content? Us too. Motherhood is raw, confusing, layered, and transformative. When we water it down, we do everyone a disservice. That’s why we love Mother Tongue Magazine. Founded by two moms from the art world, the biannual publication “interrogates (and celebrates) modern motherhood through inclusive stories about art, sex, pop culture, politics, food and a few things in between.” And yeah, it’s really, really cool. Just check out this beautiful illustrated series, “We Meet Again.”
For more media on moms and motherhood (the good, the bad, the hilarious), here’s what we recommend:
Holding Our Loved Ones Close
After reading this essay in the New York Times about a daughter’s final text messages with her mother, we plan on taking some time to call the mothers in our lives—not just the ones that birthed us, but also the friends, mentors, aunts, grandmothers, and step-moms that have mothered us in so many big and small ways. And for those of us grieving the loss of our own mothers, we are taking the day to mother ourselves—with comfort, memories, and laughter wherever we can find it.