Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day, Non-Mother's Day, Strained Relationships Mother's Day, etc.

Happy Mother’s Day from all of the Tapir/Sparlock Signal crew!

Moms, you are an incredible bunch. Thank you for all of the work that you do for your families – grocery shopping, making dinners, chauffeuring a bunch of miniature athletes and musicians to practices and rehearsals, working a 9-5 and coming home to clean yogurt off the wall, doing the 2 a.m. feeding because your husband’s nipples are useless, and listening to fears and dreams and reassuring your kids about both.

You’re doing an amazing job. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise or make you feel like you’re not doing enough. (Author’s note: Speaking as a new mom celebrating her first Mother’s Day, some days it’s enough that you kept the kid alive. Take your wins where you can get them.) We respect you and the incredible work that you do.

Sadly, though, Mother’s Day can be a pretty painful day for some, so we wanted to address those folks today too.

To the non-Moms:

Non-Moms, you are an incredible bunch.

The Mormon Church tends to push the motherhood narrative hard – this idea that to fulfill God’s plan, you need to pop out as many kids as you can and that the only way you’ll be happy is if you have a houseful of the pitter-patter of tiny, dirty feet.

This works for some women. It’s okay if it doesn’t work for you.

Sometimes it’s nature, sometimes it’s by choice, but there are so many women within the church who don’t fit the motherhood mold. Many times, you’re made to feel less-than, like God doesn’t love you as much as He could if only you’d procreate. That’s at best invalidating for women who choose not to have babies and at worst cruel to women who are struggling with infertility or miscarriage.

Our message to you today is that you are enough just as you are. The church doesn’t get to tell you that you aren’t righteous or worthy. You are an amazing woman in your own right and your worth is not defined by children or lack thereof. You are a whole, complete person and you’re wonderful.

We also know that, especially for the ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, today can be painful because you can’t be with your mothers. It is heartbreaking when your family chooses to shun you because you broken with your religion.

To these kids:

You are incredible bunch.

You have made huge sacrifices to live your life in the name of truth. It is not your fault that your families put the church before you. (This goes for cases where you’ve had to go no-contact with your parents for your well-being, too.) They are the ones who made the problem, not you. They failed you. No parent, from Abraham and Isaac on down to today, should ever sacrifice their child in pursuit of religion.

You are enough just as you are and worthy of love. No matter what the Governing Body or the Q15 are trying to sell you, you are good. You are worthy. You deserve to be loved.

If today gets to be too hard or if you're feeling alone and need someone to talk to, we're here. Please reach out to us and we can be an ear, give a hug, or be your honorary Mom for the day.

And we hope your moms realize what a gift you are by next Mother’s Day.

If you are in need of help, you can reach us here.

If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or 1-800-784-2433 (outside the US, these calls are free via Skype).

If you are LGBT+ and need to talk, please contact the LGBT National Hotline at 1-888-843-4564 or find them online here.

Know you are safe and among friends and we will do whatever we can to help.

Lastly, if you would like to be involved or volunteer, you can reach out to us here

Tapir/Sparlock Signal is always looking for volunteers in a variety of areas including housing, employment, and other practical concerns as well as LGBT issues and suicide awareness. Contact us for more details.

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