Mums are a pretty big deal, without one – you wouldn’t be reading this today. But as someone who isn’t a mum, it can be a bit hard to get your head around what being a mum is like or what it means or how it changes you. But what I can say is that as a daughter – my Mum is a very special person to me. No, she’s maybe not your typical ‘mumsy’ mum, she’s more likely to tell me to ‘suck it up’ than to pander to my whinging or moaning! But that’s what I love about her, and wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s still the one I can natter on to for ages, and she only tells me to shut up after so long… definitely lasts way beyond the regular boredom cut off for most people!
What is even more hard to get my head around is how mums are such a vital part of society wherever you are – but still in so many places are totally disregarded as important, and given no choice about their life. It is literally to be a mum, housewife, home-keeper – and that’s it. It makes me feel so very grateful for the choices and flexibility I have in my life – especially so now I’ve taken a step to make a choice to work for myself. It’s something the feels scary to me and quite intimidating, but all that just vanishes when you think of what it must feel like to have no choice or no option beyond the path that is set out for you from birth as a female.
With that in mind, what Oxfam have been doing for the Oxfam Motherhood Campaign is working with women in communities around the world to empower them, with the whole philosophy behind the campaign being “Because when we lift a mother she will not only lift herself. She will lift her family and her community, generation after generation.”
One story that I heard about that especially touched me was that of Tika from Nepal – who used to be so unsure of herself and shy that she would hide from strangers rather than talk to them. But since WAM (a partner of Oxfam) has been working in the community, with community discussion classes she has really felt more empowered, enough so that now she sits on the board of the local school committee – and has a voice that she maybe didn’t feel she had before. I watched this video a couple of times whilst at the stand and there was something about her manner and positivity that really struck me. You can watch Tika’s story for yourself on the video at the bottom of this post.
The culmination of the campaign, as you probably guessed is around Mother’s Day – and the creation of a huge world record attempt – of the biggest, happiest Mother’s Day card ever. This card is being created live down at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush by the amazing artist Lizzie Mary Cullen – who is not only talented, but really lovely too. The creation is taking place over a few days, eventually being finished on Sunday.
The thing that powers the creation of this card is down to you though. The huge canvas for the card has been divided up into thousands of little squares – each awaiting some lovely words or a dedication to your mum. Whatever it is you want to say to her, or share about her. As each square is filled, the illustration will develop and get bigger and more amazing and more colourful. Until, eventually – the whole canvas is covered in a gorgeous design, with thousands of happy message – therefore, making it the biggest and happiest mother’s day card in the world. There is of course the very important opportunity to donate whilst you’re leaving your message too (they’re aiming to raise £10m, with £5m of that being matched by UK aid – so for every £1 you donate, UK aid will also put £1 in).
With only a day into the campaign and there are already almost 2,000 dedication messages – take a moment to add yours here: Oxfam Happiest Mother’s Day Card
“Join together with Oxfam and create the World’s Happiest Mother’s Day Card – a celebration of the amazing role mothers’ play in our lives, in their families and in their communities. www.happiestmothersdaycard.org”
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Oxfam via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Oxfam.