Mother’s Day traditionally evokes images of a day filled with spoils from your loved ones; a day dedicated to celebrating hard work, dedication and love. But this is not the case for all mothers. For some, it is a grand celebration. For others, the day goes by completely unnoticed. Is there a middle ground? An opportunity for us to honour the vital role that mothers play in society without giving in to the temptations of commercialism? Can the mothers of South Africa play a meaningful role in uplifting and encouraging our fellow mothers? #MothersDayConnect is going to try.
For the second year running Cape Town EMBRACE, a new societal movement and part of the DG Murray Trust, will be championing MothersDayConnect – a movement which was sparked in a bid to make all new mother’s, particularly those without support, feel special on this day. By stretching the circle of sisterhood bigger, CT EMBRACE are calling on all women to come together on Sunday 14 May to visit and support new mothers in state hospitals and Midwife Obstetric Units (MOUs).
“This movement began last year with the sole purpose of declaring Mother’s Day as a day for ALL mothers,” says Julie Mentor, Project Manager for CT EMBRACE. “Due to its success, we are again calling on our South African women to share this day and to join us by choosing to visit a maternity ward and celebrate a new mother. This isn’t about grand gestures or education. There are no super-heroes. This is about acknowledgement. We see you and your baby. We celebrate you. This is a tangible way for you to give back on this day that at its roots should be an acknowledgment and celebration of motherhood as a whole. It’s one opportunity, one mother, one day and one hour of your time.”
Traditionally a day spent with immediate and extended family, CT EMBRACE are encouraging South Africans to make this movement part of their annual celebration.
“Share the sisterly bond with your mom, aunts, sisters, friends, colleagues and take an hour out of your day to visit a hospital and make a new mother feel supported at what can be an overwhelming time. There were some very special connections made last year between mothers who probably would never have met otherwise. Our hope is that these connections can continue past this initial meeting so that we grow the bond of sisterhood in this country to support and encourage all mothers particularly in the first pivotal 1000 days.” says Mentor.
With the drive focused primarily on the Western Cape, this year CT EMBRACE want to extend their reach to include hospitals in other provinces. With a step by step guide of how to participate, CT EMBRACE have packaged the movement in an easy to follow format which they hope many will take on board and push the drive in their local hospital.
“We are here to champion all those who want to get involved. You can sign up on our website or Facebook page where you will find all the information you need. We also have a list of hospitals that are on board that you can select to visit. However, if you have somewhere you would like to visit that isn’t on the list please let us know and we can help you through the process of gaining permission to visit and how to start a team. For each hospital there will be a team leader and within your group we will give you easy to download guides on how to interact with the new moms and staff and what we suggest for some nice treats of helpful goody bags to celebrate the day,” says Mentor.
This year CT EMBRACE have also asked if those taking part can bring a book that they have enjoyed reading to their child and to give it to the new mom as a gesture of sharing the love of reading and to help further grow the bond between mother and child.
“Let’s make the circle bigger. Let’s share this day with as many moms as we can to let them know that they are special, that they are supported and that they can do this! We feel this is a wonderful initiative to give on a day where many of us receive. Spend an hour of your time just showing a new mom you care with a chat and a cup of tea. The mothers of South Africa have so much love and support they want to give and this is the opportunity to make it a reality,” concludes Mentor.