Last year, in honor of Mother’s Day, we featured the writing and photographs of Ali Smith. She shared with us some powerful stories of motherhood, and we are grateful to her and the moms she featured. This year she’s sharing with us again. And next year…drum roll…her book Momma Love: How the Mother Half Lives, will be out for Mother’s Day 2013. We think Ali is doing great work—featuring moms in an honest way that is poignant, refreshing, connecting, and important. You can show your support, share your own story, and become a part of the Momma Love community by following her blog and facebook page.
Sophie Currier sued successfully in the Supreme Court when the National Board of Medical Examiners restricted the new, breastfeeding mother from having sufficient time to express milk during her 9 hour medical board exam. When she first took her case to court, the judge ruled against her, advising her to “Just take a year off and take the exam next year.” Sophie pointed out that no man has ever been told to take a year off of his career because he’s had a child. Sophie asserts that “Society should not be impeding women from doing what’s healthiest and actually economically best for their families.”
Hers was a landmark case that has the potential to change conditions for breastfeeding mothers in all professional testing situations and in the workplace. Read more about Sophie and the case here.
Ola Akinmowa founded a cooperative school with a group of fellow Brooklyn parents who were disenchanted by the school system their children were about to enter. In addition to a couple of part time jobs, Ola also worked as one of the main teachers in the school, which eventually included a summer camp as well.
Alicia Mikles left a high level position at her job of a dozen years after the birth of her first child. Navigating the sometimes treacherous waters of self-employment, she is now a happy designer, working artist, yoga instructor, soon-to-be online shopkeeper, and mother of two in Woodstock, NY.
Brenda’s daughter, Isabelle, wrote her father a “letter of divorce” when she was 11 in response to his being irresponsibly in and out of her life for years. At first Brenda was freaked out about how the choices we make effect our children. But she came to feel that the positive side of the note was that “Isabelle will never accept crumbs of affection in any relationship. It was quite an empowering thing to do.”
Deborah Copaken Kogan is a former war photographer and author of several books including “Shutterbabe” and “Hell is Other Parents”. After quitting war photography to “settle down” and have a family, she was lambasted by her piers for having given up on a life of adventure. Seventeen years and three children later, she says, “I’ve been called everything from a soccer mom to a slut. I can’t let any of it bother me.”