The Declaration of Motherhood Independence
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one woman to dissolve the emotional bands which have connected her with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle her, a decent respect to the opinions of other mothers requires that she should declare the causes which impel her to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all mothers are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights. That among these rights is freedom to choose what’s best for her body and mind, freedom to choose what’s best for her family, and freedom to mother her children how she sees fit, so long as said children are healthy and happy. That to secure these rights, societies have been instituted among mothers, deriving their just influence from the consent of the assemblage. That whenever any form of said society becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the Woman to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new union, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such forms, as to them shall seem most likely to affect her safety and happiness. And when a long train of abuses and usurpations by mothers who claim authority over her life and liberty, it is her right, it is her duty, to throw off such associations, and to provide new guards for her, and her children’s, future security. This history of the present society of mothers is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, with intents to shame, marginalize, and brow-beat one another until they feel helpless, defensive, and subject to a tyrannical false authority. Despite the intention that modern women are free to choose what’s best for themselves, the reactions to such liberation by society at large confirm that only certain choices have validity. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world:
The standard of modern motherhood has been raised unattainably high, preventing mothers from feeling satisfied with solely raising children. They are forced to constantly feed the false narrative that they can and need to do more, making modern parenting unnecessarily taxing.
Popular culture silences women and discredits their efforts once they become mothers unless they can prove their worthiness with professional credentials. This is done despite the fundamental need for maternal devotion.
The bond of sisterhood is waning. Mothers cannot rely on one another for support and aid unless political views or modes of parenting align.
Playdates have replaced children freely playing, and playdates are only possible with aligning naptimes and political views.
The Mommy Wars are real and destructive.
Labels and definitions of what it means to be a mother are exclusive and restrictive.
Mothers who cannot or choose not to breastfeed are vilified.
Mothers who cannot or choose not to work outside the home are dismissed by working moms.
Mothers who must or choose to work are repudiated by mothers who stay at home.
Mothers who have not suffered from mental illness disregard and ridicule mothers who struggle.
Whatever method mothers choose to (or are forced into) deliver(ing) their child is always met with objection.
Mothers who have not suffered from feelings of isolation and loneliness as a parent neglect the mothers who have.
Mothers who have aid and hands-on help raising their children ignore the plights of mothers who are desperate for reinforcement.
Mothers who do not fit archaic religious molds are demonized and marginalized.
In all political movements aimed at liberating women and securing their basic civil liberties, zealous crusaders have ignored the needs of women who support the causes, but choose domestic life. The voices of mothers have been silenced unless they possess the clout of professional achievement to legitimize them.
Depictions of motherhood in popular culture rarely show the realities of motherhood, relying exclusively on false representations of women simultaneously keeping their homes clean, food on their tables, their bodies fit, and their faces contoured. Such unrealistic expectations of motherhood lead to feelings of worthlessness, shame, and fatigue.
Circumstances influence choices, and opportunities in career, life, and parenting are not universal. Instead of seeking to understand why, mothers are quick to condemn, and mothers shun others whose experiences do not mirror their own.
Mothers’ needs are overlooked in healthcare and mental health care, even more so among minorities and women of color, thus creating an unacceptable baseline of what mothers are expected to physically and mentally endure. This bleeds over into a misrepresentation that all mothers can grin and bear whatever ailments or dysfunctions arise, and that it should always be business-as-usual despite risks to health, life, or well-being.
Mothers’ needs are overlooked in national and local policies, even more so among minorities and women of color, creating restrictive circumstances for, and dismissive attitudes toward, mothers returning to the workforce, placing them at a disadvantage within their professions. Biased municipal housing and zoning restrictions also place families in unsafe neighborhoods, limiting educational and professional opportunities.
In every stage of these oppressions, mothers have petitioned for legitimacy, empathy, and support. Our petitions have often been answered with repeated injury and derision, causing widening rifts and chasms amongst mothers, between and non-mothers, between women and men, between women and religious leaders, and between mothers and decision-makers of government.
Yet, there are sisters among us who are eager to resist. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have resolved to unite with such women of purpose to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We must, therefore, denounce our separation with mothers and authorities that have been deaf to the voice of justice and liberty.
We, therefore, the Women of This Mama Wines, appealing to women of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of mothers everywhere, solemnly publish and declare that we are restoring the village. The sisterhood of motherhood. That we, united mothers, are free and independent women, absolved from allegiance to destructive organizations and friendships, and that all political, social, and emotional connections between us and those who wish to tear us down, are and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and empowered mothers, we have full power to decide for ourselves what is best for our bodies, our marriages, our children, and to do all other acts and things which independent women may have right to do.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the impenetrable bond of true sisterhood, we mutually pledge to each other our Love, our Support, and our Solidarity.