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The Mamafesto: Celebrate Mother's Day outside the box this year

Avital Norman Nathman is a freelance writer whose work places a feminist lens on a variety of topics, including motherhood, maternal health, gender, and reproductive rights. Her work has been featured in Bitch magazine, Cosmopolitan.com,...

Alternative ways to honor moms this Mother's Day

For most, Mother's Day means the usual array of candy, flowers and breakfast in bed. But it doesn't have to be that way! When it comes to those mothers who live outside the box, why not celebrate them in their own unique way?

Moms always appreciate cards, and obviously homemade ones are usually the most cherished, but why not also send Mom an e-card this year? One of my favorite organizations, Forward Together, does an annual Mamas Day celebration by offering a variety of vivid, diverse e-cards for an array of families. According to the Mamas Day 2015 website, "Mamahood is not one size fits all. All mamas deserve to be seen and honored in cards that reflect all the ways our families look."

Alternative ways to honor moms this Mother's Day

Image: Strong Families

You'll find cards with mamas of color, strong themes of social justice, celebration of young mothers, grandmothers, families by choice, families with an incarcerated parent, LGBT families and even kitty families. In a country where four out of every five people do not live in a white picket fence, traditional family setting, these e-cards are a wonderful choice to celebrate the mama (or mamas!) in your life who live outside the box. And bonus: they're free!

However, if you want to show your mother some love via some dollars, what about a donation in her name? It shows you care not only about your mom, but also about things she is passionate about. Perhaps she has a favorite charity or organization she likes to support. Even donating a little bit in her name will end up meaning a lot. For instance, I would be tickled pink if my son donated in my name to a reproductive health organization like Planned Parenthood or NARAL. He knows that one of my passions is to ensure that people are able to create the families they want, and access to quality, affordable reproductive health care is one way to do so.

No matter the age or occasion, I always feel like a good book or magazine subscription is a great gift and Mother's Day is no exception. But why not pass on the usual beach reads or supermarket 'zines for something a bit more unique? Bitch magazine prides itself on being a feminist response to pop culture, and they offer up some amazing critical, analytical thinking and awesome interviews and reviews.

Shannon Drury's book, The Radical Housewife: Redefining Family Values for the 21st Century, details Shannon's journey figuring out how to mesh her role as a stay-at-home mother of two and her feminist activism. I may be slightly biased as I received an advanced copy and provided a blurb for the book's cover, but I have to say that I truly did enjoy reading Shannon's story in her own words.

And, I would be remiss if I didn't suggest my own book. The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality is an anthology of essays offering voices on motherhood that we don't really get to hear from in our daily media consumption.

No matter what gifts you give (or receive), I wish you all a happy Mother's Day. Every single mother — no matter whether they fit the traditional definition of the word — is truly special and does so much to ensure that this next generation of people is the best it can be... and that's something truly worth celebrating.

More from The Mamafesto

The Mamafesto: No. It is never a good idea to compare vaccination to rape
The Mamafesto: Mother who had forced episiotomy fights back in court
The Mamafesto: What happens when a bunch of feminists talk about family?

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