Wish list for Mother’s Day | Inquirer Opinion
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Wish list for Mother’s Day


People tend to celebrate Mother’s Day with flowers, a card, and a family meal. This will be my first year celebrating it as a mom, though I don’t yet expect a handmade card from my infant. While all the gifts above are welcome, I would like to offer an expanded wish list on behalf of mothers:

For new moms, offer help and support. The pains and challenges of pregnancy do not end at childbirth. Known as the “fourth trimester,” the first few months of motherhood can get rough. The body is still recovering from either natural birth or major abdominal surgery. The care and monitoring required toward a newborn means hardly any sleep. This abrupt change in lifestyle is stressful. Any form of help can be the best Mother’s Day gift. Offer to take over some (or all) of the household chores. Send over meals that do not need further preparation. Better yet, offer to take care of the baby so that mom can get some sleep—or go to the bathroom in peace. When visiting, make sure you are there to help and not act like a guest who needs accommodating. Homemade meals made for the best gift when I was at this stage, since it prevented us from having to prepare food and wash pots and pans. Being given the opportunity to take a shower was also such a luxury.

Make public spaces accessible to mothers. Going out has become stressful once we had a baby in tow. We have to pack all the essentials, prepare the stroller, and make sure that the baby is dressed for comfort. I have to search beforehand if the place we are going to has an adequate breastfeeding area (Sometimes, I end up having to do this in our car when no place can be found). So far, Mitsukoshi Mall has the best breastfeeding room I have seen. It is not just a room; it’s an entire complex that includes family bathrooms, kid bathrooms, changing stations, stroller parking, and breastfeeding cubicles. In another mall, it is only a closet-like room in basement parking. The experience so far is very uneven, to say the least. For Mother’s Day, let’s gift mothers with widespread access to adequate breastfeeding and pumping stations.


Using a stroller has made me acutely aware of accessibility issues. Are there ramps? Where are the elevators? Are the sidewalks too cobbled for our stroller? Do we have to walk on the street, at risk of getting hit by cars, because electric posts have blocked the sidewalk? It is my experience that motorists do not care for you as a pedestrian even if you are carrying a baby. I had naively thought that they would slow down and stop as we cross the streets. We have to dodge and engage in staring stand-offs at pedestrian crossings. For Mother’s Day, I wish for us not to get hit by passing cars and motorcycles. I wish for more protected crossings for pedestrians. Pedestrian-friendly is also baby-friendly.

Make workspaces work for moms. A lot of mothers work. Single-income households are becoming unsustainable with the rising cost of living. Given that I feed my baby directly every few hours, I have to bring him everywhere I go. This requires a lot of planning and coordination with my bosses and coworkers. I am thankful that my bosses are either developmental psychologists or child practitioners and so my workplace make the initiative to be accommodating of my needs. Not everyone is as lucky. For Mother’s Day, I wish for companies and organizations to gift child-friendly spaces and daycare facilities. I wish for industries to accommodate for pumping breaks. I promise, these accommodations are worth it: Studies show that mothers can be just as productive at work, if not more (at least once the early childhood years are over).

Develop programs and services to lighten the burden of raising children. They often say that Filipinos are family friendly. Let’s make sure to reflect that in our public services. Gift mothers with public access to quality childcare. Mothers, working or not, deserve breaks from childrearing. Prioritize funding for public daycare centers and spend for trained child professionals to man them. Better yet, make sure that Filipino mothers have affordable access to child providers such as pediatricians, dentists, and learning specialists. Children’s hospitals are good avenues for this; let’s establish more of them. Open child-friendly spaces—and keep it open. We have a public park nearby but the barangay has gated it shut and apparently requires prior reservation. Gift mothers safe and free outdoor spaces to bring their children to for their daily dose of Vitamin D.

Mother’s Day is a good opportunity to show our appreciation and acknowledge that raising children is no small feat. Let’s not just gift them with flowers; we should advocate for an environment that takes motherhood seriously.


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