Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a time to pay tribute to the women who make so much possible. I have just written this piece for The Atlantic about the single mothers I grew up with and who taught me so very much. Similar to the women I had the privilege of meeting when researching “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana,” their courage and resilience too often goes unremarked, and I wanted to share with readers the reality of what life looks like when you grow up around parents who do all they can to push you forward even when they feel they are left further and further behind by their own fight for economic survival. My mother taught me how to dream big and to never give up, even when the obstacles suffocating her own dreams grew bigger and bigger.

From the piece:

What did we learn from these women who worked one or more miserably paid jobs while battling domestic turbulence, hunting for child support, hustling to pay rent, and forcing us to do our homework all on their own?


Perseverance, perspective, determination, the need to clean up your own messes and confront your own problems, no matter how difficult. Above all, resilience. And the importance of realizing how much you have, even when “much” feels like nothing.

More from “In Praise of Single Mothers” here.

And as for new books to celebrate this Mother’s Day I highly recommend Whitney Johnson’s “Dare, Dream, Do.” You can read more and find a copy here. As Whitney writes, “Difficulties we don’t deserve happen to all of us. Yet when we dream, we begin to make meaning of these challenges.” This book is a testament to all the mothers who teach us how to defy obstacles and dream big. I hope you will enjoy it.

And Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

  1. Kirsten

    Thank you so much for The Atlantic piece. Every Mother’s Day, I look for a story or tribute that speaks to the moms who have no one to organize or treat them to brunch, who — despite just being happy for a day of rest — save all week so they can take their own kids out for a celebration, however small, just so their children don’t feel left out of the day. For every single mom whose love and strength and sacrifice deserves a simple, but heart-felt “thank you”… thank you!

  2. Lisa Laskey
    Lisa Laskey05-13-2012

    Thank. You.
    I am one of those mothers.
    In life, one must make difficult choices in order to illustrate living a life with integrity. Therefore, the three of us have grown up & together with each other.
    This Mother’s Day morning, I received a late night e-mail with “You are my role model” embedded amid the teen-boy talk.
    My daughter will be a senior, is 9th in a population 4,000 public school, class of nearly 1,000. She has that steely determination & perseverance that allows us invites to consider Ivy League.
    THEY are my reason. YOU are our voice.
    Thank. You.

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