I celebrated my birthday recently and, a week before that, my son’s birthday, too.
I told my son that his birthday is so special because we celebrate that he came into the world and we are so grateful that he is here. I said it was one of the happiest days of my life when he came into our lives and I was so grateful to be his mother. His birthday, after all, was the day the mother in me was born.
So – I nearly shed a tear when my mum gave me a card a week later with the words “Your birthday will always be special to me, because its the day you came into my life’.
On reflection, gratitude is a sentiment which is rarely acknowledged in debate about motherhood – aside from burden, penalty and childcare.
Yet, I imagine that my mother and I are not the only mothers to feel that sense of utter thankfulness on our children’s birthdays. Perhaps gratitude is the sister of mother-love which, when expressed, can be one of the most precious gifts we can give to our children: for them to know they are loved for being themselves and that they have brought their own-shaped joy into the lives of their mothers.

Welcome to the Purplestockings Movement


Later in the year, my book, “Human, Mother, Woman”, on mothers, feminism and western culture will be published!

Here’s a teaser. Happy New Year, all.

“Welcome to the Purplestockings Movement. It’s about love; it’s about mothers.

You may have heard of the terms ‘Bluestockings’ to signify educated, intellectual, women; or ‘Redstockings’ those women’s liberationists most notable in the Icelandic women’s strike.

In the tradition of those sisters, I have settled on ‘Purplestockings’ to signify this maternal feminism, to nod to those Suffragette colours, to invoke the nobility in mothering, and because, well, it’s my favourite colour. ”



photo credit: <a href=”“>free texture – purple dream</a> via <a href=”“>photopin</a> <a href=”“>(license)</a>