When my daughter asked me what I would like for Mother’s Day this year, I had no idea. With all that’s going on with COVID-19, this annual celebration has not even entered my mind. The question prompted me to think of the moms I know personally, and in my fertility law practice. Frankly, the word that comes to mind when I think of being a mom these days is “brave.”
Around the world, women are focussing on how to keep their children safe. The work-life balancing act has never been more difficult with children being home from school while moms continue to meet work and family commitments. Regardless of whether they are working remotely from home, or are employed as essential workers, it takes a lot of strength for mothers to keep things running relatively smoothly on all fronts.
Honestly, it doesn’t surprise me that moms have risen to the challenge to get the job done because I’ve witnessed the extraordinary grit it often takes just to become a mom in the first place.
I’ve had the privilege of helping many amazing women overcome incredible barriers to build a family through assisted reproduction. I think of the cancer survivor who refused to let illness stop her from becoming a. mom. I recall working with women living with lupus disease, uterine fibroids, or Hodgkin’s lymphoma—all of whom became stronger than their medical condition in their quest for motherhood.
I’ve also seen bravery on display by those who have allowed me to assist in formalizing their family through adoption. I have met incredible women and their partners or spouses who have embraced children born from their heart to see them grow and thrive. I think of the stepmom of twins who simply became “Mom” to them through formal adoption.
Through my guardianship work, I have also met bold grandmothers and aunts who stepped up to raise and love the children in their extended family. I am reminded of the grandmother who took on the role of mom to her granddaughter when her child couldn’t parent due to addictions and mental illness. Imagine the courage and strength it takes to parent all over again after 60!
No matter how they became moms, their role right now has become more critical than ever. I’m thinking of all of the frontline workers with their incredible focus and adherence to strict protocols on the job and at home to ensure their children stay safe. What must it be like for the nurse who must run to the shower before embracing her children after a long shift? Or, the doctor who calls ahead before coming home to ensure her children are distracted before she walks in the door to prevent them from rushing up for immediate hugs.
To all the mothers, I salute your strength, bravery and dedication to your family and community. While celebrating may be the furthest thought in your minds right now, let’s not rob our children of the opportunity to show their gratitude and love on this day.
Happy Mother’s Day! Embrace it, take the time to enjoy the recognition, and be safe.
By Chau Tran
It is my privilege to assist surrogates and intended parents in their family creation journey. Please contact me if you have any questions about fertility law in Manitoba.