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Holiday

Here's To Motherhood — Or Not

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Recently, a friend and I were talking about our younger parenting days when she said, "You know, you still talk about your single mother days, but that was years ago."

She is right, but not really.

I've been married for 17 years now, to a man who became so important to my two kids that my daughter asked him to give the father's toast at her wedding. There are other reasons I love him, of course, but in this context, it's his relationship to my children that matters. Certainly, I have not felt alone in parenting for a long time.

And yet.

In my experience, being a single mother is similar to being from the working class. No matter how big your world becomes, you never forget that time in your life when you had less and worried more. It's a lesson that sticks with you long after everyone around you has moved on.

Predictably, the days leading up to Mother's Day take me back to that time in my life. When I became a single mother, my son was grown, but his younger sister was still home with me. That first December, when she was 8, she pointed to our three stockings hanging from the mantel and asked if we were still a family. I assured her there are many ways to make a family, and it had nothing to do with size. That was also the year I started making Christmas stockings for each of our pets to fill up the mantel.

Without my son and devoted friends, my daughter would not have been able to give me Mother's Day gifts when she was little. This would have shattered her. No matter how much I assured her that it didn't matter, it most surely did. I think that's when I first started resenting the holiday. I hated the pressure my little girl felt to prove her love.

Twenty-six years later, my feelings about Mother's Day have only grown more complicated. You might view this as overthinking. Welcome to the center hallway of my mind.

There are many ways to be a mother. Some mothers fail miserably and inflict great harm, which can make the holiday painful for those who wish they had a mother they could celebrate. Most mothers are better than they know, but it seems everyone, including the marketing industry, has an opinion about mothering. Which makes it easy to imagine all the ways you've fallen short.

No matter how good your own mother, if you live long enough, you'll eventually find yourself without her on Mother's Day. My mom has been gone for nearly 22 years now. You'd think I'd be used to that singular fact about my Mother's Day. Doesn't work like that. The longer I've been a mother, the more I understand just how much she influenced who I've become. I'd sure like to tell her that.

My mother wasn't a writer, but her ability to tell stories about her life helped me find the words for mine. I took too long to see how my mother's seemingly small acts of living would loom large in my world. She encouraged my biggest dreams, in part because she was so young when she gave up on her own. Our country has a long history of encouraging women too briefly, and even then, only when they are young and in the crosshairs of male ambition. The New York Times

One of the gifts from my mother and her generation of women — one that I recognized only after I turned 50 — is my refusal to volunteer for invisibility. A strong woman repels weak men, which gives us room to keep growing. In this way, I'm my mother's dream come true.

And so, my mother keeps mothering long after she is gone. That makes me hopeful for my own children and now my grandchildren. For me, too, to be honest. Have I done enough? Have I been enough? If they could pick who gets to be their mother, would they still choose me?

I don't know, but I get to keep trying, and that's enough for this mother on every day except you know when.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University's school of journalism. She is the author of two non-fiction books, including "...and His Lovely Wife," which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. She is also the author of The New York Times bestselling novel, "The Daughters of Erietown." To find out more about Connie Schultz (schultz.connie@gmail.com) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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Former President Trump, former First Lady Melania Trump and the Easter Bunny.

Photo by The White House is marked with CC PDM 1.0

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

It's Easter weekend and several months after the presidential election, but former President Donald Trump is not done ranting about his landslide loss and his latest remarks have set Twitter ablaze.

On Friday, April 2, Trump released a second statement after sounding off about the MLB All-Star game relocation. In that statement, the former president targeted the "radical left crazies" as he reiterated his complaints about the presidential election and "the Fake News Media" insisting his claims are "baseless, unfounded, unwarranted."

"With each passing day, and unfortunately for the Radical Left CRAZIES, more and more facts are coming out," Trump wrote. He even closed the bizarre rant by saying, "Other than that, Happy Easter!"

Twitter users wasted no time slamming the unhinged former president for his bizarre rant. Some users pointed out how Trump, widely supported by evangelical Christians, seemed to refer to Easter as if it were an afterthought. A user wrote, "Loving the message from Trump on the holiest of days in the Christian calendar "OTHER THAN THAT, HAPPY EASTER"

Another user offered a simplified interpretation of Trump's remarks. "Sadly, there was massive fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election, and many very angry people understand that ... Unfortunately for the Radical Left CRAZIES, more and more facts are coming out. Other than that, Happy Easter!"


Trump's latest mindboggling statement also reminded Twitter users of his series of epic blunders in April of last year. Around that time, the former president's COVID circus was in full swing as he appeared on national television nearly every day with countless unfounded claims that kept fact-checkers quite busy.

The latest Easter statement reminded many Twitter users of the running claim last Easter: despite the country being under nationwide lockdown, the United States would likely be reopening so people could attend church for the religious holiday. To make matters worse, Trump also claimed the virus would "miraculously" go away by April with the arrival of the warmer spring weather.would "miraculously" go away by April with the arrival of the warmer spring weather.

Now, Trump is being mocked for those remarks yet again.

It's been a year since Trump's Easter claims and the United States has reported more than 30 million coronavirus cases and over 560,000 COVID-related deaths since then.