The cornerstones of our societies and the unsung heroes of every generation and time… we call them mothers. May is the month where we celebrate and acknowledge the women that brought us into the world, and the women that nurture and care for our health and well-being. While looking after others, we often times forget that the mother herself needs some taking care of.
Julie Mentor, a Cape Town-based maternal rights activist, community builder and storyteller, joins this week’s Health For Mzansi podcast to explain the importance of looking after our mothers and creating spaces where they too can thrive. Mentor is part of a national movement, Embrace, which is incubated in the DG Murray Trust.
Mentor describes the term motherhood as complex and layered. This a term that cannot be approached in a linear manner, as motherhood comes to people in various ways: biological, adoption/foster care, and social motherhood.
Even though the above-mentioned terms might look and have different approaches to motherhood, there is a common thread of nurture and a sense of responsibility that is not tied to biology or family connection. Mentor believes and is hopeful of the fact that motherhood is expansive enough to comprise all these definitions.
Because motherhood is varied, we cannot be prescriptive in what the mother needs or make assumptions about their wants but should instead take our cue from them and practise deep listening. Mentor explains that this is the best way to offer support to the mother, by creating a safe space where her voice is heard and it matters.
In the podcast, Mentor also discusses:
- Addressing the social, emotional, mental and physical challenges that are experienced on a daily basis.
- How civil society, government and the private sector need to take hands and be the village that nurtures and takes care of mothers.
Listen to the full interview on the Health For Mzansi podcast:
Apple Podcasts: Click here to listen on any Apple device.
Google Podcasts: Click here to listen on Google Podcast.
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