mother and child3 out of 4 U.S. households are not heterosexual married couples with kids, but you wouldn’t know it from the greeting card aisle…

It’s May, which means everywhere you look you’ll see spring-colored, floral reminders that Mother’s Day is coming, and you better be buying something for all the mothers in your life.

You would never guess from this commercial onslaught that Mother’s Day was actually founded by peace activists as an effort to recognize mothers who had lost children to war. The woman who eventually won the campaign to set aside the second Sunday in May as a time to honor mothers was so disappointed by what her creation became, that she protested the holiday to the point of being arrested for disturbing the peace in 1948.

We want to recognize the people who care for us, and our children and other people’s children all around us. But the traditional notions of who moms are, what they do and how they do it don’t fit for a lot of us. As a result, the cards on the shelf at the local stationary store can be anything from inappropriate to downright cruel. My point is, mothers don’t just do laundry, and we don’t all want to be rewarded with brunch. Motherhood is complicated and mothers are complex – and in fact many of us are motivated by parenthood to take a more active and activist bent on building community and changing society.

In an effort to recognize and celebrate the many ways we mother in our world today, our client the Strong Families Initiative has commissioned e-cards from 8 incredible artists, including Nikki McClure and Melanie Cervantes. These cards are made for the mothers of today. There are cards acknowledging families with two moms, single moms, activist moms, and professional caregivers. Other cards can help you acknowledge moms dealing with loss, separated from their children by immigration, incarceration, or even death.

Visit to personalize them for the mothers in your life, or drop hints that you would like one sent to you! Mama’s Day Our Way activities also include a blog and social media conversations about what it means to be a mom today, as well as opportunities to take action on behalf of families.

Visit to learn more about Mama’s Day Our Way, and how the Strong Families Initiative is engaging thousands of organizations and individuals around the idea that all families matter, and should have the rights, recognition and resources they need to thrive.

(Image courtesy Nikki McClure)
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Amanda Cooper is a LightBox collaborator and mama who hopes you celebrate the mamas in your life every day.