Currently the vast majority of monuments that honor mothers depict one of two themes
First, sadness. The women are sad because their children are either going off to war, or dying as an infant. These memorials depict the tragedy that too often follows mothers throughout their lives. Unfortunately these monuments convey a mixed message. The women are never able to stop the tragedies from happening. They can only submit to them and endure. One of the greatest improvements in our modern world is that women are now more fully engaged than ever in creating a better world around them and for their children. Thankfully the world is becoming more dedicated to protecting mothers physically, emotionally, and economically. These are good improvements and new monuments should be constructed to reflect the contribution of mothers and better attitudes of today’s society.
The second theme is that of leaving a legacy. Regardless of the sub theme such as birth, breastfeeding, teaching, example, legacy etc. each of these are represented by a very solemn mother. If one were to observe these statues out of context one would be lead to believe that being a mother is a tragic, lonely and serious affair. And while there certainly is tragedy and loneliness this is not what being a mother in our society should be.
Think of the memorials to men – especially the war memorials. War is nothing if not tragic, but you will rarely see a monument built to honor these men that shows the suffering of war. These memorials are almost always built representing the soldiers in the prime of their life. They have power and the ability to hope and ability to change the world.
We at the Mother’s Monument desire to build a monument that reflect the power and meaning of women and mothers. Please visit our page about the Mother’s Monument to learn more about the monument and the symbolism.