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Our mothers
Our mothers come in all shapes and sizes. They are married and single; stay-at-home and working; biological and surrogate; wealthy and impoverished; educated and illiterate. They have done their best to keep us happy, healthy, clothed, fed, schooled and successful. Whether we love them or resent them, we are who we are today because of our mothers. We are their legacy, forever shaped by their decisions, actions, joys and fears.

See Jessica Lagunas’ artwork celebrating three generations of strong Nicaraguan women. View Erin Welsh’s photographs of her many surrogate mothers, and read her story as she speaks of her childhood and the longing she feels for her deceased mother.

Meet Newsha Tavakolian, and see how her photographs of Iranian mothers, in mourning for their martyred sons, speak volumes about the realities of loss.

Join the conversation! Share your stories about your own mother and the many lessons she taught you.
Paula Goldman, Director of Imagining Ourselves
MODERATOR
United States
You're just like your mother." Are these words that make you want to jump off the side of a boat? Make you beam with pride?

We all have different relationships with our mothers-- sometimes complicated, sometimes joyful. As we get older and our relationship with our mothers matures, there's no denying how much our lives are shaped by the outlook that they passed down to us.

Tell us about your mother!
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42 - 23 of 42 Next | First
TEMMY
Nigeria
Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 4:17 AM
My mother a priceless jewel money can not buy.She is the first and only Angel i have met and lived with.She gives all she has expecting nothing in return.Though my father took advantage of her simplicity,honesty and purity she still remained unmoved.I am the most fortunate of all children to be raised by an Angel i call my mother.Now she helps in nursing and caring for my daughter replicating moral values and discipline.If am opportuned to life a second time,I would want to be born my her. Mama Theresa.U ARE THE LOVE OF MY LIFE.
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Thasneem Hoey
United States
Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 12:47 PM
I dont know why it has been hard to begin this......my mother comes from a labour class from a remote village in India, she comes from a family of illiterates, she had to be a provider to her family at the age of 7, life was extremely hard so hard that her hardships never ended till this day. Having a mother who was emotionally distant was the hardest part.
What ever she is she put us all into schools because she knew from her life experiences that education was the ticket to happiness and self reliance. She was a nurse and she left her village to be one. Comming from a country where dowry is a must in marriages she faced a lot of hardships to settle our marriages. We were 7 children of which 5 were girls, she settled our marriages to men who were dependent on us to fulfil their needs ( i came to know of it by the way the men performed in my life and my sisters lives) One thing my mother told the men was "I am not giving you dowry but my daughters are blank checks, they are self sufficient and can earn for the rest of their lives not depending on anyone". She was right! She was a great role model, she never gave up, she lived in a male dominated society and fought her way through, we were evicted from homes, she fought through, when we asked her how she did it, she would say "in my dictionary i dont have the word impossible!' And she was right, the way she handled life i learnt that it was a good way to lead life because i started to see only possiblities and here i am happy from within, changed my life and i am as happy from within, and moving on to help families in this passage of my life on earth. I owe my success to my mom. Yes if i did not have her i would not be me.
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Andrea Aragón
Guatemala
Posted on Monday, August 06, 2007 9:36 PM
I loved these portraits. Beautiful, beautiful work!
They speak of the love and power of motherhood beyond death.
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Andrea Aragón
Guatemala
Posted on Monday, August 06, 2007 9:35 PM
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Scott Fayemi
Nigeria
Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2007 10:01 AM
I`m so impressed by your writeup `Our mothers`. You are right! have ever consider a situation whereby your mother is dead and your grandmother inlocoparent you?
Women are generally great when it come to the survival of the people on this planet earth.
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Rahel Zoya
Tanzania
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 6:54 AM
I am an IFUW member, I would to share briefly about my mother, it's because of her that I am here today in this forum. My mother is my hero; she is my friend and my inspiration. The living lessons from her have shaped my life and changed my perspective about it forever. Sometimes it leaves me speechless when I reflect on how giving she has been all her life long. We are six children in the family, when I was a girl I saw how she put herself last and us first. She will buy us new clothes for Christmas but nothing for herself. One day I asked her, ‘Mum, are you not buying a dress for yourself?’ she replied; ‘I’ll buy one next time this money is enough only for my children’. Surprisingly, she was the happiest person on Xmas day to see all of us in new clothes while she was in an old one! Her giving to her family has been endless with many examples.

One thing has been a song in her mouth to me and to my bothers and sisters, she always said, ‘I and your father are poor, and we have nothing for your inheritance, no property, money or business. But we can try hard to give you something that if you hold unto it will change your life, that thing is education’. She repeated this again and again; when we bring our schools’ progress reports she will remind us to study hard because education is the only inheritance and fortune she can help us to attain. Now I know she is a strong believer on the role of education for liberation.

In deed she worked very hard to put us in school. She had to leave her ‘clean’ office job because her salary was insufficient for the rising demand in the family. She started keeping poultry and pigs, and started a vegetable farm in order to cope with the rising cost of schooling. She left office work to work in poultry and pig house, and use their manure to grow vegetables. In this way she managed to keep us in school and put food on the table. Mum, I salute you, I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU!
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Tyrone Anderosn
United States
Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2007 5:33 PM
My mother has been a great mother to me for my entire life. She has always been there to support any efforts or interests of mine and given me the freedom and encouragement to pursue whatever I want to. She is also a very good and just woman with the strongest commitment to morals and ethics that I have seen any person display. I look to her to help guide me through my decisions in life and always will. She has shown me that it is of utmost importance to respect others and be as giving as possible. All in all, I really don't think my mother could have done a better job in raising me and my brother and I love her with all my heart for that and hope to display the same type of care and guidance for my own children when I have them. I know my mother loves me unconditionally and that my brother and I were the best thing to happen in her life (as she is sure to tell us every now and then), and knowing that you have that kind of love from a person is quite a rare blessing. Big ups momma mia, you are a beautiful person and I love you like the clouds love the sky :)
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DJ Reynolds
United States
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2007 9:58 AM
My mother I think gave bith to her twin. I've always known and have been told by others I was just like my mother. I loathed the thought as a teenager but now I do feel proud. My mother rasied my brother and I on her own. We lived in a good neighborhood and I went to good schools because she worked 16 hour shifts often times on weekends and holidays. I put myself through college and I did it because I have my mother's strength and independence. We've had our differences as all mothers and daughters do but now we both have a deep understanding and respect for one another. I love my mom.
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Fakhriya Al-Yahyai
Oman - Sultanate of Oman
Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 12:19 AM
My mother teaches me the life and to be good in all ways and times and to give as much as u can, She taught me to love and to give love.. she teaches me the life when I was young and teach me the life when I'm women like her. Our relationship became like friends. What ever I did to her still not enough, even she asked for my life I will give it to her, but she will not.
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Fakhriya Al-Yahyai
Oman - Sultanate of Oman
Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 12:19 AM
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