The Problem With Mother's Day Cards

Photo: Getty Images.
There are lots of different Mother's Day cards out there: sweet ones, funny ones, serious ones, even cards that include a poem or play music. But if you're like TV showrunner Shonda Rhimes, you can't help but notice that every Mother's Day card has the same message.

“All the greeting cards are about sacrifice,” Rhimes told Oprah on OWN's SuperSoul Sunday. “'Mother, you gave up so much for me. You worked so hard for me. You sacrificed so much. You were wonderful and giving and selfless.'"

Rhimes asked, "Where is the greeting card that says, 'Mother, you taught me how to be a powerful woman. Mother, you taught me how to earn a living. Mother, you taught me how to speak up for myself and not back down."

If you're wondering why Rhimes takes issue with Mother's Day cards, the mother of three said, "I don't want my daughters to grow up and think, I should shrink and be in the background. I should be selfless. I should be sacrificing. I should be silent."

Instead, she wants cards that thank mothers for being powerful and showing their daughters how to do the same.

Rhimes wasn't the only person highlighting the larger role of mothers. In his Mother's Day address, President Obama said, "Giving flowers is always a good idea. But I hope that on this Mother’s Day, we’ll recommit ourselves to doing more than that."

He then went on to ask Congress — and Americans — to push for equality for mothers everywhere, specifically on issues like equal pay, maternity leave, and affordable child care. He added, "If Congress can make a holiday, surely they can back it up with the things that give it meaning."

The president closed his remarks saying, "That’s what my mother taught me. I couldn’t just say I was going to do the right thing, or say I agreed with it on principle. I had to actually do it."

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