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Culture Baby Blog
  • Happy {Museum of} Motherhood Day!
  • Monica Dreger
  • EventsMotherhood
Happy {Museum of} Motherhood Day!

There's no other person, venue or destination I can correlate more for this holiday that Joy Rose, Founder and Director of the Museum of Motherhood.  I knew I wanted to write a tribute to mothers for Mother's Day and it was obvious to me (and will be for you) why this woman and her cause should forever be aligned with the celebration of the female miracle.

Joy Rose has always been a pioneering woman in advocating for women's rights and value in society the conventional and unconventional way. In the 90's, after having four children,  she started one of the first mom's rock band, Housewives on Prozac.  The name of the band was in response to her societal observation of motherhood. She noticed that many moms became overwhelmed and/or simultaneously underwhelmed after having kids and got lost in caring for others; they forgot to nurture their own creativity and self and therefore many times had to turn to external stimulants. Joy was lucky - her Prozac was music. 

She then moved on to create the musical festival phenomenon Mamapolooza, which is shortly celebrating their 10th season.While enjoying the band and the life of music, she realized that her true calling was being an activist for motherhood. In 2003 after a seed was planted from a conversation with a fellow band member, the Museum of Motherhood started sprouting.

Fast forward eight years of hard, diligent work and the first Museum of Motherhoodwas born in New York City. The Museum (a first of it's kind globally) celebrates and embraces the “her”story of mothers around the world. It's a safe environment for mothers s to learn, support, provoke, and grow with each other. In the same space, babies/toddles can crawl, play and climb in their huge play area packed with toys and a GYMBOREE playground. Joy's and the Museum's motto is that as a society we need to "take mother out of the box and treat it as a valuable, important, teachable job that stands apart from it's biology." And it starts here.

I have the pleasure of collaborating with Joy for the past few months now since our CultureBaby merchandise is presented and sold in the retail space of the Museum. Her four children are older (not that you would believe it from the looks of her!) and off to college so I look up to her as a personal and professional mentor. I love her carefree yet determined attitude towards life, her zest for genuine youth and energy and her hunger for personal fulfillment while adoring motherhood. Just by first meeting her you get the feeling that she likes, supports and embraces women and truly respects the diversity and differentiality of all people. While discussing the different issues that populate the media regarding motherhood (a subject that greatly interests me), Joy shed some light on this for me. "Call it what you want, bitch in the house, mommy wars, leaning in"...it all comes down to four major issues, she notes,  that we need to address: 

First, equal pay for equal work. No excuse for women earning 77 cents for every man in the US workforce. 

Second, "no parental leave in the US". How can we respect motherhood as one of the most important jobs in the world when our own government doesn't support it?

Third, "no ratified equal rights amendment". This I was shocked by; not that I didn't know. But that I hadn't thought of the magnitude of what it represents. How can we be truly be equal when we {women} are not even included in the Constitution? "All men are created equal". Yes, all men are created equal,  but what about us? 

Lastly, pay motherhood her due respect. Treat it as it should be treated - in the ranks of doctors, engineers, teachers. Value it as a teachable service so we can all learn and grow together. Joy noted that thankfully, progress has been made and now there are a few courses in colleges that deal with these skills on a global, sociological perspective. Her mission has helped guide the pathway for this and I can't wait to see where else it will take us!

Finally, she gives some encouraging words to all of us with younglings at home. Joy acknowledges the fact that nurturing and caring for young kids is hard and strenuous but reminds us that it's short lived. She talked about being in "survival mode" for a few years and promises that if you want, there's light at the end of the tunnel! Just don't bow out of life and get lost in this stage forever (Housewives on Prozac anyone?) and we will all be fine!

HAPPY MOTHER's DAY JOY & ALL MOMS EVERYWHERE!

 

 

  • Monica Dreger
  • EventsMotherhood

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