Published 17 May 201017 May 2010 · Main Posts The joke of ‘Mother’s Day’ Koraly Dimitriadis Two weeks ago I promised myself I wouldn’t blog till I finished the current draft of my novel. I’ve tried really hard to push this blog piece down but it keeps resurfacing in my mind, tormenting me, and so I realised the only way to get back to finishing my novel is to write the damn piece. I know that by writing this piece I am, in a way, shooting myself in the foot. But I became a writer to write so that’s what I’m doing. Mother’s Day was the final straw. I didn’t feel like celebrating at all, and I’m a mother. I was outraged by the concept of ‘Mother’s Day’. Putting aside the obvious idea that it’s a marketing and money-making scheme, our society has allocated one day to celebrate mothers yet for the other 364 days a year we get the complete opposite. We are branded as whiny, selfish, brushed aside when we strive for success in our careers and we’re cut no slack at all. What’s worse about ‘Mother’s Day’ is the expectation to do something special for mum with the family, like go out to lunch, make her breakfast or hang around her, when that’s what happens every other day. I did do the lunch, and the pressies, but deep down what I really wanted was to have a day for me, alone. When I mentioned my thoughts to a member of my extended family, I got ‘how selfish’ thrown back in my face, and ‘mother’s day is about family’. As mothers, society expects us to sacrifice who we are as individuals for the sake of our children and when we strive to keep our individuality we are branded as selfish. The workplace doesn’t embrace mothers. It doesn’t help mothers advance their careers while they struggle to maintain a work–life balance. I posted a piece about motherhood on Overland earlier this year, detailing an experience I had with a residency I enquired about, where I was told my daughter and partner could visit me on the weekends during a four-week residency. A few weeks later their website posted ‘no children or pets allowed’. When I corresponded with the director about this, he said he would get back to me but never did. Since posting the article, I have still received nothing. It is an utter disappointment that a state writers’ centre not only doesn’t support writing mothers but also ignores them. Hopefully the new head of the Victorian Writers’ Centre can address this issue, because being a mother is an important part of life that should be explored in literature. We should be encouraging this, not suppressing it. To me, society seems to have forgotten that if it weren’t for mothers, there’d be no human population. Our society is completely built against the mother and for the singleton. ‘Mother’s Day’ is an absolute insult. Society should focus on the other 364 days a year and maybe then there’ll be something worth celebrating. Koraly Dimitriadis Koraly is a widely published Cypriot-Australian writer and performer. She is the author of the controversial Love and F**k Poems. Koraly received an Australia Council ArtStart grant. She presents on 3CR radio and has a residency at Brunswick Street Bookstore. Her 2013 La Mama show is Exonerating The Body. She is mentored by Christos Tsiolkas. More by Koraly Dimitriadis › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202312 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Judith Wright Poetry Prize ($9000) Editorial Team Established in 2007 and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets seeks poetry by writers who have published no more than one collection of poems under their own name (that is writers who’ve had zero collections published, or one solo collection published). It remains one of the richest prizes for emerging poets, and is open to poets anywhere in the world. In 2023, the major prize is $6000, with a second prize of $2000 and a third prize of $1000. All three winners will be published in Overland. First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202315 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize ($6500) Editorial Team Supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, and named after the late Neilma Gantner, this prize seeks excellent short fiction of up to 3000 words themed around the notion of ‘travel’; imaginative, creative and literary interpretations are strongly encouraged. This competition is open to all writers, nationally and internationally, at any stage of their writing career.