Do Mothers Deserve Their Own Museum?
New York City has pop-up restaurants, pop-up stores, pop-up playstreetsand now, pop-up museums. The Museum of Motherhood has opened up for a limited time in NYC. But who do you honor in a museum dedicated to such a broad range of people? There have been millions upon millions of mothers. What constitutes a truly amazing one? You could talk about the most successful mothers, but that would really be celebrating their work, not their ability to raise wonderful children. You could honor the most socially active mothers, but once again, its their work outside the home that brings them to everyone’s attention.
The museums creator, Joy Rose, says that we have museums celebrating everything from athelets to classic cars, why wouldn’t we have one dedicated to motherhood? I think it’s because motherhood is too difficult to rank. Do you consider the achievements of their children, since motherhood is all about raising kids? Is it a counting contest, because there’s no way that I can catch up to Michelle Duggar. Just how does one qualify as a truly superior and praise-worthy mother?
Apparently, all of us make the cut. Rose’s museum isn’t just celebrating a specific list of moms, its honoring the entire motherhood experience. If you want to know how that’s done, here’s their description:
â€œWe are the first and only facility of its kind. The Museum Of Motherhood serves as a valuable resource for everyone including those who wish to honor mother-work and those who wish to study the cultural family, from lay-people, to school children to serious scholars.Â As an organization devoted to educating the world about the contributions of mothers both historically and in contemporary culture, we intend to fill a longstanding void by focusing on the many roles of mothers throughout history with our physical and virtual library, exhibit facility, traveling productions, and resource center. We honor the many unsung heroes as well as the famous and great and share the remarkable stories of how birthers and caregivers cope, inspire and prevail. There are all types of mothers here: stepmothers, adoptive mothers, activist mothers, mother artists, single mothers, divorced mothers and mothers who successfully navigated married life. The Museum of Motherhood is the house that is home to all their stories.â€
Motherhood is difficult and often thankless work. It’s nice to know that there’s a foundation struggling to share the importance of mothers to society. But at the same time, is motherhood really something that we need to celebrate and set apart? What about fatherhood? Or grandparents? I guess motherhood just feels like such a common and shared experience for millions of people. Maybe it never got its own museum because it was just considered to be a part of life.
What do you think? Do mothers deserve their own museum? And what would you put in it?