Mother's Day

A post shared by Ayesha A. Siddiqi (@ayeshaasiddiqi)

May 2018 My mom, the teen in this photo, would always insist on taking care of all household chores explicitly because she wanted her family, especially her daughters, to be as free as possible to work towards their own goals. When I think back to my childhood and all the times after dinner I went back to whatever I was reading instead of doing the dishes, I’m both embarrassed and grateful. She would always reject my help, saying “I’m doing this so you don’t have to.” It was those hours of leisure that developed the niche expertise and taste I’m hired for now. Free time is a type of wealth, a luxury to those who are privileged with it. But for someone to be unburdened requires someone else to be burdened. My mom is an incredibly intelligent and talented woman whose sacrifices and continued hard work make many lives immeasurably easier. You’ve probably heard me say ‘Spider Labor Solidarity’, because c my solidarity is with all workers, especially those that work quietly alone for the benefit of all around them. I could’ve easily used my mom as the metonym for such a figure. But like any model for justice you need to be able to scale down as well as up for an authentic application. If you want the liberation of workers start with those in your home. Fetishizing the care work mothers are disproportionately saddled with, as we write tributes to them for being ‘great moms’-so dutifully sacrificial, only refreshes a set of excuses for the inaction of the rest of us. Most ‘great moms’ are ordinary women surrounded by lazy people. My current projects are all dedicated to my mom. But it would be like a man of me to recompense her with a mention in my work instead of ease in her life. I’m proud to be this woman’s daughter. There’s a lot I plan on doing for her. At the very least, I can do the dishes. And you don’t need to have or be a good mom or a daughter to be a comfort to others. I really believe that’s the point to life, that’s why there are so many of us alive on earth at the same time. We’re here to spare and support each other. I now recognize “im doing this so you don’t have to” as a political praxis. Thank you Ummi, for teaching me that so effectively through your example.