Remembering Mother's Day
A Mother's Day 2022 Special
Interviews conducted by @Istillian
On the second Sunday of May for many parts of the world, the holiday of Mother's Day is celebrated. This year on May 8 is an especially important date because it also lines up with International Women's Day - an occasion of celebration and commemoration of the achievements of women, reflecting on the ongoing fight for women's rights, and bringing attention to issues faced today such as reproductive rights, equality, and violence against women. Mother's Day is unique in that it marks an occasion to remember our mothers, our parents, and or our own roles as parents and how our children celebrate for us. The Europeian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) reached out to five individuals and asked them three questions each to get their perspectives on Mother's Day, asking why it may be important to them, and how they celebrate the occasion.
We firstly asked long-time citizen Netz how she planned on celebrating Mother's Day. Netz said, “My husband is setting up my new closet for me so I have more space, and I’m taking the day to relax and spend time with my family. Anything besides that is going to be a surprise from my husband and daughter, so we’ll see.”
When asked what was most rewarding to her as a parent, Netz reflected, “each time my child hits a new milestone and I see her grow and change and become the human she’s meant to be. It’s a really rewarding experience to be there to guide her on her journey towards growth.”
Balancing time between NationStates and families is common enough for us all, and the EBC felt it important to ask our interviewees what their experiences and struggles were doing this with their own family. Netz said, “It’s been difficult at times. It’s been a bit more manageable as she’s [Netz's daughter] gotten older, and when I became a stay-at-home mom I’ve been able to squeeze time in here and there when I’m able to get on my computer.”
Next, we asked Minister of Culture Sarah what Mother's Day meant to her and how she celebrates it. Sarah responded, "This should be an easy question, but it's not for me. I grew up with an abusive mother, and I never got into Mother's Day when I was younger. I kind of hated it. I didn't want to celebrate her. The holiday didn't mean anything to me. Now that it's like bread [Sarah's daughter] and me, it's better. It's small things for us. Last year she picked out a giant teddy bear for me (that I got to keep for exactly one night). We don't do the "typical" Mother's Day things of bed in breakfasts or all our. We do small and simple. I used to get cute art projects, but as they get older her school doesn't really do that anymore."
When it came to balancing her time between NationStates (NS) and being there for her family, Sarah said, "I don't really have a set plan ... Like I NS at work for starters. (sorry Lethen). But also it's just a lot of multitasking! Saying a message here and there between dinner or laundry. Lil bread is older now and she likes her privacy so sometimes she will be in her room playing Minecraft and I'll be doing NS stuff. But it just varies! Sometimes (although rarely lately) she'll ask to watch a movie and we put our phones and tablets down and watch a movie. Before covid we would take weekend trips to museums or to a park somewhere. And then it's just putting NS on silence for a few hours. Making sure I don't schedule an NS game night when I'm also planning to hang out with lil bread."
We then asked Sarah what the most rewarding part of being a mother is to her. "I think it's the moments when I get to flip a situation into something that would have gone differently for me as a child. Like when lil bread is being angry and frustrated rude, I remind her first that I love her. I remind her that she's allowed to feel upset and mad and that her feelings are valid. Like if she's getting punished for back talking, I tell her I love her and she's allowed to be upset. I also tell her I'm not reversing the punishment, but that she's allowed to be upset about the situation. I like reassuring her and I think it helps her, too. Because she feels comfortable to express her negative and her positive feelings. And sometimes she will hug me randomly and say she loves me, and I think that's the most rewarding thing as a mother."
The EBC then went to Supreme Chancellor Lethen to investigate how he celebrates the occasion. Lethen was quick to interrupt before we asked any questions, saying, "I love my mother." When we asked Lethen how he celebrates the day, he replied, "Well truth be told, it's just another holiday to me. My mother has never made a big fanfare of it, after all, so none of my family has ever done anything "big" for the holiday. In the [United States], sometimes Mother's Day involves brunches and tea times and visits to restaurants with special Mother's Day specials. My mother has never been into that kind of thing. Usually, there might just be something small like cards or gifts, but in the past few years my mom has used Mother's Day as an excuse to visit her other son in New York City. In the past we've all gone to the Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn, done Mother's Day brunch after visiting his brownstone apartment, etc. This year the likely plan is for me to ferry my parents to Brooklyn, and I think we're all just going to spend the day hanging out at the home that he and his new wife just moved into. Nothing fancy from the outside looking in."
While Lethen had advised us that he is a single man with no responsibilities, we were curious about how he balances life between his family and his time in Europeia and NationStates. "Being retired from most active roles in the game helps a lot. I'm also very lucky in that my parents are only about 35 or so minutes from my apartment, and they live maybe 10 minutes from where I work. So it's fairly easy for me to pop by their house after work a few times a week to pop in, see their doggos, help with whatever project my mom has decided to start without waiting for me, and so forth."
After reflecting on his statement so far, Lethen said, "I think one thing missed by glossing over being mostly retired is that I can step away when needed - for a few hours, for the holidays, for a few days - relatively easily. This of course applies to family too, whether it's holidays or a family visit or a family emergency. I don't have any real guilt or worry about it because the worst that can happen is citizenship applications may be delayed, or Europeians may have to wait impatiently while some bumbling goons dressed as Vice Chancellors run elections in my steed."
Finally, we queried Lethen on what was most rewarding to him about Mother's Day. "I mean, my mother being happy, right? That's the cliche answer, but it's part of the answer regardless. I also do enjoy the family outings aspect of it all, as I also like to see my brother and try out new places or see new things in a city I don't visit often. Plus it helps that usually he insists on treating and I always forget to offer to pay him back for whatever my share is... whistles innocently"
Turning to our current Minister of Radio, Icarus was quick to dive into how she celebrates the day by saying, "For me it’s a way to thank my mum for all that she has done for me and my sibling. Usually we wouldn’t have a big party or anything but I’d buy her flowers or craft/draw some small thing and get or make cake."
When asked about the balance that Icarus has between family and NationStates, Icarus said, "Family always comes first but I don’t live at home anymore so it’s easier now. But if we had game nights or something we just left our phones somewhere else to not get distracted." Icarus not only puts her family first, she even described the rewards that his day brings as: "The happiness that my mum gives to me back to her and show her how much I appreciate her and everything she’s done for me."
Finally, we turned to a foreign friend from the South Pacific, Epperia, who recently refounded her nation after thirteen years of inactivity. When asked how she celebrates Mother's Day, Epperia positively responded, “The ideal answer is a relaxing love filled day surrounded by my family. Typically starting with breakfast in bed, followed by a day of activities that require zero mental load placed on me so I can feel emotionally recharged and enjoy children.” Epperia took a moment to think and then continued, “[But] the reality is being woken up by hyper children far too early then used as a human jungle gym while a frazzled co-partner (who shall not be named for privacy reasons) makes a semi-burnt batch of pancakes and listening to them grumble at the kids to leave me alone … but I love them.”
When the EBC asked Epperia how she balances her time between NationStates and real life, she said, “In the last thirteen years of my account of Nation-States, I have had to apply a strict regime of allocating my time to each part of my life. So far I have maintained the balance by spending only 18 minutes on NationStates and 683,2782 minutes on literally anything else. In regards to he-who-shall-not-be-named, I diligently keep him from neglecting his offline life by falling asleep when he talks about NS, and yelling when he’s ignoring us for Discord. But I love him."
And lastly, we asked Epperia what was most rewarding to her about Mother's Day. Epperia said, “On this particular Mother’s Day, it’s watching Mr. Epperia sweat as he watches me answer these questions and panic that I’ll ruin his NS image. Also, what the hell Istillian, could it be any more obvious that these questions were written by a man? All fluff and no consideration for the hard parts of motherhood. People may not have children due to circumstances beyond their control to celebrate the day. I don’t celebrate Mother’s Day, I AM CELEBRATED.”
It seems safe to say that our respondents like to celebrate the day or be celebrated by just remembering to do the simple things to appreciate mothers and motherhood. So for all those that celebrate Mother’s Day, whether that’s just by reflecting on the input a mother or partner has had in yours or your child(ren)'s life, to being a mother yourself, to even sitting down in person to cherish the time you have together with your mum, don’t forget the little things that make Mum’s special today. So on behalf of the Europeian Broadcasting Corporation, we hope you all have a happy Mother’s Day!