Indigenous mothers love so hard, but they don’t always know how to show it. These Indigenous mothers know so much darkness, so much trauma, so much evil. All passed down from generations before us.
It’s hard to talk about an Indigenous mother’s love without going back to the beginning. To understand an Indigenous mother today, you must first understand those before her. A lot of people in today’s world have their perceptions on Indigenous peoples in general, but I feel it is the Indigenous women who get hit the hardest, with hate and stereotypical views.
In our cultures, I am learning that Indigenous women are so often the ones that are praised, uplifted and respected within the community. When the community is looking for answers or guidance it is the women who they turn to. But in the Western world, it is the complete opposite. Why is that?
In the Western world, we have been grouped as unfit mothers who neglect their children, we are labelled drunks who either drink with our kids present, or leave them with unsafe caregivers. But if you are to see a non-Indigenous mother having a drink, she is not met with the same hate and judgement. We are seen as women who are incapable of showing love to our children. When I personally believe it is the exact opposite.
I don’t think people understand the history, behind the choices that a lot of them seem to think we willingly make. A lot of us mothers are in survival mode. A lot of us are doing the best we can to unlearn and unpack our own childhood traumas, all while trying not to damage our own children in the process. I think a lot of non-Indigenous people need to be patient with us, while we work through traumas and learn to regulate emotions. And boy oh boy, do we have a lot!
I speak from firsthand experience. I speak as a woman who is trying to figure out where she belongs in the world, a woman who is trying to love her children while learning to love herself. We are trying to find our identity, our place in the world. We have had our culture taken from us, we have had community connection taken from us. We have had our very own mother’s love stolen from us, as she had hers stolen from her.
That is what people don’t seem to get; or refuse to see and acknowledge. That our parents had their parents taken from them and theirs from them, and it goes way back to the beginning of time when colonization first started. How can we get love, understand love, when it wasn’t given to us, not because our parent’s didn’t love us, but because they themselves were robbed of that feeling, that connection. It goes on and on, the story repeats itself each generation.
Indigenous mothers are strong. We continue to push through when everything around us is encouraging our failure. We continue to try, we continue to fight. We continue to love. Because even though we were never given love, shown love from the world, we still manage to dig deep within ourselves and give it all we’ve got. We still manage to find ways to give the best of our broken selves to our children. That is why I say Indigenous mothers love hard.
We continue to push through in a world that was meant to destroy us. We continue to break cycles of intergenerational trauma when that was meant to stop our family connection. We continue to do the dirty work and unpack and eliminate years and years of abuse so that our children know no pain and suffering. We continue to unlearn bad habits and create new ones to make not only our ancestors proud but also future generations.
We continue to rise, we continue to love.