Happy Mother’s Day, From our Family to Yours
Last updated: May 6, 2022, at 5:33 a.m. PT
Originally published: May 6, 2022, at 5:45 a.m. PT
By: Loria Yeadon
President & CEO
YMCA of Greater Seattle
“It was never a dress. It was always a cape.” When I look at this image, I’m reminded of the big and small things that my mom did for our family day in and day out.
My mom’s day started at 5 am when she would rise to make breakfast (which always included homemade buttermilk biscuits made from scratch) for our family, and lunch for my dad before he headed to work. She would get my brother up and ready to go to pre-school, before going to work herself, but not before she would start the laundry and hang a load on the clothesline in our backyard before sunrise. She would take a roast, or chicken, out of the freezer to thaw for dinner, drop off my brother, and arrive at her job at the button factory, all before 7 am.
After 4 pm, she’d return home to make dinner, update financial records for my dad’s logging business, handle duties as secretary for our church, and feed and nurture neighborhood kids who did not have the love and attention of a parent. By day’s end, she was already preparing to repeat this routine of love the next day.
While I feel exhausted just thinking about her daily sacrifice, I’m also filled with such gratitude and appreciation. My mom is an incredible, beautiful woman, and she did these things to anchor and care for our family and community. But, make no mistake, “It was never a dress. It was always a cape.”
Even today, she’s our family’s superpower, and her daily presence centers us, and allows us to grow and thrive. What a gift. Mom, thank you!
As we approach Mother’s Day, this photo says it all when we reflect upon the mothers, grandmothers, aunties, mother figures, and loving caregivers who give so much of themselves to our families and communities – they are our superheroes, and every day, they put on their capes and show up as pillars of strength and inspirational beacons of hope, courage, and optimism.
On this day, we pause to lift up and celebrate our mothers and all they do to anchor our families and communities to make our lives better every day.
When we consider the significant burdens that mother’s shoulder, and sacrifices they make throughout the year, celebrating their impacts one day a year is just not enough to adequately acknowledge the important role mothers play in the lives of our families and communities, especially throughout the pandemic, when mothers bore the brunt of these tumultuous challenges.
Throughout the pandemic, many child care providers (mostly entrepreneurial mothers) went out of business, often forcing working mothers to make the difficult decision between staying home to care for young ones or working to put food on the table – certainly, a false choice.
Mothers were hit hardest by the lack of child care access and support, as we witnessed a massive rise in mothers leaving the workforce. More than 1.5 million women have left the workforce since the pandemic began, compared to 900,000 men. Two-thirds of working parents have experienced child care disruptions due to the pandemic, and many are still seeking solutions over two years later. The challenges of the pandemic have affected us all, but mothers have been disproportionately affected in a greater way.
At the Y, we realize the devastating impacts that the pandemic has had on working families, especially mothers, and we are working hard to build our early education, child care, and day and overnight camp capacity to provide support and relief. This year, we’ve opened three new early education centers to provide affordable, accessible, and high-quality early learning, helping working moms and dads enroll kids in life-enriching childcare and kindergarten-ready education. We’ve grown and expanded our wraparound services for families with the return of Parents Night Out and expanded youth sports, camp offerings, and swim classes. As summer approaches, you will also see the return of Kid Zone to Ys across Greater Seattle, providing moms (and dads) with safe and fun child care while they take a class or work out in our facilities to stay healthy and prioritize self-care.
The Y is a welcoming place of belonging, where youth, families, and neighbors can connect, learn, and grow.
On this Mother’s Day, we hope that you will celebrate the mothers and mother figures in your life and make plans to ensure that they rest their capes, establish daily routines of self-care, and bask in the love and appreciation of family and community.
Thank you for being a part of the Y family, and we look forward to celebrating Mother’s Day with you and your family in our facilities.
Please be well and good to yourselves.
In community and gratitude,
President & CEO
YMCA of Greater Seattle
Loria Yeadon is President and CEO at YMCA of Greater Seattle. She is an accomplished non-profit and corporate leader, engineer, and patent attorney, with more than 35 years of demonstrated commitment to serving community. Yeadon is the first woman, as well as the first person of color, to serve as CEO in the 146-year history of the YMCA of Greater Seattle.