Mother's Day Stories

We are dedicated to spreading women’s stories. The big ones, of course, but more importantly, the ones that often go overlooked. The best place to start with this is our very own mothers. Mother’s Day Feature Week 2020 is dedicated to showcasing the womxn in our life who have made it all possible. Thanks, moms. 



Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money, but my mom made sure we could do whatever sports we wanted, even when that meant that she cleaned our local gymnastics club every single week to afford the fees.

As she saw my dad completely unhappy in his work, she signed him up for a computer tech program at a local community school and now he does what he loves and has the time and energy for hobbies and exercise.


To help support us financially with the added expense of tuition, she worked her butt off to finish her education and get a job. She always showed us that wherever we start, if we work hard we can end up where we want to be.

-Zoe Rodriguez




"This is my mom, Flordevilla Antigua.  She's the youngest of 12, and emigrated with her next oldest sister from the Philippines on a nursing visa in the early 1970s.  She'd meet her husband in Chicago through a social club comprised of fellow immigrant Filipinos from the Visayan islands.  She'd have a 40 year career as a registered nurse, 25 of those years, working the third shift in intensive care.  She was the main breadwinner in the house, and she'd have two kids who'd both end up graduating from Northwestern University.  She's now a grandmother of 4, expecting her 5th to arrive in Los Angeles in a matter of weeks. 

There are times when I think I'm experiencing adversity, be it parenting two teenagers, or navigating my career, or whatever.  And then I think about her. I can't imagine what it would be like to move half a world away, away from virtually all of her friends and family, and through force of will, manifest the life that she has.  Much less do it in a second language.  She's got the will of a tornado (and heaven forbid you're on the wrong side of her in customer service) yet she's the humblest servant to her faith in Christ.  She's my shero.  And of course, I could call her a bit more often."

-MacArthur Antigua



“Growing up I was always taught that I can do anything I set my mind too. My Mom and Grandma always made sure I knew how to handle things on my own and that I should never take no for an answer to something I had set my mind too! When my Grandma was my age the jobs available for women were very limited; she always told me that when I grew up I should do whatever I want and not to be afraid of what others thought. I was shown that women were equal and deserved the same amount of respect as anyone else. Because of them I've created a life for myself that I am proud of and have worked hard for; I work in a field that is male dominant, yet never feel intimidated. So, here is to the mother figures in our lives who taught us to be strong and make us feel important!”

-Rachel Jackson



"When I left the womb, I was gifted a handbook. One that was written by society titled How to Be a Well-Behaved Woman. In that book, my honor is tied to a mythical cherry between my legs. My meals aren’t meant to be digested for energy but enough to be alive. My words and laugh need to be calculated- never say too much but just enough to show you understand your role. My clothing needs to be loose to provide a fantasy but enhanced with divine feminity. Eyebrows plucked, legs shaved. Existing to lure, ignite, and reproduce. 

That book was given to my mother and her mother and great-grandmother. Pages thinned with their residue left from their thumbs. My mother took the role of being the blueprint for perfect dutiful women only to find a path filled with pain and agony. My mother’s valor broke a generational cycle. She replaced my handbook with an empty one. She taught me the importance of self-governance. She embodied kindness and love. She echoed the notion that I am the only one who can define my womanhood. An unseen hero."

- Salam Fatayer

Unconditional Love

“When I was 18 years old I met a boy. I fell in love with him really quickly. Within 3 months of dating I decided to cancel my plans of attending UWM for psychology and decided to move to California to study photography. (Me, the kid with separation anxiety so bad that she couldn’t even sleep over at other people’s houses. 🤣) Most parents would totally disagree with this impulsive decision. My mom, however, supported every idea I’ve ever had, no matter how crazy it was. My time in California did not last long but my photography journey continued on. 


My mom has had my back since the beginning. She’s watched me stir up ideas that would later be regrettable and was there to support me when they all fell apart. She has never once said,  “I told you so” no matter how many times she could have. She’s loved every friend or lover of mine, no matter how bad they were for me. I’ve watched her countless times give us her best. Never expecting anything in return. As a child I saw her have her heartbroken, fall apart, and pick herself back up stronger than she ever was before. 


My mom is my inspiration. She showed me how it was done without ever expecting me to do it like her. Every day I am so thankful that we have her in our life. If it weren’t for her I would not be the woman or mom that I am today. Thanks mom. I love you!"

-Jamie Robage 








My mom is my biggest cheerleader. While our relationship hasn't always been easy or the best, she is the first one to tell me that I can do it no matter what it is, and I love her for that! Since I've gotten older we've been working on mending our relationship, and it's definitely a lot better than when I was younger.

-Emily Schaefer





When we moved, we relocated a mile away and I continued talking to or visiting with her almost every day until she passed away last winter. I was in the room when she died and went to, as she would say, ‘The Shiny Gold Gates in the Sky’.My grandmother was in the room the day I was born. I lived with my grandmother until I was 12 years old. Her and my grandfather helped raise me. 

What I learned from my Grandma:

Green onions & salt make a great appetizer. Peanut butter cookies can cure anything. Marrying a man can enslave a free woman. One can snore loud enough to keep a whole house awake. There is no such thing as too much butter, too much cream cheese, too many old movies. Movie kisses used to be tasteful. Love conquers all. ‘Jesus Maria’ is a phrase to express utter disbelief. Hands are not to be still, but full of movement ridden by anxiety. If someone doesn’t like you, tell them to shove it ‘you know where’. Don’t walk in the road. Don’t cross the street without looking both ways. Vaseline can be used for anything. Mothers are incredibly important & invaluable. Age doesn’t matter. VHS can exist into 2019. Getting old sucks. Chicken soup cures anything. Sleep can be had anywhere, any place, anytime. Don’t live in a shit house. Blood soup and head cheese is a real thing. Milwaukee can be easily navigated by the 15 bus. Always wear a hat. You can’t blame your parents for being who they are. I’m a great mother and my daughter is a doll. It’s okay to miss your loved ones when they leave, and I will. And most memorably, deep, true love never really dies. 

All my love, & Happy Mother’s Day to my ‘Mother’ in the Sky.

 -Amelia Toporsh


Thank you for reading!

We hope you are inspired to share these stories and the stories about the women in your life.


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