I could write poetry for days about my mother. I’ve written many posts about her in this blog because she has been an enormous influence on my life. She was a woman who didn’t leave her house after she was 10 without a burqa, she didn’t go to school until she was engaged to my father at 17 (and that was considered old), and she had an arranged marriage.

And then she raised me. Need I say more about what a powerhouse my mother is?

What about your mom? Did she teach you to be a woman? Did she tell you that your femininity was a weapon as well as a comfort? Did she teach you that you use it as the tool that it is? Did she make sure you knew that no matter what happened, you were okay, but that trying to be better was always a worthwhile goal? Did she teach you to cook, to keep house, and make sure you kept your grades up? Did she make sure that if a man ever left you, you would still be able to take care of yourself?

Did she teach you to be a man? Did she allow you to do boy things (even though she didn’t understand them. Lord knows I don’t get it at all.) Did she teach you to speak your mind, to open doors and to exude confidence yet also listen and be aware of those around you? Did she tell you that empathy was ok and that being a man was more than just testosterone? Did she teach you to take pride in being a breadwinner and to understand that when you had kids, your presence in their life was non-negotiable?

Did your mother give you the space needed for you to become the person she always knew you could be?

This, I find, is the greatest challenge with mothers. It is very difficult to allow our children to exist and set parameters and boundaries for them without imposing our idea of what they should become.

Did your mother do this for you? Your mother probably loves you. I mean, that’s generally the rule. But right now, if you look at yourself in real time, without anyone influencing you – do you think she would be happy with how you are behaving? Would you be ashamed of the fact that you voted for “your mom” instead of learning about ethics or racist voter ID laws? Or would she shake her head at the person you’ve become who makes a mockery of twitter polls and doesn’t care about filling your brain with important knowledge but rather, would like to read a post about her when I don’t even know her?

You people are ridiculous.