I don’t think it ever occurred to me before how much and how often women are praised for displaying traits that basically render them invisible. When I really think about it, I realize the culprit is the language generally used to praise women. Especially mothers.

“She sacrificed everything for her children… She never thought about herself… She gave up everything for us… She worked tirelessly to make sure we had what we needed. She stood in the shadows, she was the wind beneath our wings.”

Greeting card companies are build on that idea.

“Tell her how much all the little things she does all year long that seem to go unnoticed really mean to you.”

With a $2.59 card.

Mother’s Day is build on that idea.

This is good, we’re told. It’s good how Mom diminishes and martyrs herself. The message is: mothers, you are such wonderful and good people because you make yourselves smaller, because you deny your own needs, because you toil tirelessly in the shadows and no one ever thanks or notices you… this all makes you AMAZING.

Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes