Single mums pay for Mother’s Day gifts in schools

SÃO PAULO, SP (FOLHAPRESS) – On the occasion of Mother’s Day, private schools are asking officials to send a contribution to make a gift. The cost of a thermos bag is R$60. The cost of a thermos bottle is R$50. There are also those who keep the comment and do not reveal what the souvenir is, but charge a fee of 20-50 BRL for the treatment.

Despite a college initiative aimed at pleasing single moms, single moms note that the idea ends up being an extra cost as they end up having to pay for the gift itself.

Ange da Cuna e Silva, mother of a nine-year-old, interprets this act as a summary of life as a single mother: “Working to pay for a Mother’s Day gift.”

Angie, who runs an Instagram page called Solo Real Maternity, says this isn’t the first time her daughter’s school has asked for a gift.

“I wouldn’t even use the thermal bag, but I did so my right to be not disqualified from the activity. It’s so annoying, we don’t even have that little surprise,” he says.

“We pay for our special gift already knowing what it is and even pretend to surprise our daughter when we receive it,” he continues. This indicates that no one cares about mothers. It is more than proven that no one takes care of those who take care of them. So, we have to pay even our gift.”

She also points out that as sad as she is, celebrating Mother’s Day is not as challenging as going through Father’s Day, which is celebrated in August, when the father is absent. This is what happens to Angie’s daughter, who has not heard anything from her father for four years.

Angie has already suggested that the school cancel the celebrations and opt for Family Day to include different family configurations. But schools are not too concerned about that. I had previously had a meeting about it, they said they would watch it, but it didn’t go ahead.”

Psychologist Grace Souza, 32, is in a similar situation. She asked her ex-husband and father of her four-year-old son to help split the costs of the Mother’s Day show and gift, but received no response. “And I probably won’t,” he says.

To celebrate this date, the Maiden School asks for R$50 for the so-called “mother’s shirt” and for the person in charge to purchase a specific piece of clothing for the children’s show.

The outfit consists of a red strappy, jeans and shoes. “It won’t be cheap,” she says, who has to pay up to R$200 for the event.

“I would be able to afford it, but I kept thinking that these unscheduled costs end up excluding some mothers from their children’s schools,” he says.

“I thought I would have to pay just because I want my son to be a part of these early moments that I think are important to him and his development.”

In addition to spending money on the gift and the son’s dress, Souza must help the child rehearse the song that will be sung at school to celebrate this date.

“It was outsourced to the mother. It’s like saying: Do you want to honor you? Practice with your son, get your shirt and buy his clothes.”

She commented with her eight-year-old son, attorney Anne Ribeiro, 33, that this is the first Mother’s Day with the school’s face-to-face celebrations two years into the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I will have to pay the school gift, R$50 to give me a wooden spoon,” she joked in a Twitter post.

In a conversation with the report, she said that she still did not know what the gift was. “However, mom gifts are always something from the house, like an apron and picture frame, and nothing very practical,” Ribeiro says.

The lawyer recalls that the child’s father pays child support, and that’s it. “I take care of him, do my homework, take him to football, to training, to the doctor and to school.”

The school said it would also honor mothers along with a small mall “for the enjoyment of all”. For Anne, the idea is good, but she says she doesn’t have the money to spend there.

Ana Lucia Dias, an advocate for mothers’ rights, says the schools’ actions are akin to repression. “Gifts are not usually for women, they are always for nursing homes.”

For her, such situations show how society considers that once a person becomes a mother, a person ceases to exist as an individual. “It is as if being a mother is all about nurturing and it is not. In this maternal relationship we see the complete erasure of the woman.”

Instagram ***Public policy designer and illustrator, Thaiz Leão agrees with Dias. She is the mother of a nine-year-old, and is the author of the Mother Solo Instagram page. “The problem is that the school doesn’t realize that families are diverse, and the family that everyone expects to be a model is actually a minority.”

Today, your child is enrolled in a school that does not have a Mother’s Day culture and you are trying to understand the support network that each child has. “I’m paying a heavy price for my son not being raped and not learning about rape,” he says.

Family Day With face-to-face classes in full swing, private schools in São Paulo are also rehearsing for their return to the festivities. The report contacted eight schools in Sao Paulo and only one reported that there would be a mother-only celebration.

Such is the case of Mary Ward College, on the east side of D.C., which divides the ceremonies into two classes. For a part of the little ones, a celebration is organized in the theater. And for those in the second to fifth year of elementary school, a mass is held.

The rest said they would pay tribute on social media or the so-called Family Day.

Santa Cruz, in Alto de Pineros, on the West Side, is holding a Family Mass on Saturday (7) in the schoolyard – the event has replaced Mother’s Day since 2017.

Some have already held family celebrations, like Maple Bear, which celebrated the family with activities and games on the last weekend of April.

Humboldt College will post a video on social media in which children up to 5th grade sing “Quem Cuida de Mim.”

Colégio Pio XII, in Morumbi, and Luminova, a network of five schools in the state of São Paulo, hold Family Day in August.

Porto Seguro, in Morumbi, organizes a day for families, but on different dates depending on the students’ grades. Some of them happen in May.

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