“Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.” – Lin Yutang
For Stressless, it’s easy to celebrate mothers. Norway is a country that holds women in high esteem, and we make a product that is as comfortable and inviting as a mother’s warm embrace. So in honor of Mother’s Day, let’s talk about some iconic moms who have made an enduring impact on the world through their brave, loving, nurturing natures.
Marie Sklodowska Curie was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize, and the only woman to be honored twice. The Polish-born scientist shared the award for physics with her French husband Pierre in 1903. Pierre died tragically in 1906, when he slipped and fell under a horse-drawn cart on a busy Paris street. After her husband’s untimely death, Marie became the first female professor at the Sorbonne and was awarded a second Nobel Prize in 1911, this time for her work in chemistry. She also raised her two daughters alone, homeschooling them for a time and instilling in them her tireless work ethic and scientific wonder. Her daughter Irène worked side-by-side with Marie during WWI using X-ray machines to help field surgeons find shrapnel in wounded soldiers. Irène later shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry with her husband in 1935. Marie’s other daughter Eve was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for war correspondence and also wrote a glowing biography of her mother.
Alberta Williams King was shot and killed as she played the organ at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in 1974, six years after her son, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Alberta raised her children to make a difference, teaching them about racism and society’s hardships. She earned her degree at Morris Brown College, the first educational institution in Georgia to be owned and operated by African Americans. Alberta founded the Ebenezer choir and served as choir director for 25 years, interrupted only to join her son in his work. She was devoted to all three of her children but was especially close to her middle child. In a letter Dr. King wrote to her as a student, he said, “I often tell the boys around the campus I have the best mother in the world.” Alberta was the mother of a civil rights activist and also considered to be the mother of a movement.
More recently, we are inspired by moms across Eastern Europe who have stepped in and stepped up since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As Ukrainian women take their babies to safety while the fathers stay to fight, Polish mamas flood the train station with extra strollers and supplies for refugees. Moms are always there—for their children and each other.
Even Russian mothers have taken to the streets to protest the deployment of their young sons in a war against their neighbors. Long a formidable force in Russia, the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers played a key role in exposing dedovshchina, the widespread practice of bullying, hazing and violence in Soviet barracks in the late 1980s. Today, a new generation of mamuskas is speaking up on behalf of their children, despite the threat of prison sentences of up to 15 years.
This Mother’s Day, hold your children close. Rock your babies. Love on your mamas. Cherish family and celebrate the small joys, made even more precious by the swirl of worldwide turbulence and unrest, the shadow of a global pandemic and the knowledge that life’s only certainty is uncertainty. Although Mother’s Day or Morsdag, is celebrated in February in Norway, we wish mothers everywhere Gratuler med morsdagen from Stressless!