They carried us in their wombs, endured the pain of childbirth, cleaned, fed and sheltered us against all that came our way. Mothers love us, nurture us, encourage us, challenge us, correct us and even when we are grown and out of the nest, are eager to share our joys and successes. When life gets tough, they are always there to guide, support and encourage us. For children, early in life, these women are a connection to a larger world. The umbilical cord is cut at birth, but the unseen bond stays intact; our dreams become their dreams, our hopes, theirs.
The image of motherhood has changed over the past half-century or so, and yet in many ways it has barely changed at all; gentle yet tough as nails — a mother remains a powerhouse for her children. Her charge is daunting: tireless and often thankless. Often the primary caregiver of children, she must dole out discipline, and yet, she must also proffer continuous nurture while infusing a sense of certainty and unconditional love, even when that means tough love. Like Maya Angelou put so succinctly, "To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow."
Twenty-first century mothers face challenges such as juggling work with parenting and managing the household. Many times their role is diminished, or at least undervalued. Notwithstanding that they also have other roles — they may have jobs and other relationships to foster — they put their children before all else. They often put their own dreams and aspirations on hold so that their children can realize theirs. Most working women feel full-time work isn’t the ideal situation and would prefer to work part-time. However, there is also a big chunk who would prefer not to work at all because of the guilt of not being there for their children at all times.
Mothers encapsulate values that we cherish: love, understanding, comfort, strength and sacrifice. Sometimes mothers have to bear the pain of seeing their flesh and blood make sacrifices for a higher cause and yet, they stand by them with strength and resolve just so they can follow their passion. Salute to all these brave mothers whose patriotism leads them to sacrifice a child they so lovingly brought to this world and raised.
We celebrate Mother's Day to honor the women who shaped us, nurtured us, taught us and showed us what life and love mean — as a day to reflect on who our mother is and how she helped us become who we are. So for all the mothers out there — any age, any stage of life, and with any prefix or modifier in front of the word mother, we hope you feel pride when you look at the child or the children whom you have had an influence on. And be proud not only of them, but of yourself, for the role you have played in getting them to where they are because they are what you made them and they reflect your love in whatever they do.
Happy Mother’s Day! HH
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