I attended a parenting class recently because I had questions about how to effectively raise healthy, responsible children, especially in today’s society. I would be lying if I said parenting is easy. In fact, parenting takes work and the balance in parenting responsibilities is not always easily divided.
So who carries the responsibility of parenting?
With the utmost respect for all the single and involved daddies, I will use this May issue to focus on the huge role that many mothers play in parenting their children. It is a role that has become more diverse yet its title still holds so much meaning for many.
What is a mother? One definition includes “a woman in relation to a child to whom she has given birth”. However, many will agree that this definition of “mother” needs to be broadened. Along with the nine months of anticipation awaiting the miraculous delivery, we cannot overlook the grueling adoption interviews that a couple must endure in order to be “approved’ to bring home their bundle of joy, or when the door bell rings and you realize the next few months (or years) will be occupied with providing support and a home for your foster child. We also have the neighbourhood mom, the “den” mom, the Godmother, the aunt, the teacher mom and of course, the grandmother. The list goes on and on. From young moms to older mothers, many of us take our job very seriously. A job that can include: early mornings, late nights, long talks, extended understanding and tons of patience.
No matter how different or similar our daily experiences may be, there is a commonality that requires thinking about someone else for however long that forces us to be unselfish. I am not claiming that all have answered that call but few will deny that a mother’s love is irreplaceable!
So a day to truly honour mothers just seems fitting. Though rather than the commercialized overspending of gifts, many mothers would probably prefer reciprocating what was once given. Perhaps preparing her morning coffee before she wakes up, recording her late night television show, a listening ear during a long talk, extending understanding even when we don’t understand, and tons of patience when our mother moves slower in our own fast paced world.
Learning to appreciate all the things our mother did for us may seems like a simple thing but can be a wonderful gesture of gratitude.