Home > On the Calendar > The Legacy and Duty of Motherhood

The Legacy and Duty of Motherhood

Greeting card manufacturers must love Mother’s Day. Have you noticed how big Mother’s Day cards are? The average Mother’s Day card seems to be 8” by 10”, accompanied by a large, white envelope that not-so-subtly declares in the upper right-hand corner that it requires extra postage. At the cash register, I plunk down $10 and only get the kind of currency that jingles in return, and I still have to mail it—airmail, first class. Frankly, I’m not consistent about the card thing anyway, not because of the cost but because, no matter how creative the sentiment on the cover or inside the card, it’s always woefully inadequate when expressing my feelings toward my mother.

I’m blessed with a mom who can be described as truly lovely. But with that loveliness is also a mixture of strength, honor, diligence, patience, hope and faith. So if the restaurants, florists, spas and greeting card manufacturers have a conspiracy to squeeze the money from my wallet in favor of a made-up day on which we are all supposed to express our gratitude to and for our mothers, it’s a small price to pay. It’s not the card or gift that shows how I feel toward her, but it’s how I continue her legacy that shows that I honor her.

Living up to an example like hers is a struggle sometimes, because you don’t know how tough the job is until you’re already in it. It doesn’t take long, however, to realize that you’re in for a lifetime of service. Some moms seem to have a neighborhood-mom quality that makes the job look easy while others constantly strive to live up to the standard they believe has been set for them. Some mothers bail out. Trying not to make being a mother look as hard as it sometimes is, I have come up with two ways to honor my mother.

Do for my daughter what my mother did for me

When the going gets tough, the tough get relentless! Relentless love for our children means understanding that no woman is an island either. Networking can get weary moms over the humps like being pulled up and over a hill in a bright red Radio Flyer wagon by a faithful friend. In the physical absence of my own mother for whom intercessory prayer was (is) an everyday occurrence, the experience of networking with members of Moms In Touch International (www.momsintouch.org) has been a beacon of hope. For more than 10 years we have met weekly to pray our kids through exams, relationships, scholarship applications, health challenges, impossible teachers, crashed computers, summer jobs, driving tests, spiritual misgivings, and everything in between. Real moms need real support. Each phase of their lives has brought a new phase to our parenting. It’s quite a ride.

Give a gift to another mother

Yet, even with the challenges I experience, I must agree with this sobering thought that, depending on geography, the situation is better or worse for mothers around the world. According to an article I read recently, the best country in which to be a mother is Norway, while the worst country to be a mother is Afghanistan (of 164 countries ranked for a 2011 list). When was the last time I considered child or maternal mortality rates as a threat? When was the last time I worried about raising my daughter while living in a war-ravaged country?

In honoring my mother this year, let me have a world view. Yes, the cards and gifts are wonderful, but what about sharing a sentiment with a mother that I don’t—and will never—know, just because we all want the same thing for “mother’s day”. Safety for our children. Health. Peace. Our basic needs met. Hope. Those are gifts all mothers want regardless of geographic location or economic situation. Through church and charitable organizations, I can assist another mother through a variety of ways—from a microfinance loan to supporting skills training to fair trade purchases to advocacy to friendship. Perhaps the reason I am a mother in my country is so I can pass a blessing on to a mother at home or in another country.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: