Motherhood is still one of the oldest and greatest professions on earth.
There is a lot to the old adage, "Your mother will be there for you no matter what." And usually mothers are unless there are some extenuating circumstance, like physical or mental illness, extreme drug or alcohol addiction or, too often, misplaced priorities.
Mothers – those who choose the role or accept the role thrust upon them – so often carry the burden of being the glue that keeps it all together whether it is a traditional family, a hybrid or extended family.
So including motherhood among the professions and accomplishments to be honored is only fitting. Too often we recognize young mothers, older mothers, those mothers in between, and those no longer with us only on Mother's Day.
Honoring and appreciating motherhood, in all its complexity, its beauty, its pain, its challenges and its fulfillment, should be an ongoing affair because the career of motherhood never ends for those who truly accept the responsibility.
Motherhood has always been one of the toughest jobs on earth. And today, with all the forces tugging at both mothers and children, in many respects the job is tougher.
Mothers who hope to have a realistic chance of nurturing another human being into one with good values, a good sense of self, compassion and concern for one neighbor, one's community, and the betterment of mankind, face some ominous challenges from infancy to young adulthood. So often where there exists good conditions and good options for children, there are just as many negative ones lurking nearby.
Good and bad influences exist from the playgrounds to what is brought into the family room by television and the Internet in higher degrees and multiple doses. Mothers use to only worry about untimely exposure to things like sex, drugs at school or in the neighborhood. Now, there is the specter of guns and other acts of wanton violence perpetrated by crazed adults and children alike that cannot be ignored.
It seems that with most human advancement comes the opportunity to also advance the base within us. With all of the good educational choices on television and the Internet that are good for children and adults, there are equally, if not more bad choices, which include blatant profanity, unprecedented nudity and sex, wanton violence – all for children to hear and see. The pervasiveness and popularity of video games present another set of challenges.
One is forced to ask, what are we doing as a society to support the efforts of motherhood? Support means more than making sure children are physically fed, clothed and housed. What responsibility do we share to do things that reinforce exposing and cultivating good values in children, strong work ethics, and respect for another person, one's community and the sanctity of human life?
Motherhood, like any other career or profession, cannot be successful in a vacuum. Our mothers and grandmothers knew that. And they shared the responsibility in rearing not only their children, but also their neighbor's children. Back then, there may not have been much in the way of technology, but reinforcement and respect for the job of rearing children abounded.
For those of us who benefited from that practice of shared responsibility of motherhood, we would do well to remember and pass on the importance of ongoing support and mentorship.
Because, in many respects, and in spite of all of our advancement, the job of motherhood has gotten tougher, and deserves our ongoing acknowledgement and recognition of its rightful place among careers and professions.