Our View: Mother’s Day

There are so many expectations on the modern mother: staying at home to raise children is criticized as not being “work”.

Hallmark would have us believe all mothers are soft, caring, giving and nurturing super humans who put their children before themselves and would never utter an unkind word. Her love is the deepest; she protects her children fiercely. A mother becomes chauffeur, playmate, provider, protector, confidant, chef, counsellor, cheerleader, disciplinarian, role model, teacher, nurse, and if you are lucky, friend.

There are so many expectations on the modern mother: staying at home to raise children is criticized as not being “work”. Going to work outside the home is criticized because then “someone else is raising your children”. How does a mother win? Each woman must choose the right path for herself and be comfortable enough with her decision to defend it if necessary.

Praise to the mother who does it solo — not by choice but by circumstances, she finds herself alone to protect and prepare her children for life without a partner to help. This woman digs down deep and does what is necessary to provide financially and emotionally while running the household, taking care of the bills and, hopefully, remembering to take care of herself in the mix.

Some of us were born to mothers who did their best but weren’t able to give us the kind of foundation that prepared us for life. Coming to a place where we can forgive them their shortcomings and love them anyway, at least for the fact that they gave us life — is a gift that only we can give ourselves. Ultimately mothers are human too.

And for the fathers who are both mom and dad — your struggle is real. Providing a nurturing, emotional foundation to your children and fulfilling a domestic role traditionally reserved for women isn’t easy. Tying your daughter’s hair up or kissing your son’s scraped knee doesn’t come naturally, nor does putting a hot meal on the table nightly yet somehow you make it work. Kudos.