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Shelter Island Reporter editorial: Mother’s Day 2019


We have a friend whose mother hated to be taken to lunch on Mother’s Day.

“I don’t want to be sitting there with some old dolls with corsages pinned to their dresses,” she said, “with people who forget them for the rest of the year.”

It’s always refreshing to hear some humor attached to a conspiracy of florists taken way too seriously by some. But what is undeniably serious are the challenges 21st-century parents face, problems that only 20 years ago wouldn’t even be on their radar screens.

The head-spinning technological advances have often obscured wisdom for the sake of information. And methods of communication keep multiplying almost by the hour, causing many parents to wonder if all the wizardry of instant access to others that their children possess is really just another tool to build increased isolation.

How many parents dread computers attached to eyeglasses and wrists, as just more ways their kids can ignore them?

These days it’s not just children being isolated, but more and more mothers are going it alone. Federal statistics show that in 1980, 18 percent of babies were born to unmarried women. The latest statistics reveal that number has spiked to about 40 percent. And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 8 out of 10 single-parent families are headed by women.

But even with two adults raising kids, both are more likely to work outside the home than in times past.

Every generation looks back with envy at what seems an easier time to raise children. But some things never change; the rough times are almost always overtaken by the rewards of providing a good foundation for the ones we love.

And so it’s time to celebrate, and Americans don’t stint when it comes to making sure mothers have a special day. According to the National Retail Federation, $25 billion will be spent on this Sunday’s festivities.

Take that number any way you want, as guilt-trip expenses or a recognition of the women who have done their best to raise whole human beings.

We take the latter, and send the happiest of Mother’s Day greetings.