There are cynics who will tell you that Mother’s Day is a conspiracy of florists and candy makers. There might be something to that, with the National Retail Federation reporting that Mother’s Day spending is expected to total a record $25 billion this year.
But that’s the cynical view, and we live in a extraordinarily cynical age, which more often than not obscures with contempt what is good in our society. Better to remember the tradition that honors all mothers on a spring Sunday for what they have contributed to their children, all members of their families, as well as their communities.
The celebration of motherhood is nothing new, tracing its roots to the Classical Age of Greece and Rome, where festivals of flowers were held honoring the goddesses of motherhood, Rhea and Cybele. In the Jewish and Christian traditions, one of the Ten Commandments, early on in the list, is “Honor Thy Father and Mother” (Fathers, you’ll get your time in June) and the Qur’an teaches Muslims that “Paradise lies under the feet of mothers.”
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. In our story this week, first-time mother Kristina Martin Majdisova speaks of raising an infant at almost exactly the same time the pandemic changed everything overnight.
Kristina speaks of the hardships, of job loss, and isolation, but also of the unexpected joys she found in a renewed sense of closeness with her husband, of a sense of peace, quiet and joyful contentment spending time with him and their new baby.
On Sunday, and every day, we should remember the mothers who must go it alone, raising children by themselves. According to the U.S. Census, about 20% of children are living primarily with a single mother.
We shouldn’t ignore these women, or stereotype them, but realize the majority of single mothers are sacrificing for their children and loving them.
Sunday, we’ll pay tribute to those who have and are in the process of doing their best to give their children values, support and an opportunity to become whole, vibrant human beings.
Happy Mother’s Day.