Robin Smith / May 12, 2017

The Culture vs. Motherhood

Mother's Day is meant to honor mothers as "the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world."

The second Sunday in May, Mother’s Day, was designated a national holiday first by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. The inaugural memorial for moms began, however, in 1908 after Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia. The elder Jarvis was known for caring for wounded soldiers from both the Union and the Confederacy and created “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to address public health issues.

Despite the commercialization of Mother’s Day, the original commemoration remains true to Jarvis’ intent: to honor mothers as “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”

Behind the gift-giving holiday of Christmas, Mother’s Day ranks second in present purchases and accounts for more than one-fourth of flower purchases — the average amount spent is about $186 spent per mom. So, yes, retailers are in high gear for Mother’s Day, but we shouldn’t miss an opportunity to honor those whose impact has been, is, and will forever be, critical.

Mothers’ roles in our lives are indeed diverse. Some moms serve as the matriarch of a nuclear family, some as the sole parent raising children and, in both cases, more and more women work both inside and outside the home. Yet, most moms have a common genetic trait that’s expressed in their DNA. It’s called “sacrifice.”

Sacrifice of time with sports leagues, school events and homework, music lessons and tracking down lost and forgotten items. Moms sacrifice possible promotion at work with a commitment to home instead of travel, advancement or excessive business demands. (That, by the way, is the real reason for the “gender wage gap” continually trumpeted by the Left.) The sacrifice of that “life-sized Barbie” look takes a hit when one’s kids are young and the shoulders of blouses are dotted with “urp” and baby bio stains, and when the cost of daycare eats into the budget. The sacrifice of privacy and personal space is a given with children because Mom always knows where all things are stored, are hidden or have disappeared to. And when those items are needed, it doesn’t matter what Mom’s doing or if she’s behind a closed door. Among so many other things, moms serve as the first teachers at every age — whether prioritizing a child’s bedtime reading or trying to figure out advanced Algebra homework, mothers lay the foundation of learning and add mortar to the bricks year after academic year.

These are just a few glimpses of sacrifice in the lives of most moms. And, yes, mothers, you are loved and valued. Your sacrifices have not been and are not in vain.

But as some read this brief salute to the female gender and their critical role as nurturer, educator, mentor, disciplinarian, bread-winner, boo-boo kisser and more, angry emotions are triggered. How could such a microaggression occur — one that stereotypically oppresses women by relegating them to a reproductive function with an honorable duty to raise a productive citizen, a decent adult? Feminists, who claim to seek equal social, economic and civil rights have angrily and inaccurately defined motherhood as a burden, and they have propagandized the mischaracterization that motherhood is mutually exclusive to worth as a double-X chromosomal human.

Women, according to their feminist champions, aren’t supposed to need a male in their lives and, if one is needed, he’d better be an emotion-driven weakling. In today’s culture, a child “is a choice,” not a miracle that carries the legacy of love between a man and a woman. And yet today’s feminists sneer at those who choose a career as Chief Operations Officer of the Home.

Modern culture has, indeed, progressed. When Anna Jarvis honored her mom in 1908, our nation had some 8,000 automobiles on approximately 144 miles of paved road, according to the Ford Motor Company. In 1908, only about 14% of homes featured a bathtub, and just 6% had a telephone. In 1915, when the American flag featured only 48 stars, a Stanford University publication documented that, in the analysis of 16 states, illegitimate births accounted for only 1.8% of all births recorded.

Today, sport utility vehicles reign, with smartphones serving as a mandatory appendage for constant connectivity. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 70% of women with children under the age of 18 are in the workplace outside the home, and 40% of all births are to unmarried women. According to November 2016 figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of children living in two-parent homes has decreased from 88% in 1960 to 69%. And many of those 69% are still from broken and then reassembled homes.

So what? The data provide a glimpse of cultural decay brought about by leftist redefinitions of everything from life in the womb, to marriage to being a female — and especially a mom.

Despite this, the fingerprints of our own mothers leave indelible marks that, hopefully, transfer as love, grace, faith, hope, vision and grit in our lives. We, in turn, touch our own children with love and these same virtues to continue the legacy of family. Moms truly do mold and fashion a better human race.

King Solomon ended his writings in Proverbs by describing the woman to “be praised.” Of the attributes honoring the value of this woman, the words paint a picture of a mom who “works with eager hands,” who is “clothed in strength and dignity,” “does not eat the bread of idleness,” and whose “children arise and call her blessed.”

This Sunday, please join us in paying tribute to your mom and the mothers in your life.

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