There is just something special about mothers that is hard to fully explain. It involves emotions and generally gratitude for the sacrifices they make. I learned to appreciate my mother more when I first hand experienced the birth and raising of my children. My mother invested so much of her life in me and my sisters and brother.
Mother’s Day came into existence in 1914 when the U.S. Congress declared the second Sunday in May as National Mother’s Day. At the time there was no Father’s Day. As a matter of fact, there was no such thing as Father’s Day until 58 years later in 1972, when Richard Nixon declared the third Sunday in June as National Father’s Day.
Hallmark cards began in 1910. They must have smiled with both announcements!
According to a compilation of research put together by H&R Block several years back, Americans spent $14.6 billion on Mother’s Day showing appreciation for mothers, yet only $9.4 billion on fathers for Father’s Day. We spent money on 85.4 million mothers on Mother’s Day and 67.8 fathers on Father’s Day. The number one card spending holiday of the year is Mother’s Day with 162 million cards sent, while Father’s Day falls in at number four on the list with 110 million cards sent.
One quarter of all flower purchases for the year are bought for Mother’s Day with $1.9 million spent. Mother’s Day is the most popular day of the year to dine out with 62% of people enjoying dinner at a restaurant, most commonly the meal is dinner.
According to a study of over 6,000 mothers by salary.com ten years ago, a stay home mother’s worth is $112,962 a year. I am sure this number has increased over the years. That is a lot of value. The average mother juggles 94.7 hours of “work” a week. A typical stay home mother fills many important positions. Housekeeping averages 14.8 hours, cooking 13.9 hours, day care teacher 13.7 hours, managing the home 10.7 hours, computer operator 8.9 hours, driving 7.9 hours, janitor 7.7 hours, psychologist 7.6 hours, laundry 6.3 hours, and CEO is 3.2 hours. Many mothers would say that their “job” is raising their children.
Rose Kennedy once said, “I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that demanded the best that I could bring to it.” I often say that what mothers do in raising their children has a greater importance to our world than what those of us who leave home and work long hours do outside the home.
Focus on the Family said it right when they stated, “What happens at home is central to a child’s ability to function throughout his life. Home is where bonding takes place and a child learns to attach to relationships. When a child can attach, that means they learn to trust people. Learning to trust is essential for having healthy relationships throughout life.”
John W. Whitehead commented, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” Charles Swindoll said “Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” Every child is a story yet to be told. Helen Hayes said, “Childhood is a short season.” Our years programing our children is few, yet they remain our children for a lifetime.
The parenting done by a mother is the example that a daughter has to go by when she becomes a mother herself down the road.
There is a poem written by William Ross Wallace that was first published in 1865 entitled “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle is the Hand that Rules the World.” It reads as follows:
“BLESSINGS on the hand of women! Angels guard its strength and grace. In the palace, cottage, hovel, Oh, no matter where the place; Would that never storms assailed it, Rainbows ever gently curled, For the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.
“Infancy’s the tender fountain, Power may with beauty flow, Mothers first to guide the streamlets, From them souls unresting grow—Grow on for the good or evil, Sunshine streamed or evil hurled, For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world.
“Woman, how divine your mission, Here upon our natal sod; Keep—oh, keep the young heart open Always to the breath of God! All true trophies of the ages Are from mother-love impearled, For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world.
“Blessings on the hand of women! Fathers, sons, and daughters cry. And the sacred song is mingled with the worship in the sky—mingles where no tempest darkens, rainbows evermore are hurled; for the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world.”
Although the poem is over 150 years old and was written at a time when women had a more traditional role, the concepts of the poem still apply today. Even with women’s roles changing, mothers are still the ones in most instances rocking the cradles.
My challenge to you today is to recognize and appreciate the sacrifices your mother gave for you and that mothers across the world give day to day. There is just something special about mothers.
Today’s column is dedicated to each of you who have experienced the joys and sorrows of being a mother.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Just a thought...
Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a syndicated columnist, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to email@example.com:firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 850, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202 - 0850.
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