Opinion

What makes a mother great?

One of our moms with her newborn
One of our moms with her newborn

One of our moms with her newborn

I have the wonderful privilege of working with mothers on a daily basis. As the client services director at a Pregnancy Resource Center I assist moms with various emotional, material and spiritual needs. A big part of my job is listening to mothers as they share their hearts. Women come into our center with troubling stories. Some have been abused, some abandoned, others are struggling to find a job and decent housing. Every woman has a different tale to tell. While some stories are painful to hear, others are inspiring and uplifting. It’s not a difficult task for me to listen because I genuinely care about their lives. I’m grateful to get a window into a world that in some ways is quite different than my own.

One of the most amazing benefits of my job is getting to see the strength of mothers on display. Women will walk in the pouring rain, inches of snow and in freezing temperatures to get to the center. I’ve seen moms take multiple buses and cross through more than one city just to make it in. The commitment they have to care for their children is incredible to behold. These moms aren’t coming to our center because they are obligated to. They come because they are on a journey to be a better parent. They want to sit in on parenting classes. They appreciate the resources we provide that allow them to take care of their children. They thank us when they leave because we are making their lives just a little bit easier.

May 11, 2014 marked the 100th year Mother’s day was celebrated in our nation. It’s a day we set aside to honor the mom’s in our lives and to thank them for their love. Every day at a Pregnancy Resource Center is like a ‘Mothers day’. Every day we celebrate moms and show them love in practical ways. This is especially important because some of our moms have few cheerleaders, if any. A mom told me the other day, “Every time I come here something good happens.” She was beaming because after being displaced by Hurricane Sandy she finally got two jobs and is getting back on her feet. She, like many of our clients is a great mom. What makes her great is the way she sacrifices to care for her son.

In our society we tend to exalt people because of their popularity, influence and appearance. This mom may never have her name in lights, become a world leader or write a book that inspires many. You likely won’t see her face on a magazine or hear her story on the radio. Yet she is a great person because she has chosen to love her child. In a perfect world every father and mother would love their child as they love themselves. In our broken world parents reject, neglect and dismiss their kids. In the midst of an imperfect world there are many mothers who do whatever it takes to love. This is what makes them great. This is what brings me joy when I sit and hear their stories. This is the reason they deserve to be honored and celebrated, on Mother’s day and every day of the year. To be a great mom all you need to do is give your all to love. Love is the free gift you give to your children. It will cost you everything but it will be worth it.

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