Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, as I’m sure you know. And while you’re out shopping for that perfect Hallmark card and the ideal bouquet to tell your mother (or wife or whomever) how much you love and care about them, I ask you to take a moment to ponder all the other mothers in your life as well.
You probably know how much your mom had to do to have you and raise you. But do you consider what the other mothers around you have to put up with?
How did you feel when you found out your kid’s favorite teacher would be out on maternity leave for the rest of the year, just when your child was starting to really hit her stride?? What was your reaction when your doctor had to cancel your appointment at the last minute because of a family emergency? Did you hold it against your assistant when she had to take another personal day to get her kid in for a follow-up after his appendectomy?
I recently watched a report on 60 Minutes about gender bias and how it effects working mothers. What I heard in that report did not surprise me, because I’d basically lived it. Generally, when a working woman has a baby, her income goes down… and it goes down further with each baby she subsequently has. But when a working man’s family grows, his salary goes up! Why? Because he is seen as the ‘provider’ for his growing brood, whereas the addition to a woman’s family is seen more as a distraction from her responsibilities at work.
As I mentioned, I was once a working mom. And like many working mothers, I was also the ‘go-to’ parent in any and every situation. If there were problems at school or a sudden illness, I was the emergency contact. I can’t tell you how many times I fretted having to put a cell phone on silent and stow it while I was at my job. Or how many times I had to explain my tardiness because a school bus didn’t come. I even lost one particular job after my son became ill and I had to call off on the day of an event.
So tomorrow, when you call your Mom or hug your wife to wish her a wonderful day, don’t stop there. Make a mental note to carry the good will on towards all the mothers in your life. And the next time their motherly duties interfere with your day, take a minute to be grateful that their kids have mothers who have their priorities in order.
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