by Deb Hane
I never realized all that my mom did until I became a mother myself. Moms provide, protect, teach, tend, discipline, develop, encourage, exhort, and do all they can to prepare their children to become successful adults. That’s hard work and a huge role to fill, and although my mom wasn’t perfect, she took her role seriously and became a model of sacrifice and service.
No moms are perfect. But they all deserve recognition and gratitude — especially on the one day set aside just for her: Mother’s Day. Not only is it important to teach children to see and appreciate what their mothers do for them, but learning to recognize that kind of selfless love and service will help them for the rest of their lives.
Gratitude for Mothers Is Important
Every day, moms do incredible things that often go unnoticed. As a kid, I watched my mom prepare meals, clean the house, do laundry, and even iron clothes. In my mind, that’s just what moms do! I didn’t understand her continuous choice and discipline to make sure the household tasks were done, or just how much she sacrificed daily to take care of us. She gladly served — selflessly and humbly.
Kids can often be clueless to the daily service of their parents, just like I was. That’s why they need to be taught to recognize what others do for them, to say thank you, and to show gratitude for mothers and for everyone in their life who help them to become the best person they can be. I, for one, wish it hadn’t taken me so long to truly appreciate what my mom did for me. After all, gratitude is a healthy attitude that only goes to promote happiness, personal fulfillment, and thriving relationships.
Mothers Create the Bonds of Community
One of the unsung things moms do is play an instrumental part in forming the bonds of community. Growing up, my mom invested a lot of time in providing special birthday and holiday celebrations. We loved camping with our extended family, which created a lot of extra work for Mom. Not only did she handle the packing and unpacking, but she spent hours preparing our food in a hot trailer while us children swam and played. It was only when we were old enough, that we became part of the clean-up crew and learned that working together can be just as fun as playing games together.
Today, Mom recently turned 90 and my family still enjoys spending time together. And it’s exactly that emphasis towards celebrations, playing together, working together, and enjoying one another that paved the way for healthy relationships as adults. Even though things weren’t perfect or easy growing up, it was just better having time together and not feeling alone.
Spending positive time together goes a long way with helping kids feel loved and accepted. Additionally, learning the importance of responsible community and doing your part is a valuable factor towards growing up into a successful adult. I’m so grateful for mothers who instill the values of family, community, responsibility, service, and compassion in their children.
Mothers Form the Foundation of the Home
Another thing moms do is set the tone in a house. Whether calm and peaceful, lively and chaotic, on-edge and stressful, or comfortable and fun, there’s a feeling you get when you enter someone’s home. That tone can change based on the people and circumstances, but it’s often the mother who holds a large influence.
For the most part, my parents provided a calm, peaceful, comfortable, and fun home. Friends were always welcomed and I was never embarrassed to have them over. That positive tone added to my sense of security as I grew into an adult, and I have so much gratitude for mothers today who prioritize a loving and peaceful home life.
Many kids are edgy, stressed, depressed, and unmotivated, while struggling under the weight of a plethora of unique generational issues. They need adults who will understand them and consistently care for them. They need a mother’s love — the kind of love that perseveres, sacrifices, and gives with a heart that only wants what’s best for her child.
A Mother’s Love is a Reflection of God’s Love
Much like fathers, mothers are the chosen earthly representation of how God loves us as His children. One thing about a mother’s love — the kind of love that God gives to us — is that time and distance doesn’t diminish that love. As I talk with my mom nearly every night, her hope for the best in her childrens’ lives is quite evident, while my own love for my children (all now adults), for their friends through the years, and for all the many children I’ve taught, hasn’t changed.
A mother’s love and hope for her children doesn’t stop. It is a beautiful reminder of God’s love for us and His desire for our best, and we owe so much gratitude for mothers in this world who emulate God’s heart towards His cherished children.
Everyone is Called to Show a Mother’s Love
While I call it “a mother’s love” above because it’s the kind of love that can develop from becoming a mom, really this depth of love can be expressed by anyone. It comes as a gift from God, and there are many people who can also share this kind of unconditional love — dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, church members, neighbors, and friends. Anyone can receive this gift from God, but the purpose is that it must be shared with the millions of children who need this kind of love in their life.
Investing positively into the life of a kid will never be a waste. The kids you care about may never express appreciation, but that shouldn’t matter. When you want what’s best for someone, you do what needs to be done — regardless of whether you’re thanked for your efforts or not. That’s part of loving like Christ would.
Gratitude for Mothers and Loved Ones Doesn’t Have a Date
Have you ever felt the unconditional love outlined above? Maybe someone who has shown you that kind of love has come to your mind. If so, it’s never too late to express your gratitude! Whether they’re your mom or another important figure, reach out to say thanks and tell them about the incredible impact they’ve had on your life.
Want to help instill gratitude for mothers in the kids around you? Ask them to list all the things their mom does for them, including preparing their food, cleaning up their messes, doing their laundry, helping with their homework, taking them to special places, and so on. Next, have them write out at least three things their mother taught them and why it’s important. This thank you list of all that she does can even double as a nice gift for mom on Mother’s Day!
Let’s encourage kids to show gratitude for mothers every day — not just on holidays — and to recognize and appreciate those who love us like God does: unconditionally.