Tough Love

Tough Love

It is Mothers’ Day. This is the annual observance to remind people to pay attention to their moms. It is so easy to let daily pressures and busyness to push relationships to the background. It can happen in friendships, marriage, and family. Particularly easy is to neglect the relationship with parents. We all strive to be independent and establish our own families and businesses. So, sometimes family members fade to the background. Mothers’ Day is on the calendar to kindly remind us.

In the news this week was the birth of a royal baby. The interview with Prince Harry was respectful of his wife when he commented on how amazing it was what she went through to bring the child into the world. Each of us has had a mother who went through some difficult and painful moments to bring us into the world; then to instantly love us after we were the ones who took her close to death during the brith process. Even more amazing she would do it again in having your brother or sister.

There is something in the make up of mothers that is pretty awesome and God given. The maternal instinct it is called. It is the part that makes getting up in the middle of the night, feeding, changing, nursing, caring, hour after hour of attention, all a part of loving the child. Just thinking of it is fatiguing. Yet, moms continue to do it year after year as the child grows with its ever changing needs.

The problem for the kid is this: Mothers never turn off the mother instinct. You can be 30-40-50 and if your mom is still with you, you are still her baby. My mom is in her 90’s, me in my 70’s and I am still her kid. Your mom feels she has the right to say anything to you, to give you advice or just flat out tell you what to do. Every child, no matter the age, chafes under that at times, but most people when the mother is gone wishes to hear those maternal directions again.

We are called upon to care for our moms as they progress through life. Often it ends up that the one who cared for you becomes the one you have to care for. Life has its seasons. The one that used to chase us, spank us, work us, counsel us etc.; now we are helping her into the car, making sure she walks safely, and gets enough nourishment. I was amazed that the account of Jesus on the cross, while dying for the sins of the world, took time in his pain and suffering to look down and tell John that he was to take care of his mom and tell his mom to allow John to care for her. Mary went to live with John, the apostle.

Family is important. Mothers tend to be the heart of the home. Therein resides the maternal, the caregiving, the eternal never give up, the hopeful, the ready to forgive, the welcome home, the encourager, the “tell it like it is,” the nagging persistence, the unbounded love, all rolled into one woman who is called mom, mother, mum, ma, and mommy.

So, we celebrate the women who are moms and particularly, ours.
Happy Mother’s Day!
P. Bill

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