How Many Days For Mom?






Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.  – Oliver Wendell Holmes

I met a mom recently. She was with her son as he visited the university. They were trying to figure out the future. She wasn’t wearing a wedding ring so I assumed that it was just the two of them striking out on this next adventure together. He seemed very excited and full of questions. He was looking down toward his future and his eyes were glazed with hope.

She smiled during our interview and asked questions like any concerned parent. I glanced over at her every now and then and I think I could see a glimmer in her own eyes. She was looking down toward that same future with her son but her gaze was filled with a tinge of sadness and a lonely acceptance. She knew he was leaving one day, one day soon. As a single parent, maybe they had fought some hard battles together to make their lives work. They seemed to have a strong friendship that would always last.

One day a Mother’s Day will come and you will wonder how you ever made it without her. Somehow in a thousand little ways she pushed you into a hope that maybe she never had.

I’ve got a friend whose mom is far away and trying to manage the health care of her frail husband. He’s been in the hospital and he’s not recovering well. She has so many hard decisions to make all by herself. His mind has been fading away for some time now. My friend is far away and so busy. He’s in that stage of life where it’s now his turn to care for his aging parents. The roles are shifting. They don’t always shift easily for everyone. I’m sure that she’s scared, lonely and dreading the future. Who wouldn’t have those feelings?

One day a Mother’s Day will come and you realize that your mom needs you more than words will ever communicate.

As we approach our celebration of Mother’s Day, think about how that social role – MOM – has changed in your lifetime.

Our moms are on the job. Actually on two jobs. Seventy percent are working outside the home and all are working at home. When women come home from work and then “clock in” to start on all the housework that must be done, we call this the second shift. There are all kinds of ways that working families have figured out how to share the load, but research continues to reveal that mom bears most of the burden, still. Maybe its time for you to get up off the couch or come out of your room and unload the dishwasher or do some laundry without saying a word.

And keep helping because it’s the right thing to do.

I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. – Abraham Lincoln

Forty percent of our children are now raised by a single mom. That has certainly changed the role of MOM in our families. She’s now left the home and gone to work, many are working an extra job to make ends meet. Who’s at home when the bus drops the kids off from school? Who’s helping with all that extra homework these days? Who’s teaching all those lessons about what it means to be an adult?

Who’s got time?

Somehow it gets done for so many. Don’t you know single moms who have made it work? Who have figured out how to raise remarkable children AND make the ends come together each month. Where’s the big glow in the dark trophy for those moms?

Most that I know aren’t even mildly interested in that kind of recognition. What they want more than anything you can see in their eyes when they watch their child from across the room as he talks to a new friend or adult.  She watches and knows that the tears, stand-offs and pitched battles were worth it all.

Happy Mother’s Day…everyday


I love my mother for all the times she said absolutely nothing…. Thinking back on it all, it must have been the most difficult part of mothering she ever had to do: knowing the outcome, yet feeling she had no right to keep me from charting my own path. I thank her for all her virtues, but mostly for never once having said, “I told you so.”   — Erma Bombeck



About Randy Wilson

Professor of Sociology at Houston Baptist University I read, think and write about religion and culture in the United States. It's very interesting and very complicated but incredibly exciting. For many years I have been trying to figure out how people learn best (my students and myself). The classes I teach are always in a state of experimentation - trying to reorganize around what students bring to the table and where we have to go.

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