I will never forget the story I once read of a young woman in China after World War II. The country was in turmoil, there were millions of refugees and it was the middle of winter. As the woman trudged through the snow in sub-zero temperatures she hugged close her six month old baby. The little protection she had from the cold was wrapped around her baby boy. Early the next morning a Christian missionary found the mother dead but huddled around her still alive baby son. That child was adopted into a caring family and grew up to be a great leader in South East Asia, bringing hope to millions of people. A mother’s love is powerful and far reaching, who can measure its effect?
Recently I had a call from a single mother who was upset by our Love Your Children TV ad. She had told me her child who is 5 years old got upset every time he saw the ad. He would say to his mother with tears pouring out of his eyes, “Why can’t I have a Dad to play with like those children on the TV”. I apologised to her profusely that our ads had such a negative effect on her son and I assured her it was not intentional on our part. I then asked her the obvious question. “Where is the boy’s father?” She told me he was in the navy and left her and her son when he was only 3 months old.
Then I asked her what she told her son about her father when he asked her about him. She said matter-of -factly that she deliberately tried hard not to run the boy’s father down but simply said he left them for his own reasons. Whilst she was not happy with his father’s decision it was a decision he had made and she could not comment on it further. I congratulated her that she did not run his father down as her son had to find that out for himself in the years to come. Everything in her wanted to tell the child the evil of his father’s betrayal of them both, but she was gracious with her words, giving her son hope for the moment. In my mind a true sacrifice of love.
Some time ago I had a call from a single mum who is at her wit’s end. She and her husband are separated but living nearby each other for the sake of the children. Through reasons beyond their control the husband was forced out on the street and away from the area and proximity to his children. Her call was to inquire if there were any single father’s shelters for her husband in the area. When he took ill recently she rushed to his aid in the hospital. She knows that the children still need their daddy even if as parents they can’t get on. The power of a mother’s love: so often sacrificing her own interests for those of the children she loves.
I saw this beautiful story on Mashable about Jim Bond and his mother Kathleen Bond, “My mum’s passion and commitment to helping others has always inspired me and kept the rest of our family grounded in what’s really important in life. She spearheaded the fundraising to break ground on the first no-cost housing option for cancer patients and their caregivers in Ohio, which has given hope to thousands over the past 18 years. As someone who has grown to have kids of his own, I’m completely humbled by the outpouring of love and strength with which she takes on any challenge. She truly is the foundation of our family and I often tell my kids that their grandma is the real ‘superhero’ in every sense of the word.”
These four stories are good examples of why the word ‘mother’ is the most beautiful word in the English language according to an international survey. More than 40,000 people in 102 countries were polled by the British Council www.britishcouncil.org The words ‘mother’, ‘passion’, ‘smile’, ‘love’, and ‘eternity’ were the top five choices but ‘father’ did not even make it into the list of 70 top words. Chris Wade from the British Council said, “All of us have a mother and have a reasonable idea of who that person is, it’s one piece of certainty we can have and it is also a very powerful word in a variety of cultures.”
Mother’s Day is an opportunity to honour our mothers and thank them for their sacrifice. Just think of how many of your nappies your mother must have changed? How many times did your mother wipe your bottom, pack your lunch and hold you close after you fell over? Being a mother is a seven-day-a-week, 24 hour existence, even working broken shifts when children don’t sleep through the night. The cooking and cleaning seem endless and the challenges insurmountable.
We at Dads4Kids salute the mothers of Australia and thank them for the sacrifice that they have made for us as men and for our children.
Start working on your Mother’s Day celebrations now. Your children need to be part of it and then need to see you leading the way. Do something for the mother of your children this week as well. Make a meal for your wife and children. Honour the mother of your children. Mother is indeed the most beautiful word in the English language.
Yours for thanking our mothers and our wives
PS. LAST CHANCE – Train the Trainer applications extended until 6pm, Monday 4th May!!
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