On Sunday, May 9, we will celebrate the 113th anniversary of Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day was started to celebrate mothers, maternal bonds, motherhood, and the influence of mothers in society. In the United States the practice began in the early 20th Century. The first celebration took place in 1908 when Anna Jarvis organized a memorial for her mother at St. Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.
Motherhood is important. It is sometimes more difficult than it need be, however, because of the extra burdens often placed on women. It is assumed that women raise the children, even when fathers are in the home. When things go awry with the children, the women, i.e., mothers, are frequently blamed.
In the Black community, it is interesting to see the many magazine articles and social media posts that loudly glorify fathers who, for one reason or another, end up taking care of their children. It should be a given that fathers share in the nurturing of their offspring, but they are broadly applauded. Women, on the other hand, are not always lauded for responsible parenting; they are usually taken for granted.
It is said that more than 70 percent of children in the Black community are raised in single, female-headed households. This is typically blamed on mothers, ignoring the fact that relationships consist of two people, both a mother and a father. It takes two to produce a child, yet the expectation is that the burden is disproportionately placed on mothers.
Surely the dysfunction that is evident in Black communities has at least some of its origins in the fact that a lot of fathers are not in the home. Coupled with this is the situation where many men sire multiple children that they are not able to support. Once again, this leaves women with the extra burden of taking care of the home and children.
Another factor in the family equation is that absent fathers leave children, both male and female, with a vacuum when it comes to the function of motherhood. A boy who is raised solely by his mom may miss the opportunity to see how mothers should be treated. In this regard, he may grow up with love for his mother, but because he lacked the opportunity to see how a mother should be treated by her man, he may not have an understanding of how this should be played out in his relationships with women.
Now, let’s examine what motherhood really means. Essentially, mothering is related to the idea of nurturing. Just think, everyone resided in the womb of a woman before making an entrée into society. The mother’s body provided all of the sustenance the fetus required.
As will probably come to be better understood in the future, the mother also provided a psychological and emotional framework for the unborn child. If the mother, for instance, is subjected to trauma during the child’s gestation period, it will certainly have an impact on the child’s development. This is because emotions cause chemical changes in the body, and the developing fetus is most likely impacted by them.
The mother’s influence on her unborn child is the reason some women read to their unborn children. Others sing to them. And others actually talk to them. So, the very first communication that a human being experiences is with the mother. She sets the parameters for what the child will encounter once he or she leaves the womb.
All of this sums up to the idea that motherhood provides the foundation for how a child will learn to love and care for others. These others include their own family members as well as residents of their communities.
In this regard, it can be seen that the gang problems in some Black communities might be directly related to the issue of nurturing, or lack of it, because mothers who do as much as they can, sometimes without the support of significant others, may end up stressed out. This impacts the child. In these instances, she might demonstrate a less than nurturing personality.
This is why it is important to ensure as much as possible that mothers are provided with the best possible support during pregnancy, because it is becoming more and more apparent that society is created in the womb.
With this said, the Crusader wishes all mothers a very happy and successful Mother’s Day holiday. A Luta Continua.