As we celebrate Mothers Day on May 14, I would like to write a short piece about the important roles of the mothers in our lives. We are all familiar with the saying, “The mother is the light of the home.” I do believe this comes from Proverbs Chapter 6: “…Forsake not the law of thy mother…for the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light.” As the light of the home, our mothers constantly guide us, especially in dark times. She offers that wisdom to help us make the right choices in our lives.
I wish to emphasize at this point the importance of accepting all forms of motherhood. There isn’t a perfect way to be a mother. Mothers are in unique situations: some don’t have husbands, others live with female partners, some are in conventional family structures, others are raising their children with the help of the “village”, some are stay-at-home moms, others go to work, etc. Mothers also have unique skill sets and challenges. Their children, too, are very different. All of these situations are valid. The important thing is that a mother loves her children deeply. A mother’s role is to love her children with all her heart.
It is also the role of every mom to understand her children. When a child feels this, he or she learns to trust the parent(s) better. Listening is crucial to understanding. Therefore, it is very important that mothers learn to really listen to their children. Shama is a Hebrew word that means “to hear intelligently”. Mothers must exercise shama to understand, help and love the child.
One of the most meaningful roles that a mother plays is the role of nurturer. This word is sometimes taken synonymously with the word “mother”. When a mother nurtures her children well, love and goodness are awakened in the children’s hearts. Because of our mothers’ love, we learn to love, as well and we feel God’s love more profoundly.
Mothers are trusted by God, because souls are entrusted in their care. To realize this is to realize the crucial role that mothers play in the lives of their children. She has great influence over them, which is why mothers need to exercise wisdom and righteousness throughout the days of her life—a task that can be quite daunting. But motherhood comes with this great responsibility.
These are some of our mothers’ roles, but what about our roles? Our mothers deserve all the love for risking their life in childbirth, raising us through difficult times, and constantly guiding and loving us. For all these, we should give them our gratitude, our respect and our trust. We should listen to them and constantly help them in whatever way we can.
Let us learn from our own mother the lessons of courage, strength and hope. She who bears a divine role not only in our lives, but also in our society and in the world.