Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! Nobody loves us like our mothers, right? The quote “A face only a mother could love” is a testament to the staying power of motherly love. A mother’s love and nurturing are often taken for granted. Remembering the significance of mothers in our society is a big reason that mother’s day was first established by Anna Marie Jarvis. She was a West Virginian by the way.
Social research has studied the influence of mothers on child development. Results show that if it weren’t for mothers, there would be no children! All kidding aside, child development studies show that the mother-child bond is vital to a child’s later success as an adult. Researchers have found that the mother-child bond, which begins even before birth, plays a key role in a child’s ability to cope with stress. A child who grows up in a stressful environment that has a strong and healthy bond with his mother will do better than a child who is raised in a safe and structured environment yet has no stable relationship with his mother. Children who have a strong attachment to their mothers show greater levels of confidence, achievement, and self-esteem when compared to children with weak mother-child bonds.
This is understandable, and clearly evident if you observe toddlers with their mothers. Toddlers use their mothers as a “secure base of operations” from which they explore their surroundings. Toddlers venture out when they are confident their mothers are in charge and protecting them. As children mature, they are still looking for their mother’s reassurance. This is taken for granted when consistently provided; much like we take for granted the earth is stable under our feet. That’s how important a mother’s love is in our lives.
It’s not until we are older that we fully appreciate the secure base provided by our mothers. Not until we’ve used that base as a launching pad for our journey as adults. Once away from the home, the place usually made “home” by your mother, you see and understand all the work she put into loving you. A friend of mine recently reminisced with me about a birthday cake his mother made when his birthday came on Easter. He said she made a cake in the shape of a bunny just for him when he was about seven years old. He was one of six children, so this special attention meant a lot.
I understand, because I also got special birthday cakes. Any occasion that was supposed to be special was made so through my mother’s efforts. Holidays, birthdays, and achievements were celebrated because mom took the time and effort to make it happen. Mom was (and is) the best cheering section anyone could have. Many of you could probably agree. This is what mom’s do for us, they give us a secure base and then they give us encouragement and tell us “you can do it!”
Take a few minutes to remember how much your mother does (I don’t say “did” because a mother’s influence goes on and on) for you; the sacrifices made, the hours spent devoted to making your life comfortable, and the constant efforts to let you know you are valued and loved. If she is still in your life, tell her what you are thankful for that she gave you. If she has already passed on, thank God for the blessings you received through her life.
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