The Importance of Motherhood

Abraham Lincoln is famous for saying, “All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

There were two women he called mother, his own “angel mother”, who died when Lincoln was 9 years old, and his step-mother who also had a powerful, uplifting influence in his life. It wasn’t prestige, wealth, or social prominence that caused the deep feeling of reverence and respect Abraham had for his mothers. Though uneducated and illiterate herself, his step-mother Sarah Bush Johnston, helped nurture his love of reading. After marriage to Abraham’s widower father, Thomas Lincoln, she turned their shabby, dirt floor house into a home by immediately setting to work on arrangements for flooring and infusing hope into their lives. Abraham and Sarah shared a tight bond throughout her life. To him, she was the person who saw who he could become and ever encouraged his success.

“All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”- these weren’t casual, meaningless words for Abraham Lincoln. But the general feeling of love and appreciation for mother is , of course, not unique to the president.

Mothers are a powerful influence for good, a strength and bulwark for society.

Studies consistently show that having a mother who is present, nurturing, concerned, and involved does a world of good in a young child’s life. A 2012 study from Washington University School of Medicine actually  found that children who received warm, maternal nurturing in early childhood ended to develop a larger hippocampus- the learning, memory, and stress response center in the brain (Dryden, 2012). A mother like this holds many jobs. She acts as a teacher, a comforter, a nurse, and a mediator. Her job requires an understanding of medicine, psychology, math, management, cooking, cleaning, interior design, exceptional leadership skills, and undying patience to name a few. No mother is perfect, and this too can benefit a child, as they learn to deal with struggles and imperfections in life.

Whether a mother can stay home full-time with her children or works during the day, her job as a mother has a moral importance that stands above the roles that any source of money can offer. So many mothers know how it feels to sacrifice and work tirelessly for the love of their child. They deal with the tedious and heart-breaking moments, but they do not see raising children as a burden. To them it is a matter of love.  

There are activist groups that don’t support the value of mothers to children and society or even agree with the existence of mothers in the traditional role. Despite the knowledge from child development research on the necessity of an attachment with a nurturing parent, there are those who believe that children are nothing more than a burden to women. The care of children, they assert, deprives women of the chance to reach the “real” important positions in life and levels of comfortable living. In doing so, they discredit the impactful and noteworthy qualities that women uniquely have and the fundamental role of a mother in every child’s life.

Women feel that the majority of society does not recognize the position of a “stay-at-home- mom” as a real job. Some of society views it as selfish on the part of the mother, or even degrading to a woman. However, as almost every person who babysits for a long period of time soon learns, working a job may likely be easier. Women who decide to stay home choose to do so because of their desire to provide the best nurturing and education of their young children, as the woman who is most important in their child’s life. Many mothers whose situation does not allow them to do this and must work a job, still center their focus on their home and the raising of their children- to their life-long benefit.

When the main priority is the wellbeing of children and the happiness of the family as a whole- the unpaid but rewarding job of a mother becomes much more crucial. We must see the roles of “stay-at-home” mothers as perfectly equal to the role of the breadwinner in achieving that priority.

Motherhood is a role, and in some opinion’s a calling, that is sublime, essential, and profound. How much we all owe to our “angel mothers”.

For articles and research on mother’s essential role visit:

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References:

Dryden, J. (2012) Mom’s love good for a child’s brain. The Source: Medicine and Health, Retrieved from

https://source.wustl.edu/2012/01/moms-love-good-for-childs-brain/.

MacLean, M. (2012, Oct 28). Sarah Bush Lincoln. Retrieved from: http://www.civilwarwomenblog.com/sarah-bush-lincoln/

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