As I approach Mothers' Day this year, two sentences stand out.
One, "I don't know how she does it" is something my wife exclaims about our daughter at home with a 19-month-old monkey-child daughter and a 6-month-old carry-me-please son. The other, "it takes a village to raise a child" is a reminder we all have heard many times about the importance of good community life for the healthy nurture of children.
Although some mothers may really "do it" alone, most rely on and benefit from a pretty good network of help and support, including wider family, friends, church-based and neighbourhood-based support groups, day care, books and parenting research and resources, as well as husband and other children.
Mothering is a communal and community phenomenon as well as a matter of individual home and household care. As the up-front, hands-on, 24/7 person Mom does stand alone in significant ways; but there is also an active mothering impulse in human community (at its best) that gets acted out around and behind Mom, and at times in Mom's place.
So three questions:
1. God bless Moms, and how can we express gratitude for them?
2. God bless human community, and how can we participate in the role of providing support around, behind, and even sometimes in place of other mothers, in helping to care about and care for the children of our larger community?
3. What biblical stories or verses come to mind in this regard?