This Mother's Day
Let's Give Thanks To Mother
The Breadwinner

By Carol Head, WEnews contributor

Teddy Bear(WOMENSENEWS)--A heartfelt thanks to all those mothers who are truly terrific providers for their families. Yes, yes, I know I've got this all wrong. It's Mother's Day and I should be congratulating mothers yet again for giving hugs on sad days, kissing scrapped knees and saving toddler's teddy bear from the trash.

But those sugary thanks for scrapped-knee kisses and teddy bear rescues have been done for years, in sweet denial of the most critical work of most moms: Putting food on the table. Paying the rent. Buying the shoes. Paying for summer camp. Paying the doctors bills. For mothers do that, too.

Among all women with children under age 3, 62 percent are in the labor force and 40 percent work full-time. And for that, most moms get not only the challenge of work, but the guilt that goes with it. As Mother's Day is romanticized, we exacerbate her struggle to be both traditional teddy bear-saving mom and breadwinner. On Mother's Day, we pretend this critical breadwinning work of mothers doesn't exist.

Of Bears
And Hugs
Here's Some
To Print Out
For Little Ones
To Color

A Big Bear Hug
For You
For Mom
For Daddy
For Grandma
For Grandpa

How many times have you heard in a reverent whisper, one woman to another, "He's such a great father. He does the wash on weekends and even took his son to the doctor! What a wonderful father!" But have you ever heard the proud whisper, "She's just such a great breadwinner, holding down a full-time job. What a wonderful mother she is!"

This year, I challenge you to turn to a working mom and say, "Thanks for being a good provider for your family!" You'll give her the simple gift of thanks and the enduring gift of guilt relief. And after a moment of startled surprise, you'll get back from that tired mom the warmest teddy bear hug of all time.

Carol Head, the mother of two young sons, is the owner of Los Angeles-based Carol Head Consulting, a specialist in marketing and strategy for businesses experiencing rapid change. She is also a member of the Women's Enews advisory board.

Copyright 2001 Women's Enews

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