Celebrating moms and teachers

Published 9:54 pm Friday, May 11, 2018

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

How often does Mother’s Day fall the weekend after Teacher Appreciation Week? Both holidays are commonly celebrated in early May. Yet it was not until this year that I recognized their close association. I cannot say for sure that Eleanor Roosevelt or the National Parent Teacher Association intended for the reciprocal acknowledgement that takes place between mothers and teachers at this time. It is a well played strategy if I ever saw one. Inasmuch as a teacher takes the time to honor the mother in her children’s lives and vice versa, women demonstrate their mutual support and encouragement to each other.

Support and encouragement are words often used on Mother’s Day cards or programs honoring mothers. The usual greetings are centered on the mother’s character, abilities, her impact on so many lives and well wishes for her to enjoy a great day. All those sentiments are appropriate. A mother deserves to read words of her admirers doting on her during this holiday. These reflections address what she offers her family more than what inspires her to continue her role despite its challenges.

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What if Hallmark cards for Mother’s Day spoke to today’s hardships of peer pressure, identity crisis, heavy social media influence, the disappointing political climate on education and the struggle to preserve family values? It’s a highly demanding time to raise children, and the threats against doing it successfully are increasing at alarming rates. When the occurrences of school shootings and the cost of college admission are on the rise, a mother needs all the support she can get to continue on the path of nurturing, loving, protecting, training and developing her offspring to become well grounded members of society.

Support and encouragement is also needed for those women who mourn the loss of their mothers this Sunday. You can find a minimal number of cards that address sympathy for the woman whose mother who is no longer here. Every mother desires that reassurance that they are making good choices in life. Seasoned mothers provide that confidence to their daughters. When a mother is without her own mother to counsel, encourage and lessen the stress of stewarding children well, the grief can be unbearable. She misses the opportunity to share in Mother’s Day celebrations together with her greatest teacher — her mom.

The greeting card inventory may not address these needs, but that does not have to be a hindrance for you. If you know a mother who could use an encouraging message for Mother’s Day that is real and honest commentary, here’s a sample note for you.

“Dear Mother, I see you. I know the environment where you do your best work is not conducive to ease of developing your children. Be encouraged. These lives have been entrusted to your care by God because He saw you fit to lead them. You bring honor to Him as you steward these precious gifts. This Mother’s Day, your faithfulness is celebrated and you are appreciated.”

Wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in our community.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.