My mother never missed a visit. She never missed a phone call.
Visits occurred every other Sunday. My mother was always there to greet me.
Phone calls were every Monday. My mother was by the phone waiting to pick up.
When I was arrested and put in prison, I became her number one focus. She actively shifted a lot of things in her schedule, so she could devote more time to me.
She taught music lessons to bring in necessary income for the family. When I was arrested, she shifted student schedules so she was able to give attention to me when my father could not.
She was actively involved in extra curricular activities at her local church. When I was arrested, she asked to be released from those duties so she could more fully attend to my needs.
She often engaged in local musical events, such as operas. She ceased to participate in musical events, so she could focus on me.
My mother literally set aside career, friends, and hobbies for me.
I mention this because we have made a major societal shift to the family structure, the basic unit of society. For over 40 years, society has measured worth by successful careers, rather than successful families. For over 40 years, society has decided mothers can “have it all.” Mothers can have the dream career and the perfect family. Maybe some can, but the evidence would indicate otherwise.
“It is true that there are significant differences between groups of breadwinning mothers based on their backgrounds and where they live. But while there are differences across the country and within groups of women, one overarching fact remains indisputably true: With the majority of women working for pay, and their earnings being so vital to the economic well-being of their families, the days of full-time, stay-at-home mothers are long past.”
What has accompanied this decrease in fully engaged mothers?
Teen suicide rates are at an all time high. Suicide rates amongst teen girls are higher than they have been in 40 years.
Teen depression rates are at an all time high. Last year alone there has been a 37% increase in the depression rate. Over a ten year period, the depression rate has steadily inclined.
Over 12% of our population from the ages of 16 to 24 are neither enrolled in school nor working.
Sexual promiscuity and pornography have become commonplace and acceptable practices in society. A recent study from the UK found that 97% of adolescent males had viewed pornography, with the large majority admitting to an addiction, and the same portion admitting it effected their ability to connect with peers.
Furthermore, we are witnessing some of the most deadly mass shootings in our recent history. Mass shooters are planning out their attacks with cold calculation and seemingly playing a game to see who can amass the most casualties.
Many would argue crime stats are down, but that has more do with decreased face-to-face communication. Some in the rising generations have admitted they feel a closer kinship with their electronic devices, rather than humans.
Our children are becoming lost, trying to stay afloat in a world that offers endless life purposes without much fulfillment. They are filling with bitterness, anxiety, depression, and rage. One only needs to read the comments section of their latest CNN article to see how strangers are generally treated, when the chances of consequences are unlikely.
Dr. Dilulio’s super predator theory of 1991 has been mocked because of recent crime statistics. Maybe he was not wrong. Maybe the “super predator” just took a different form then he suggested.
Perhaps, rather than rising crime rates, the super predator turned in on itself, becoming increasingly disconnected from the world, withdrawing into pornography and violent media, failing to make anything of itself, spiraling into deep depression, and then either committing suicide or carrying out nefarious massacres.
Coming back to the influence of a mother, mine was instrumental in keeping me from traveling that path. I look back on myself just before I was arrested and can see so many of the same traits as these adolescents who have done terrible things.
Because my mother made sacrifices to give her full attention to me, during a time when I did not care to have her attention, it changed me. I did not listen to her at first, but I began to listen. I rejected her love at first, but I began to accept it. I wanted to have nothing to do with her at first, but I began to love her too.
I have heard that every kid is one caring adult away from becoming a wonderful adult. I would like to amend that statement. Every kid is one attentive and caring mother away from becoming a wonderful adult.
Might I humbly suggest that we ponder on how we can support our mothers in the MOST IMPORTANT work of society.
Mothers, are your children your first priority, or are there things that come before them?
Husbands, do we consistently provide love and support to our wives? Do we seek to become the sole breadwinner of our homes, so our wives might remain with our children throughout the day?
Children, do we listen to our mothers? Do we let them know we appreciate all they do for us?
Siblings, do we help our sisters who are mothers?
Friends, do we lend words of encouragement to our friends who are mothers?
Placing emphasis on the importance of mothers, and cherishing the dedication of stay-at-home, yet very busy, mothers will not eliminate all tragedy in this world. At the end of the day, we all have our freedom to choose. Even those in very stable households will choose to rebel against them.
However, placing emphasis on the importance of mothers will certainly reduce tragedy in this world. More engaged mothers could bring teen suicide rates down. More engaged mothers could bring teen depression rates down. More engaged mothers could deter pornography addiction. More engaged mothers could reduce sexual promiscuity and promote virtue. More engaged mothers could reshape society.
I know this because one such mother helped to change me and raised the family that surrounded me with love at a time when I deserved disdain.
I know this because I am currently married to one and am raising such a family with her.
What can we do to help the mothers in our lives?