Young moms — warriors and heroes

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Exactly twenty years ago on Mother’s Day 2004, I wrote here in The Citizen about young mothers as warriors and heroes. Obviously, a lot has happened since then,including the fact that my two daughters and my daughter-in-law are now young mothers with small children.

I would like to repeat a good deal of that article here again on Mother’s Day 2024, and dedicate it to my two daughters and daughter-in-law, for now they, and all the current young mothers with small children, are most definitely the today’s warriors and heroes.

I began that 2004 article with this question.

Which answer does not belong in the category of “warriors and heroes?”

a. Football players

b. Pat Tillman (you can read about him in the next paragraph)

c. Young mothers with small children

The Answer: a.

Jim Rhome, the nationally broadcast sports-talk personality both in 2004 and still today, said back then that far too often football players are called “warriors and heroes,” which they, of course, are neither in the true sense of the words.

Rhome eulogized Pat Tillman, the professional football player who walked away from millions of dollars to join the Army Rangers after 9/11 and was killed in action in Afghanistan. Rhome stated emphatically that Tillman should rightfully and respectfully be declared a true warrior and hero. We can still all say, “Amen to that.”

But there’s a third answer in the quiz above, isn’t there? As we celebrate Mother’s Day, I believe that it can be stated emphatically that mothers with small children should also be declared true warriors and heroes. And we can all say, “Amen to that.”

No job is tougher than to be the mother of small children. I believe that. No job is tougher. Not the President of the United States nor any head of state. No job is tougher. Not the CEO of any multi-national multi-billion-dollar corporation. No job is tougher. Not jobs with hard labor nor jobs with tremendous responsibility. No job is tougher.

With all due respect, maybe not even our brave fighting men and women for the cause of freedom around the world. No job is tougher than to be the mother of small and young children. And no job is more important.

Warriors and heroes. That’s what you are, mothers of young children, you who have given life to and now give your life for your children. Warriors and heroes. Rightfully and respectfully we declare you to be this and we honor you for your bravery, tenacity, sacrifice, and service.

Now, we dads have a privilege and a role and a responsibility in all this too, of course. Bit still in my experience and in my observation, I believe that you moms have made the greater sacrifice with few exceptions.

What makes your job so hard? What is there about this motherhood thing that draws such love and admiration and respect? What do you do that is so warrior-like and heroic?

Well, you mothers know that answer deep in your heart, and yet you almost never use it or point it out or ask for sympathy because of it. It seems to me that what makes your life so warrior-like and heroic is that you’re always, always, always on duty. Even our troops rotate and get some R&R.

You moms never have a full day or a full hour, and rarely a full minute when you’re not on the front line, loving and caring and nurturing and curing and protecting and defending and providing and enabling and sustaining and supervising and guarding and watching and shepherding and fostering and cherishing and directing and managing and safekeeping and chaperoning. And praying for and with your children.

Now, as wonderful as that all is, it is exhausting and draining. No job is harder than mothers, warriors and heroes, with small children.

And the extended miracle is that you moms don’t despair and de-compensate, at least not for long. Oh, every once in a while you’ll throw the kids at their dad in your temporary exhaustion and despair. Every once in a while you’ll fall to a knee and give in to a tear. But the setback is only temporary. Before too long, you’re re-grouped and resolved and back in action. Mothers with young children, warriors and heroes.

So we honor you again on this Mother’s Day, as we honor mothers everywhere at every stage of the mothering continuum. Please know we respect you. We admire you. We acknowledge you. We hold you in the highest esteem.

May God shower His love and strength and peace upon you, as we know He will.

Keep up the good work. Thank you.

And, of course, we love you.

Happy Mother’s Day, true warriors and heroes.

And we all say, “Amen to that.”

[Dr. Justin Kollmeyer, a thirty-seven year resident of Fayette County, is a retired Lutheran pastor. He offers his preaching and teaching pastoral ministry to any church or group seeking or needing a Christ centered, Biblically based, and traditionally grounded sermon or teaching. Reach him at justin.kollmeyer@gmail.com.]