The month of March (31 days to be exact) is not enough time to highlight women contributions to our city and country, especially urban mothers, who were having “hard-times” before Wall Street cried “Ouch!”
Following Women’s History Month, during this month of April, I honor not just women who happened to have physically given birth, but those who have chosen to raise, nurture and mold mankind with “tough-love” methods. Since public safety is a major issue in the urban communities of Chicago, safety begins at home. For once a woman decides to bring a child into this world, or makes the commitment to become a legal guardian or foster parent, a new career begins.
Like “career exploration,” a mother in her lifetime will have many job titles. These job responsibilities represent a lifetime commitment and all are full-time jobs, with zero paid holidays or personal business days. Mothers don’t have sick-days to stay home from work and get paid. President Obama has made history by starting a women’s group to help women in our nation highlight their major issues. Hopefully, this will help mothers.
This job – motherhood – is the most important job in the world. Remember, mothers do not attend school to receive formal training for their jobs. They receive “on-the-job” training and those strong mothers who have “mother-wit,” gut instinct or just plain common sense, assume the responsibilities for new careers.
Strong mothers are also cashiers and loan officers. My mother, Viola, always seems to have some money stashed away. At the end of the week, when everyone was broke mom always, somehow, had monies to loan us and the preacher. All of us had income five times higher than she did. Without checking any written financial report, mom always knew when we could afford that new outfit, or when we had better wait until next month.
Tough-love mothers make life miserable for their offspring by insisting that they always tell the truth. Truth hurts sometimes, but it will set you free in mind. Tough-love mothers don’t buy expensive clothes or gym shoes for their children just to keep-up with the fads. They don’t allow their grown children or teenagers to stay with her without working on a legitimate job or going to school to better themselves. After six months of doing nothing, they put them out with gusto.
Strong mothers, for example, may be sick, but get out of the sick bed to care for their children. She pulls out some castor oil, cod liver oil, boils some concoction on the stove or hot-plate, and tells you to just hold your nose, drink it, and you’ll feel better in the morning.
Finally, strong mothers have also earned degrees in law and criminology. In their families they are the prosecuting and defense attorneys, judge and jury. They defend their children, prosecute them, decide the verdict and execute the sentence (I still feel the spankings. I was hard-headed).
Strong mothers can put the Chicago city council, state’s attorney and the Chicago and Illinois criminal justice system to shame for putting their heads in the sand against drug-related-gang shootings, which kill innocent urban school children.
Strong, beautiful mothers, I will always love and respect you.