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By Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D., Kansas City, MO –

Motherhood is tough today in many unprecedented ways compared to the challenges of motherhood in past generations. With the technological advances in society has come many negative forces vying for our children’s time and attention, competing with parents when it comes to shaping values and behavior. These challenges of motherhood today are  a common tie that binds across race, ethnicity, and culture.

mother with stroller

Mothers, who expect to have a realistic possibility of nurturing another human being into one with great values, an excellent awareness of self, empathy, and concern for ones neighbor, ones community, as well as the betterment of humanity, face some threatening challenges from infancy to young adulthood. So frequently, where there exist good conditions and great choices for children, there are as many negative ones lurking nearby.

Good and bad influences exist from what children encounter in the playgrounds to what’s brought into the family room by tv, as well as the Internet, in higher amounts and multiple doses. Previously, mothers were just concerned about their childs untimely exposure to things like sex, and drugs. Now, there’s the specter of firearms, arbitrary abductions, sexual exploitation, as well as other acts of wanton violence perpetrated by crazed grownups and children alike that cannot be dismissed.

It appears that with most human progress comes the additional appeal to the base within us. Consider television for example. Yes, we can have more stations, and more informative programming which is beneficial to kids and adults. But, we also have unbelievable access to undesirable stations by satellite and cable, where profanity abounds, unprecedented nudity and sex are in plain view for children to see. The Internet also offers its positive and negative sides with chat rooms, Facebook, along with other social media which is often used to the detriment of our children.

mother and child on the beachWhat are we doing as a society to support the efforts of motherhood? Support means more than making sure kids are physically fed, clothed, and placed. What obligation do we share to do things that strengthen exposing and cultivating great principles in children, powerful work ethics, regard for others, ones community, as well as the sanctity of human life?

Motherhood cannot be successful in a vacuum. Our moms and grandmothers understood that. And they shared the duty in raising not only their kids, but in addition their neighbors kids. Back then, there may not have been the convenience of technology, but encouragement and admiration for the occupation of raising kids abounded.

For those among us who profited from that practice of common duty of motherhood would do nicely to recall and carry it on.

There’s a great deal to the old adage, Your mom is going to be there for you no matter what. And generally moms are, unless there are a few extenuating circumstances, like physical or mental sickness, extreme substance or alcohol addiction or, too frequently, misplaced priorities.

But mothers who choose the function or take the job thrust upon them assume and carry out the responsibility of being the adhesive that keeps it all together, if it is a conventional family, a hybrid or extended family.

In many regards, and in spite of our progress in many, many areas, the work of motherhood is tough today and has gotten considerably more demanding. And the African proverb that, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is more important and more needed than ever.

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Motherhood Is Tough Today

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Janice Ellis
Janice Ellis
Janice S. Ellis, PhD, is an award-winning author. Her book, From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other major book sellers. She has written a column for newspapers, radio, and now online, where she analyzes educational, political, social and economic issues across race, ethnicity, age and socio-economic status. You can see her writings on this website.

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