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God won’t give us more than we can handle, so God gives us mothers: Maureen Pratt

Participants attend the opening session of a Vatican conference on protecting life in Rome May 23, 2019. The two-day conference featured experts in the field of prenatal care and medicine as well as religious men and women who offered their perspectives on creating a welcoming and caring environment for expectant mothers and their families. (CNS photo/Robert Duncan)

The pandemic has overshadowed much of the “usual” news in the world, but there is one thing it cannot, absolutely must not, take the spotlight from: Mother’s Day!

In fact, remembering Mother’s Day this year gives us the opportunity to reflect on just how amazing the abilities of mothers are and how grateful we are that through their care we are able to weather this current crisis with more strength, resilience and, especially, love.

Maureen Pratt
Maureen Pratt is a Los Angeles-based author. (CNS photo)

The very nature of mothers speaks to how unique and wonderful a gift they are. No other individuals have harbored us so closely and carefully, and no one knows us quite as well.

Although sometimes we might cringe at just how well our mothers know us — very little escapes their view! — there is nothing like the insight of a mother at a time of discernment or doubt to give us rich food for thought and keep us centered in optimism for the future, to remind us that “this too, shall pass” and “it’ll be all right.”

In this technologically advanced world, mothers are masterful multitaskers. But in this time of pandemic, they have assumed more roles within the family, working alongside fathers as engineers in coordinating domestic logistics, creative chefs in the face of short supplies and long lines at the supermarket and educators as school days have come home.

No task is too small, no territory too unknown; these days have proved mothers to have creativity and problem-solving skills galore, and oh, how we are grateful!

Another amazing attribute of mothers that shines in the darkness of today’s imposed isolation is the ability to anticipate and know how to fulfill needs. Need to know how to help a neighbor? Mom does. Need to find out about the best way to sew a face mask or clean it? Mom, again. Need a particular prayer or just a hug? Mom’s there, probably ahead of the request, and not with one hug, but at least two.

As we reflect on all of the things mothers do and know, we might wonder how they get to be so wise and resourceful. What “school” prepares someone for such an awesome vocation?

The education gap among mothers is shrinking, according to recent Pew Research Center reports. That’s a good thing, when it comes to occupational opportunities and other advancements. Still, I don’t think it tells the whole story. There’s something deeper here, something richer. A “God thing,” a gift.

Moms have an innate sense of knowing that goes beyond anything learned in a book or in a classroom. God blesses mothers with this life intelligence, and so blesses us. God won’t give us more than we can handle, so (my conclusion) God gives us mothers.

Of course, our mothers are human. They have insecurities, fears and imperfections. But this makes their presence in our lives all the more inspiring, from one generation to the next.

Some young women might wonder how they could fulfill the heavy responsibility of being a parent, endure nine months of pregnancy, the excruciating pain of labor, the uncharted waters of protecting and nurturing a vulnerable life or lives in today’s rocky world. It isn’t that they do not want to be mothers, but they wonder if they would be capable, if they “have what it takes.”

“I wondered if I could do it,” say some women in reply. “But, you learn.”

“You’ll make mistakes,” say others.

“But it’ll be all right.”

Encouragement from the heart, strength for today.

God bless mothers for all you do and help us to appreciate them, now and always.