The Impact of a Mother ~ From a Variety of Perspectives

I am not a mother.  However, as Mother’s Day approached this year, I thought of multiple conversations I’ve had with mothers over the past few years.

  • Conversations with new mothers that are in the midst of raising little children and have no time for themselves.
  • Conversations with stay at home mothers that feel like they are frequently treated as if they are less intelligent, less creative, or have less to contribute to our world because they don’t have a full-time job outside of the home.
  • Conversations with mothers in blended families, as they work to be peacemakers that are consistent, fair and explainable in all they do.
  • Conversations with mothers that are a guiding light when their families go through trememdous change.
  • Conversations with mothers that haverecently lost a child.
  • Conversations with mothers that are raising children with cognitive challenges, health issues, mental health challenges…

As I think about the mothers and grandmothers I admire, these traits float to the top:

Engaged By A Stranger In The Midst Of Change

Three months ago my husband boarded a flight that would take him across the world to a place he’d never seen, to start a new position, and to prepare for the rest or our little family to join him.

After that flight took off a little boy toddled down the isle of the plane, stopped at my husband’s seat and lifted both of his arms in a sweet gesture that communicated his desire to be held.  

Will you stand next to our veterans?

Today is October 11, 2012.  In one month our nation will celebrate Veterans Day in honor of those who have sacrificed precious time with their families, their physical safety and often their mental well-being, and so we can live in a free country.


Over the past several weeks I have had many unexpected conversations with mothers of returning veterans, with spouses of returning veterans, and with people who provide services to veterans.  In every case they have emphasized the enormous struggles these men and women are facing:  

Broken? You Can’t Have an Omelet Without First Breaking the Eggs

Oliver TveitMy Grandfather was a WWII Battle of the Bulge Veteran and although his nature was to accept whatever life handed him and to move on, the memories of the brokenness and devastation that the war created left a shadow of questions that haunted him.

Broken Egg

For years he did his best to cope, while raising a large family and tending to a farm.  When his youngest grandchildren started asking about the war he found some healing by sharing stories with family and fellow veterans, but the questions themselves remained.

In 2004, 60 years after the battle he accompanied a number of veterans back to those battlefields. Considering the devastation of the homes, the cities and the lives that were directly impacted by the battles, grandpa was not sure what kind of a welcome they would receive.  Much to his surprise, everywhere they went they were treated as heroes!