Thankful 365 Days a Year for Mom and Dad - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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June 21, 2020

Thankful 365 Days a Year for Mom and Dad

During May and June, two closely related holidays appear annually on the calendar. They remind me of the inequity of my parents’ relationship with my siblings and me. We live in a family where Mom works in the home and Dad goes to a job outside the house.

May brings a holiday that millions of mothers would agree is one of their favorites of the year. On this day of relaxation and enjoyment, mothers are showered with attention by their kids who may try to express their gratitude for her by making breakfast in bed, drawing some cute cards, picking flowers or buying some small gifts.

Just a flip of a calendar page and a few short weeks later in the month of June, we see a similar holiday called Father’s Day. Minus the flowers and plus a tie or two, dads everywhere get to experience the glorious benefits of a day dedicated to them. Although Mother’s Day and Father’s Day last only two out of 365 days a year, sons and daughters young and old enjoy this set time to express their gratitude for all that their parents do for them.

Growing up, I remember the coming of Mother’s Day. On this annual occasion, I, along with my siblings, would wake up early to prepare our Mom a scrumptious breakfast. As meal preparation commenced, we all promised to each other that we would try to hold back from fighting or from causing arguments throughout the whole day, just for mom.

With too many cooks in the kitchen, this promise normally didn’t last an hour before some type of argument arose about who would cook the eggs or who would pour the orange juice. With the meal finished, we would place it on a tray, tip toe to our Mom’s bedroom and surprise her with breakfast in bed.

Throughout the day, we would take on the job of mothering and try to make this one day special for her. Taking care of my younger siblings, cleaning the house, making dinner, and washing dishes were only a few jobs involved.

Being a one-day mother, I quickly learned a few cold hard facts. Taking care of kids is a full-time job. Cleaning the house means cleaning messes made all throughout the day. Making dinner starts from the time you wake up until the time you eat it at night. And washing dishes is a job that simply never ends.

By the end of the day, I realized how difficult being a mother actually was. That little breakfast we made for Mother’s Day was a delicious gesture of gratitude, but in comparison to all that our Mom does for us 365 days a year, it seemed like quite a small display of thanks.

For Father’s Day, the parental job description is a bit different and, unfortunately, taking on some of our Dad’s responsibilities for the day would be impossible. Our father works eight plus hours at his job and then comes home to do work around the house, on cars, or mowing the lawn. This inventory also doesn’t include the time he spends taking kids to sports practices, helping his wife out when she needs it and talking with his kids if they may need some advice or guidance. A father does so much in a day to support, provide, and care for his family. With us unable to take on our Dad’s responsibilities on Father’s Day, the next best thing we could give him is breakfast in bed, prepare a homecooked meal, write him a nice card, and shower him with gifts and candy. By the end of the day, he certainly wasn’t complaining.

When looking at all we did to celebrate our Mom on Mother’s Day and our Dad on Father’s Day, I couldn’t help but feel I was giving hardly anything in exchange for so much that my parents consistently do for me. In comparison, I felt like that nasty little kid at school who tricks other unassuming kids to trade their day-old sandwich for a brand-new candy bar. It just felt so unfair to my parents.

Besides, for all the regular housework a stay-at-home parent does and the challenges a go-to-work parent takes on in order to raise children, there is a lot that children cannot take on ourselves. We can’t shop for groceries or pay bills. We aren’t able to help do the job at the office or worksite. And still parents love us and put their hearts into the role of parenting.

The love and dedication my parents show every day cannot be replaced by my siblings or me. Our Mom and Dad take care of us physically and emotionally. They lovingly support, care for and comfort us 365 days a year. They love us even when we had attitudes about completing chores. They love us even when they are stressed about the many things they had to do. They love us when we are happy, sad, healthy, sick, laughing and crying. They love when we are in trouble and in need of advice or assistance in a tough situation. They love us night and day for 365 days a year…no matter what.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are not just about the long days and hard work that moms and dads everywhere complete (although we can be sure they do). It is about the long- lasting love and commitment that they have for their children.

Parents spends 365 days a year on taking care of, loving, and being mother and father to their children. As another Mother’s Day and another Father’s Day pass by, I realize that one day is simply too short to celebrate all that mothers and fathers do for their children all year long, despite the heartfelt expressions of appreciation.

With parents everywhere providing an unconditional love and devotion to kids all year long, I do not want to only cherish them two days out of twelve months. I want to be thankful for moms and dads all year long…no matter what… for 365 days a year.  

-Abigail Forton '22

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Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash