Look at the checklist below (please be sure to ‘download pictures’). Surely we can add our own transgressions that we inflicted on our long suffering mothers. I’ll chip in one from our family history. We typically were a family of six who went to church together each week. One Sunday, for whatever the reason, my dad and the boys attended early Mass by ourselves, and my mom and sister, then about five years old, went later in the morning. My sister, according to family lore, was a strong-headed rebel who listened to no one. On this Sunday she was playing this role brilliantly – noisily twisting, turning, and climbing all over the pew to the distraction of all around her. My mom, trying to keep the beast child under control with little success, resorted to a little social shaming. “Honey,” she whispered, leaning over while the congregation knelt. “You have to be quiet. GOD is on the altar.” My sister stopped squirming, stood up on the seat, and bellowed “Poo poo, God!” My mother was mortified. She swore to (and probably at) my dad that “that kid can become a heathen before I do that again!”

In this month of May, we thank our mothers for all of the hard work, sacrifice, guidance and love they brought to our lives, sometimes quietly, sometimes ferociously. As adult children, we lament the dumb and selfish (and mortifying) times when we made our mother’s already hard job harder. As husbands and fathers, we should use this month to assess how well we are honoring, helping, and partnering with the mothers of our children in the most critically important role they have. And we should also assess how well we are instilling in our kids the love, respect, gratitude and support for their mothers that they so richly deserve.

My mother gave her ninety-six years to her kids. We remember her with smiles, laughs and tears. And always will.

So Sorry, Mom

Families and Poverty

In March, I offered my perspectives on the linkages between fatherlessness and poverty particularly during a crisis like that we are experiencing with Covid-19. Below, Professor Bradford Wilcox of the Institute for Family Studies presents a scholarly assessment of families and poverty. Those who like data, charts and graphs will be pleased to review his work. One excerpt:

I would like to see a campaign organized around what Brookings Institution scholars Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill have called the “success sequence,” in which young adults are encouraged to pursue education, work, marriage, and parenthood in that order. Ninety-seven percent of young adults today who have followed this sequence are not poor. – W. Bradford Wilcox


G Speaks

Garry Gobb, former Eagles great and TV and radio sports personality, talks about a lot more than Xs and Os. Listen to G on Moms AND Dads: Working Together. The beauty of two people working together in the most important job – raising our children.

Click her for G’s Fathers & Families video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgNkIg7LBwY