Mother’s Day 2013

Yes – we love our Mothers here in New Zealand. Out come the chocolates…the brunches…the special dinners…the flowers! Well, for some of us, anyway. I have to say I was very blessed with my family taking me to lunch – even if I did have to pay for my son, who yet again, had lost his EftPos card!

Yeah … Right!!! So the Tui commercial says!

Mothers have had the grace given to them to birth and nurture and bring forth into the world. What an awesome privilege. And it is not only our biological mothers I am referring to here. There are many wonderful women who have not had the pleasure of giving birth to their own children, but who, in many other ways, have helped in the raising of young people. Do we really, I mean, Really! appreciate our mothers?

Many young women I have spoken to, say it is only when they became mums themselves that they realised how awesome their  own mother actually was, and still is. Why is it we don’t value and appreciate people at the time they possibly need it most from us – as we are growing up?

Well, we are not alone in this, mothers.* Maybe it’s because we expect things to be the way they are, until we have to actually do the work ourselves. Then we really find out the commitment that our predecessors have actually made. And with every generation changing so much, we can’t always know what it was like for them, anyway.

I don’t think my daughter will ever realise that disposable nappies were a luxury we used only on special occasions, or when she started daycare! She has never had to lift nappy buckets to the tub or hang out twenty-four nappies on the line at a time, only to have to bring them all in as the rain threatened!

My son doesn’t understand that being unemployed means you have no choice in where you live, and it might mean you have to catch buses when you haven’t got money for a tank of gas! And heaven forbid – it might even mean you can’t have SKY!

But, this is not intended to be a beat up on the younger generation. It is just a viewpoint from which we possibly don’t see life too often. Our kids are different to us. We have built a society that doesn’t automatically honour their elders. How should they know – they have a school system that allows them to keep secrets from their parents! Medical advice they should be getting from their parents and family doctors is being delivered to them with their ‘right to privacy’.

I was stunned when I read this week of school students complaining that their parents shouldn’t be allowed online access to school data showing whether they are actually attending school or not! Um – hello!!! We pay your school fees and believe you when you go off in the morning in your school uniform that you will actually be attending classes all day. What was worse, the schools said they empathised with the students and said they have shielded their privacy, and parents will not be allowed to see if they have skipped classes or not! I thought this was just unbelievable.

As a mother (fortunately of young adults already through the education system) I was stunned with the teacher’s response. And I am a teacher! Isn’t honesty a value we honour anymore? Aren’t our children encouraged to honour their parents and their teachers?

I would love to hear comments from others about this area of our education system, when children’s rights seem to be superior to parent’s rights. I don’t remember ever being asked to sign over my motherhood to the school when I enrolled them. I value the input of mothers – and father’s, but it’s not your special day today! If there is some reason for concern and I want to check my child is being honest with me and actually attending class, surely I have a right to find that out!

I am all for 21st century learning and all that online education can give our students (I have a Masters specialising in it). But, I am not sure, now as a grandmother to a delightful 5 year old just starting his education journey, that I am ready to accept some of the 21st century values our children are being encouraged to have at school.

Is it because people don’t have a set of moral guidelines they can measure up against anymore? If our government doesn’t like something, they enact a law to make their opinions ‘right’ in the wider community. As people get used to changes, they stop questioning the basis for change, and moral values seem to start the slippery slide.

I prefer to use my moral guidebook – the one that hasn’t changed for over 2000 years, and is as applicable today as it was then. If changes measure up against the Bible, then I am pretty sure they are good for us as a society. But to know if they measure up, you have to know this book. Knowing does not mean reading the old King James version verbatim – but reading, understanding, discussing with fellow believers, and building a relationship with the creator Himself. When you have done all this, then you can have an informed opinion about whether the Bible measures up, or not. Will you take the time to become informed?

*Even Jesus was not recognised or given value in His home town.