Hello, everybody. In our house, everybody knows that President is only the third-most important job in the family. So this weekend, I’m going to take a little extra time to say thank you to Michelle for the remarkable way she does the most important job: being a mom. And I’m going to give extra thanks to my mother-in-law for the role model she’s always been to Michelle and the countless selfless ways in which she’s helped Michelle and me raise Malia and Sasha. I am incredibly lucky to have women who help me raise, love, and look after our girls.
I hope you’ll also take a moment to say thank you to the women in your life who love you in that special way mothers do. Biological moms, adoptive moms, and foster moms; single moms, grandmoms and godmothers; aunts and mentors – whomever you think of when you think of Mother’s Day. Or take a moment, like I will, to remember the moms who raised us, whose big hearts sustained us, and whom we miss every day, no matter how old we get.
Giving flowers is always a good idea. But I hope that on this Mother’s Day, we’ll recommit ourselves to doing more than that: Through deeds that match our words, let’s give mothers the respect they deserve, give all women the equality they deserve, and give all parents the support they need in their most important roles.
That includes paid maternity and paternity leave, sick leave, accommodations for workers who are pregnant, good health care, affordable child care, flexibility at work, equal pay, and a decent minimum wage. We ask our mothers to do more than their fair share of just about everything. Making sure they’re treated fairly is the least we can do.
The idea of setting aside a Sunday in May for our mothers became an official holiday with a Congressional resolution a little more than 100 years ago. They did it on May 8 – the same day we’ll celebrate Mother’s Day this year. If Congress can make a holiday, surely they can back it up with the things that give it meaning. After all, that’s what my mother taught me. I couldn’t just say I was going to do the right thing, or say I agreed with it on principle. I had to actually do it.
So this Mother’s Day, say thank you. Say, “I love you.” And let’s make sure we show that gratitude and appreciation through acts of respect throughout the year. No one deserves that more than our moms.
Happy Mother’s Day, and have a great weekend.