10 Reasons to Take Good Care of a Mother
It's good for the children. A mother's well-being affects her children in a thousand ways, shaping the lifetime course of a human life. The best way to take good care of children is to take good care of mothers.
It's good for her partner. A mother is much more able to be even-tempered, affectionate, and loving when her mate is an active co-parent, shares the load fairly, and is just plain nice. It's enlightened self-interest for a mother's partner to take good care of her.
It's good for the marriage. Mothers who are well-nurtured and have supportive partners are much more likely to stay happily married than those who do not. Besides the rewards for children and their parents, lasting marriages benefit society in many ways, such as bringing stability to communities, lowering demands on the court system, and fostering respect for family.
It helps the economy. Maternal stress and depletion increase the nation's medical costs, and they decrease workforce productivity. They're public health problems, and addressing them would add hundreds of billions of dollars each year to our economy (with related benefits to tax revenues).
It's good for society. A culture that values caring for those who are vulnerable, giving, and engaged in long-term wholesome projects (like raising children) - e.g., mothers - will be generally more humane and infused with positive values. And that's good for everyone.
And a bonus reason: Being compassionate, considerate, and generous with a mother feels good in itself. It's also a deep form of spiritual practice to "love your neighbor as yourself" - even the one sitting with you at the dining room table.
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Rick Hanson is a clinical psychologist, Jan Hanson is an acupuncturist/nutritionist, and they are raising a daughter and son, ages 12 and 14. With Ricki Pollycove, M.D., they are the authors of Mother Nurture: A Mother's Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships, published by Penguin. You can see their website at www.nurturemom.com or email them with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org; unfortunately, a personal reply may not always be possible.
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