Editorial: Mother’s Day 2024: A time to salute — and support

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and we’ll devote space here to pay them tribute. Fathers, you have to wait until June, but we won’t forget you, either.

At this time of year, we remember the story a friend told us about her mother, who hated to be taken to lunch on Mother’s Day. “I don’t want to be sitting there with some old dolls with corsages pinned to their dresses,” the mother said, “with people who forget them for the rest of the year.”

Funny, yes, but what is undeniably serious are the challenges 21st-century parents face, problems that only 20 years ago were unimaginable.

It’s no revelation that every generation looks back with envy at what seems an easier time to raise children. Past generations didn’t have to cope with head-spinning technological advances and methods of communication multiplying almost by the hour. This causes  many current parents to wonder if all the wizardry their children possess that provides  instant access to others isn’t really just another tool to sell them things they don’t need and construct increased walls of isolation between them and the real, living, breathing world.

Our new age is one in which  hand-sized electronic tyrants bring children media at 100 mps every minute of every day. But some things don’t change. The challenges of meeting the high cost of food, clothes and education are front and center for those who care for children. The mothers who are steadfast in their roles have always understood that rising to those challenges will bring rewards for their hard work.

Coordinating their children’s education and keeping a household functioning smoothly  has sent all parents — mostly mothers — into a whirlwind of days and nights that start early and never stop. Many mothers are by themselves in shouldering the responsibility for keeping a family together and helping young ones navigate the uncertainties and fears of childhood. 

According to 2022 data from the U.S. Census, one in three American children, or 24 million young people, live with single parents, 80% of whom are mothers. But even with two adults raising kids, both are more likely to work outside the home than in times past.

Close to home, we find many mothers struggling. Statistics from the New York State Community Action Association show  that in Suffolk County, 20% of families with a woman as head of a household with children are living in poverty.

This is a time to count blessings, and celebrate the women who have set us on a path to a good life. But it’s also a time to consider the mothers who are struggling to keep their children healthy in every aspect of life. We can remember them through our local charities, and during election season, where we can learn if candidates care or are even aware of those building the foundations of our future and will pledge to put in place policies that will help the caretakers.

And so, it’s time to celebrate — and Americans don’t stint when it comes to making sure mothers have a special day. According to the National Retail Federation, $33.5 billion will be spent on this Sunday’s festivities, which will make Mom smile, but also help local businesses and restaurants.

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Times Review Media Group.