To Mothers: The Original Peacemakers

I watched my wife give birth to both our sons. For birth alone, mothers should be honored throughout their lives.

What do you mean Mommy is not coming home for dinner?

You’ll do for now, Daddy, but we want Mommy.

I know a lot of my readers are mothers and grandmothers. I bow down to you and hope you enjoy this holiday in your honor. I know that many of you work, raise children, and blog which is like having three full-time jobs at once. You are my heroes and you inspire me to make the world a better place.

Women and mothers have been working two to three “jobs” for as long as I can remember. My mom was a Den Mother, Amway Salesperson, Fruit Stand manager, Homemaker, House cleaner, Cook, Dishwasher, Recycler, Chauffeur, Tutor, and Church Volunteer for most of my childhood. My paternal Grandmother labored in the peet moss of the San Joaquin Delta from sunrise to sundown and still managed to feed, clothe, and tend to her husband, children, grandchildren, and, later, her great grandchildren.

My wife runs a successful private practice as a psychologist. For a while, she was moonlighting–running her private practice while still working for Kaiser–and working 60 hours a week. I took care of our two sons, but no matter how much time I spent with them, sometimes they just wanted their “Mommy.” On these nights, my wife would have to snuggle into their tiny beds, sneak out in the middle of the night, and be dressed and ready for work by 8 am on the following morning.

Being raised, cared for, and supported by amazing women my whole life had made me an ingrate. I just assumed that women were suppose to take care of everyone, even themselves, when someone got sick. I assumed that women nurtured the children while contributing to the financial needs of the family. “She has the same degrees as I do.” And let’s not forget staying in shape to stroke my male ego.

Recently, I’ve learned to empathize and feel compassion for others. The more I empathize with women, the more I realize that I owe them a lifetime of service and compassion. So on this Mother’s Day 2013, I’m not just buying the perfunctory once-a-year bouquet of flowers. I’m making a promise to honor and respect women everyday for the rest of my life.

To all the incredible women in my life, thank you for your patience, forgiveness, and lovingkindness. I am and will forever be your humble servant.

{{{Hugs}}} Kozo

Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.

Have you taken women for granted? Have you felt taken for granted as a mother, woman, or superhero? Please share.

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52 comments on “To Mothers: The Original Peacemakers

  1. I definitely took my mother for granted as a child, but as soon as my parents divorced and my mother got depressed I learned how hard it was to run a household. I was 18 at the time, so basically a childish grown up, but it was definitely a wake up call for me to get off my ass and take over for a while until my mother got back on her feet. Let’s just say my wife probably wouldn’t be my wife if she had met me before that 😛

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Sorry to hear about your parent’s divorce, Daan. I would definitely think that an experience like this would make you appreciate women and mothers.I, too, had a wake up call of sorts that made me change the way I view my wife and women in general. I’m glad that you met your wife when you did. Life is so intelligent. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  2. Dave says:

    I question the old sayings, ‘fair sex, weaker sex, etc.’ While women have been given these names, it is ironic as, they are capable of anything (yes, even physical fetes) a man can accomplish. They are intuitively nurturing, and teach it well. Women are usually the bonding force in families. Much of life’s work is accomplished by, Moms. I am in awe of the so called, ‘weaker sex.’

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Me too, Dave. I stand in awe of what my mother “put up” with their whole lives. I will also publicly admit that my wife is a lot stronger than I am. There is no way I could have pushed out a baby the way she did. She is a superhero in so many ways. I’ve been thinking about the saying, “behind every great man is a great woman.” I would argue that men need women to be great. Thanks for being a compassionate man. {{{hugs]}} Kozo

  3. Cheers to all the Moms! Beautiful writing, my friend!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Cheers! I agree all moms deserve appreciation not just on Mother’s Day, but all year round. Thank you for your continued support and love, 1G4AW. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  4. grandmalin says:

    My husband stayed home for 2 months with our baby daughter one summer and boasted about being a full time dad. He drove around in the car with her and fed her ice cream. Everything else was still my responsibility including working full time. Did I feel taken for granted? You bet.
    He got better over the years, and I had some time at home when both kids were small, but it still felt like both of us were working full time, although only one of us was getting paid for it.
    I’m glad things are changing, and that there are jobs out there that pay women well enough to support a family, but there’s still a long way to go in dividing up the responsibilites. We also make the mistake of thinking men can’t do anything right and just do it ourselves. Big mistake. If I had it to do over again I’d lower my standards a bit and forget the superwoman act.
    Great post Kozo, and very interesting little video. xxoo ♥

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      You are a superwoman, Grandmalin. Haha, love the way you think men can’t do anything right. I think many men act like they can’t change diapers or fold clothes just to get out of the task. Thanks for being the backbone of our society, Grandmalin. You are appreciated. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  5. diannegray says:

    Happy Mother’s day to all the mums out there. You ARE superheros!!!! (me included) 😀

    Beautiful tribute to mums, Kozo {{{hugs}}}

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Happy Mother’s Day to you to, Dianne. I know your children are coming for a visit soon, so hopefully they will give you the {{{hugs}}} and respect you deserve–especially when they see those doors you sanded. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

    • I’m with Dianne. We all wear magical red (or pink, or insert fav. color here) capes. 😉 Very touching tribute post, Kozo.
      *hugs*

      • Kozo Hattori says:

        You are all superheroes, but most people haven’t figured out who you really are yet. I’m always amazed how one cheesy pair of glasses can disguise Superman, but then I think about how the term “mother” disguises some of the most amazing superheroes.
        Happy Mother’s Day to you, DDiW. {{{hugs]}} Kozo

      • That’s so true!
        *huge hugs*

  6. Sandy says:

    I’ve got a neighbor who is a “stay at home dad”. I ran into him last week and during our brief conversation, he informed me of the exact number of days it been since he had a “break”. Not only does his wife have a full time job, she also works part time a few nights a week. Additionally, she is still expected to come home an cook dinner! And he needs a break! Perspective – it’s all about perspective, and so I thank you for balancing things out. Great Post. I may just share it with my neighbor – haha, but I’m sure the message will be misconstrued – LOL! Much Love, Sandy

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Funny, Sandy, Grandmalin said something similar above. I have to be honest that I’ve felt the same way. I had an exact count of how many diapers I changed vs. how many my wife changed. I forgot to include breastfeeding, birthing, and carrying the babies around for 9 months in my count. If men had to live in a women’s body for a few months, we’d all be “crying like little girls.” Hope your neighbor comes to his senses. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  7. csroth3 says:

    Your words are very comforting. When I was younger I felt I was just doing what needed to be done. As my children began to grow up and leave home I began to feel that my love was taken for granted. Then I reflected on how I might have taken my own parents love for granted sometimes. It is possible that we all have hidden expectations, and areas where we take others for granted without really meaning to. I’m so grateful that you think about such things, and write to express gratitude.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I’ve taken so much for granted in my life, CS. I’m just glad I came to my senses before I was all alone. I’m trying to show appreciation more often. Hopefully, I can make up for lost time. I’m sure your children will realize how much they owe you soon. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  8. […] To Mothers: The Original Peacemakers. Such a beautiful tribute to mothers by Everyday Gurus. It will move your heart, please visit and read. […]

  9. kasturika says:

    A staunch feminist I am… My blood boils over everytime I hear stories of women doing most of the work and keeping quiet, and men boasting about doing only a small part of it… You post of gratitude made me feel good… A happy mother’s day to all the amazing mothers out there… {{{hugs}}}

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      We need staunch feminist, Kasturika. We need to even the playing field. As Sandy and Grandmalin pointed out above, there is a huge inequality that needs attention. Truth of the matter is that both men and women are adversely affected by gender inequality. {{{hugs]}} Kozo

  10. lauriesnotes says:

    Honoring the feminine..
    Important in healing and finding peace in ourselves and the world for sure.
    Blessings-
    Laurie

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love the way you put that, Laurie, “honoring the feminine.” Too bad, we only do this one day a year. Most of the other holidays we celebrate honor men–Easter, Christmas, President’s Day, MLK Day, Veteran’s Day (although we do honor women veterans as well). I’ve got nothing against Washington, Lincoln, or Martin Luther King, but what about some women holidays? {{Hugs}}} kozo

  11. Tracy says:

    What a lovely post Kozo, as a woman you made me feel respected and valued and that’s a really big gift. My father honoured and cherished my mother, he is the one of a very small group of men I have ever seen truly live his wedding vows including the sickness and health bits. Thank you for standing up for women, even in these ‘modern times’ many of us still feel taken for granted. xoxox

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Your father was one special man; we all know that, Tracy. My goal is to help other men honor and respect women more in our society. I really believe that the bout of violence and abuse against women is the tip of an iceberg that need melting. {{{hugs]}} Kozo

  12. Zen Doe says:

    My boy is now in his late 20s and on his own. I was a single mother, working 3 jobs and so on. Did I ever feel taken for granted? Not ever. Never crossed my mind. Was I exhausted? YOU BET! I may or may not get a call on mothers day, but I know deep in my heart that another soul has stepped forward into their adult life knowing that they were loved, cared for, and supported. That is more than enough reward.
    Thank you for this WONDERFUL post!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Wow, Zen Doe, you are a superwoman, or should I say, a Renaissance woman. I’m sure you son appreciates all the love, care, and support you bestowed him. He probably feels like I do: that I owe a debt that I will never be able to repay. Happy Mother’s Day to you, Zen Doe. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  13. merbear74 says:

    Thank you Kozo. You and the kids should make mommy breakfast in bed perhaps? 😉 {hugs} Merbear

  14. utesmile says:

    Thank you for honouring us. And there is us, well me who used to say “Oh I am just a mum and housewife”. (as I was not working to be with the children at the beginning until they started school)
    Being a housewife and mum is a wonderful and rewarding job but I always think it is not recognised enough. Our children are our future and if we don’t care and educate them well who does. They learn values and morals from home first.
    And when the children are grown up and loving, considerate young men you can be proud of them (as I am) for doing a good job yourself. Investing time, care and love in children is priceless.
    Thanks Kozo

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      To tell the truth, Ute, I didn’t fully appreciate moms and housewives until I became a stay-at-home Dad. I’m lucky that I can do work on the computer. I can’t imagine being a housedad and having to go into work everyday. This is my first Mother’s Day since I became a housedad, so I am trying to pay tribute to all those hard-working mothers out there. You are appreciated. {{{hugs]}} Kozo

  15. You are enlightened my friend! Thanks for sharing this!

  16. Being a mother is such a gift Kozo, and it is also such a responsibility. Being a parent regardless if you are the mother or the father is i believe the hardest/greatest job anyone could have. It is such a treat to know there are men like you understanding and respecting their wives and even better writing about it the way you do here.
    Hopefully we’ll all get to understand that in reality we are one…regardless of gender…

    Happy Mother’s Day to your wife and wishing you all a super family week-end:-)

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Yes, Anyes, we are all one. We are all trying to re-member the same unity. I’m realizing that empathy and appreciation are key to this remembering. Yes, I love my job as a father. My sons bring me so much joy, and so much frustration. They teach me true peace, patience, and equanimity.

      Happy Mother’s Day to you, my dear friend. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  17. Kris says:

    I am very thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to be a mother. Anything I went through raising them was more than worth it. Did I feel taken for granted? Oh my yes. (but he’s not my husband any more!) I am thankful to say both of my daughters married good men who are not like their dad. This is an especially special mothers day in our family, because my daughter is a new mother to a newborn son.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Congratulations on your new grandchild, Kris. What a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. I’m learning to not take my wife for granted, so I can stay her husband. 🙂 {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  18. KM Huber says:

    Thanks to you, Kozo, we are all more aware of our feminine as well as masculine traits on our way to equanimity and a world where children will honor both. Another great post, and I hope you and your wife enjoy Mother’s Day as through your posts we are learning what wonderful parents you both are. Hugs.
    KM

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thanks, Karen. Yes, we need to teach children to honor both masculine and feminine. We cannot have self-actualization without both sides of Yin and Yang. I have to figure out a way to convince men to give up Yang and shift the balance. Any ideas are welcome. Have a wonderful weekend. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  19. hglaholt says:

    Reblogged this on Ontario's Network for Nonviolence (ONFN) and commented:
    Interesting post

  20. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Really awesome post Kozo! I wondered how you’d handle mothers day and I think you did it perfectly. I often think that part of the reason the world is so male dominated is just because guys are so much better at taking credit for everything little thing they manage, while the women simply power on, getting the important stuff done haha!

    Great post, and a very good mother’s day gift, much better than flowers and chocolates (though they’re pretty great too!)

    Thanks for sharing! Hugs 🙂

    Rohan.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Great point about the men taking credit for everything, Rohan. Behind every great man is a greater woman. haha.
      I gave my wife a video of my sons and I singing a Ziggy Marley song for Mother’s Day, as well as giving her the whole day off.
      Love your new series on living like a millionaire. Can’t wait to read the other senses like feel. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

      • Rohan 7 Things says:

        Yes indeed, couldn’t agree more 🙂

        That sounds very sweet haha!

        And yeah me too, very much enjoying this new little series of posts 🙂

        Hugs mate, talk soon!

        Rohan.

  21. Athena Brady says:

    Hi Kozo, what a lovely heartfelt tribute to the women in your life. You are a beautiful soul Kozo {{{Hugs}}}

  22. It took me several decades to come to a true appreciation for the gargantuan task my mother undertook (short version: 11 children, moonlighting as a nurse most of the years plus , plus, plus) – now I see what amazing strength she had to make it through those years. She passed 3 years ago at age 89, bless her heart! tomas ♥

  23. BroadBlogs says:

    Thanks for the homage to mothers.

    In Virginia Wolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway,” she writes through the perspective of a woman who is doing a lot of work to take care of everyone even as it comes across to everyone else as “no work,” just natural — just what women naturally do.

    Thanks for recognizing all of the effort.

  24. Sunshine says:

    excellent tribute to mothers everywhere and the TED talk video is a great message:
    “Sit @ the table, make your partner a real partner and don’t leave before you leave…”
    her brother’s test score story, while very funny, truly is the reality in many cases. thanks for sharing and hope your entire family had the Mother’s Day to remember…♥
    ☼sunHUGS!!

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