NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

May 14, 2017 by Elizabeth J. Barton, PhD, Member, National Parents Organization National Board of Directors

It is spring, when we pause for a celebration of new life. I am a daughter, a stepdaughter, a mother, and a stepmother. On this beautiful day when we honor sacred role of the caring mother, I am so grateful for the hours and years of love and nurture I have had from my mother and from my stepmother. I am so thankful for the immeasurable joy that my children and stepchildren have brought to me.

I also pause to think about why there is such a vital need for National Parents Organization.

I think of the mothers who are faced with not having custody of their children. If you are a mother fighting for equal access to your children, remember that you must keep going for the sake of your kids. Unfortunately, there are no winners, only losers if the children end up deprived of you or of their father. Your children love both of their parents and they want you both in their lives.

I think of the divorced, separated, or estranged fathers who are remembering joyful Mothers' Days from the past. If you are a father in a custody dispute with the mother of your children, remember that despite the ugliness of the battle your are in, they need their mother and love her, as much as they love you.

I think of the stepmothers, like me. Our love and care are honored today, too. Stepchildren appreciate both their mother and us, at the same time. The most important thing I have learned from my journey as a stepmother is that children have room in their hearts for all of the loving, caring, and attentive grown ups in their lives.

I think of the parents, siblings, families, and friends of people who are fighting for the right to be a part of their children's lives; you are doing wonderful things by supporting your friends. Remember the important goal of this fight: for the children to have both of their parents and every bit of the love and security they need.

I think of a time when society and family courts will all fully support shared parenting, when everyone will realize how mothers and fathers are wonderfully complementary and equal.

As we celebrate motherhood, join me in doing the vitally important work of National Parents Organization: to make sure that children have the chance for both of their parents to have meaningful roles in their lives. They need it more so much more than they can say.

Happy Mothers Day from National Parents Organization.

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