If it’s easy to become a father, it’s just as easy to become a mother! Once again, however, it’s not quite so easy to be a mother.
If the father is the head of the home, then the mother is its heart. Their roles are different, but equally necessary. What is a body without a head and a heart? What is a home without a father and a mother? Obviously, sometimes death or other circumstances can remove either the father or the mother from the family circle, and then the remaining parent just has to do the best they can, with the help of God. However, the family with a father and mother present and carrying out their respective roles in harmony with one another is God’s ordinary plan. We should not interfere.
Because the mother is the heart of the home, her natural place is in the home. When her children are very young, she spends her days with them, helping them to make their first steps in life – the physical ones, of course, but also their first steps in knowledge, especially of God and of the Faith. What a privilege and what a responsibility at one and the same time! The Jesuits used to say: “Give me the child until he is seven, and I will show you the man”. This is because they realised that a child is like putty at that period – he can be moulded very easily, and the resulting shape will be very hard to destroy afterwards … whether the shape is good or bad.
As the old saying goes: ‘The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’. So, the mother is immensely privileged to be constantly with her children at this age because her influence on their future is so strong. But also, what a responsibility! She has to be so careful to mould them in the correct way – the way God wants them to be moulded.
The mother also makes the house into a home. She does this materially by good cooking and by decorating it, of course, and by making it a joyful, welcoming environment for her family and guests. But, more importantly, she does it spiritually by being an example of piety and virtue and a force for peace and harmony within the home. She helps to gather everyone around the father, to follow his leadership. By example, even more than by words, she constantly reminds her husband that he should not get too caught up in the affairs of the world.
As for the father, the mother cannot accomplish this daunting task without the help of God’s Grace. But she has a right to this Grace because she has received the Sacrament of Matrimony. All she has to do is ask God and He will give it to her.