I live near the ocean in California, which means I can view huge pods of dolphin and small groups of whales as they migrate or search for food.
Recently, I heard that a killer whale flew out of the water and landed full force on a 20-foot fishing boat. The fishermen had gotten between a calf and her mother. I actually had the opportunity to see the boat and was amazed at what the force of a falling orca means to the average fishing boat. One of the fishermen ended up in the hospital.
I remember being so incredibly impressed with the passion and courage of the mother and the fact she was willing to give her life to protect her offspring.
Let me jump directly from that scenario to a recent caller on my program. This woman told me her parents had been divorced for quite a while and her dad has always had rage behavior. He would not only yell and scream and carry on, but he would get physically violent with his family. She is now married and has two small children.
She told him that she didn't want to see him because his violence was unpredictable and out of control. “But,” she went on, "I feel bad about him not seeing my kids. After all, he is my father."
I just about flew out of my skin. I told her in no uncertain terms that this was not the behavior of a good mother, but of a little girl who is willing to sacrifice the safety and well-being of her children to stay connected to her dangerous father on the off chance that he will someday change and love her.
A mother is there to protect and nurture and not to make decisions for her children based on her own emotional needs. With respect to offspring, I vote for instinctive behavior and not decisions made of selfishness or weakness.
These considerations are far ranging. I've spoken to way too many mothers who married or shacked up with some guy knowing full well that her children didn't like him or his children. And there are mothers who marry again and make new babies while their children go back and forth from Dad's home, experiencing the pain of visiting mom raising some other children. Others work full-time and neglect their kids because they love their career. It goes on.
Sometimes we have to make hard decisions. But a good mother always does what is best for her children. It is especially sad when a family breaks up but less so when it is in the best interest of the children to do so.
The best mothers protect their children above personal needs and fears. It is those mothers who we should celebrate and cherish on this and every Mother’s Day.
Dr. Laura is a well-known radio personality and best-selling author whose full name is Laura Schlessinger. She is interviewed regularly on many of the biggest television shows and publications. Read more reports from Dr. Laura — Click Here Now.
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