Mother's Day
How to define motherhood?
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

We believe wholeheartedly that mothers are undervalued, underpaid, overworked and utterly indispensable.

They are undervalued in part because it is impossible to quantify or to fix a price on all that they do, all that they represent to us.

How can one possibly repay the love and protection that mothers offer free of charge?

Who else would, or could, put up with all the aggravation, pain and heartache that every single one of us has inflicted on our mother, intentionally or not, right from the cradle?

Overworked? Motherhood is, by definition, utterly exhausting.

Indispensable? It is the first thing we learn about our mothers as puking, ravenous, soiled and squawking infants.

We could go on, of course, but thought it best to seek help from some sharp people who, with wisdom and wit, have attempted to put motherhood into words. No one person can possibly capture it all, so what follows is a mosaic of motherhood that we hope will serve to jog your memory and decipher all the many ways that mothers are unequaled, and yes, indispensable contributors to the survival of the species.

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie" — Tenneva Jordan

"It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge" — Phyllis Diller

"Woman in the home has not yet lost her dignity, in spite of Mother's Day, with its offensive implication that our love needs an annual nudging, like our enthusiasm for the battle of Bunker Hill" — John Erskine

"The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men — from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms" — Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face" — George Eliot

"A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest" — Irish proverb

"Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories" — John Wilmot

"Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother" — Oprah Winfrey

"A mom's hug lasts long after she lets go" — Author unknown

"Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own" — Aristotle

"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs ... since the payment is pure love" — Mildred B. Vermont

"If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been" — Robert Brault

"A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after" — Peter De Vries

"Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever" — Author unknown

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new" — Rajneesh

"All mothers are working mothers" — Author unknown

"A mother understands what a child does not say" — Author unknown

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life" — Abraham Lincoln

"Women's Liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It's the men who are discriminated against. They can't bear children. And no one's likely to do anything about that" — Golda Meir

There is nothing in the world of art like the songs mother used to sing" — Billy Sunday

"Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love" — Stevie Wonder