Young@Heart: Maternity awards? Could there be such a thing?

Maternity Awards? Could there be such a thing?


It's graduation time again, and it got me to thinking about it, which lead me to the idea of celebrating. I looked up the definition of celebration and it said: a joyful occasion for special festivities to mark some happy event.

When we’re young, because we’re growing and changing, there’s cause to celebrate those achievements of going from grade school through high school and college, as well as celebrating the holidays and birthdays.

If we work at a job, there’s usually the annual awards banquet giving out Employee of the Year statues and BO (Born Organized) achievement pins and certificates. I know because as a keynote speaker, I’ve sat through hours of achievement celebrations.

As a writer there’s great joy and a feeling of achievement to get on the New York Times best seller list and we see a great deal of joy watching winners of the Academy Awards, AFI, Golden Globe and the Peoples Awards for the entertainment industry. Then there are the sports awards, the Gold Medals, Super Bowl Rings, the World Cup and a bunch of other plates, statues and jackets that give out kudos to athletes.

But what about us homemakers? Yeah we might get a Hallmark card once in a while, but there’s no annual awards banquet for Mom or Dad.

Many years ago I dated a colonel in the US Army and on one date he took me to a big deal awards banquet in Portland where four of the Joint Chiefs of Staff attended. I’ve never seen so many medals and ribbons on pockets in my entire life! My friend said the officers call it “fruit salad.” I went home that night and thought about all the fruit hanging off those people. Now I don’t want to in any way put down the military for giving out their awards, I just find it very interesting that we humans need recognition that way. I thought, ‘We should have Maternity Awards.’

Say you’ve breastfed three children (as I did) there should be a pin (maybe a cow or a milk can) you could wear on the pocket or your mother “uniform” denoting how many gallons you produced over your lifetime. If you had a C-Section, there could be a Purple C pin. There should be medals and ribbons for episiotomies, yeast infections, PMS, and ones for teaching a child to walk, talk, drive, eat with good manners etc. In other words, we should be able to look like those military officers when we go where parents gather like at church and at school.

I know it’s not going to happen. First of all we’re too busy on the front lines 24-7 to design uniforms, and who’d give out the awards? The kids? Nah. But there is something we can do. We can enjoy our calling in as many moments out of each day that we can. We can be grateful for our work, our kids and our husbands and cherish and celebrate every evening when we come together under the blessed roof of our homes. And when we take the valuable time to be alone each day we can give ourselves credit for the service we provide. When we love who we are we don’t need awards, medals, ribbons and pins to show the world what we’ve accomplished, we just need to keep remembering what a contribution we make to our world.

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