David Atkins has penned the best Mothers Day piece I've found today as he honors his mother who not only worked at an outside job but was expected to take care of the "women's work" at home after her long shift at the job. He calls it the Second Shift.
Fathers teach their sons and daughters what their "proper" roles are in dividing work at home, and mothers are all-too-often complicit--sometimes eagerly so--in the training. That in turn makes the extraordinary burden of motherhood a generational one, a curse passed down from patriarchal generation to patriarchal generation, ensuring Second Shifts well into the next several decades and beyond.
And that, more than anything Ann Romney or Hilary Rosen might say, is the gravest insult to motherhood.
So on this Mother's Day, the best gift both men and women can give to their mothers is this: a devout promise to help break the cycle, and to end the social and economic practices that lead to the Second Shift and the additional burden on motherhood.
Single moms (and single dads) also struggle with this Second Shift year in and year out. A thanks go out to all the moms today and everyday.