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2017-05-18 / Voices

Happy Mother’s Day

BY VI WALN
SICANGU LAKOTA

When we were children, we didn’t give much thought as to how much stress we put our mom through. For example, when we reach our teen years, many of us rebel. We couldn’t understand why our mom would get all freaked out when we didn’t call or come home.

We think life is really hard when our first child is born. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with a newborn. There are bottles to make and diapers to change. Being a new mother is often stressful.

We thought our baby was very expensive. Some of us had to work to support our baby. It takes a lot of money to buy disposable diapers and wipes, clothing, formula and food for a baby. Don’t forget the added expenses of babysitters, car seats and age-appropriate toys. Babies cost a lot of money!

Parents long for the day when they don’t have to buy disposable diapers. Mothers everywhere look forward to their child learning to use the bathroom on their own. We thought we’d have extra money when we didn’t have to buy diapers anymore.

But providing for a family is expensive. Many parents save money to buy school clothes, coats and shoes for their children. It’s unbelievable how fast clothes and shoes wear out. For example, it seems like we just bought that boy a new pair of jeans last month. Now, those same jeans have holes in the knees or are too short on him.

Then there’s high school. We never dreamed having a family would cost so much. Our teenagers might ask for designer clothes or shoes. If they join sports, we also have to pay for special shoes or uniforms. When our teens are old enough to go to their first prom, we can’t believe how much it costs to buy a dress or rent a tuxedo.

When our children become teenagers, we also realize why our mom used to freak out. It’s stressful when you’re worrying about what might happen when your teenager doesn’t come home. Some parents are out looking for their teenagers all hours of the night. Mothers pray constantly because they don’t want anything terrible to happen to their teenagers.

When our teen is ready to graduate from high school, we pay for pictures and invitations. A cap and gown is another expense. And we pay for a graduation party or meal if we choose to honor our graduate in that manner.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who get up every day to go to work so you can provide for your children. Some of you might even work more than one job. If it weren’t for your sense of responsibility, your children might not have their basic needs met.

Kudos to the many mothers, fathers, grandmas, grandpas, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters and siblings who are working hard to provide the basic needs, along with all those extras, for the children in their families. Wopila for being a good ancestor by taking care of the children in your life.

Vi Waln is an enrolled citizen of the Sicangu Lakota Nation and is nationally published journalist.

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