Mother Absence Is Just As Significant as Father Absence

This article was originally published at the Washington Examiner

Last week I was inundated with emails from people who stumbled upon an article I wrote for Fox News back in February 2018 about the Parkland school shooting (which I presume was resurrected due the more recent mass shootings), in which I point to fatherlessness as a major source of boys’ pain.

Many of the emails were from single mothers who, understandably, felt defensive—so much so they resorted to calling me racist. Because, well, everything’s about race these days.

But one of the emails was thoughtful and calm, and it highlighted an obvious and just as important consequence of father absence.

Mother absence.

I was a single mom for 5 years. So when the father is missing from these boys’ lives, so is the mother. Someone has to go out and provide, often working 2 or 3 jobs while the child stays in daycare or with a babysitter. With Mom being so tired when she gets home, she goes to bed. What the mass shooters did is wrong, but they probably never had anyone nurture them or love them. So really, when the provider is gone so is the mother—the nurturing one. It’s a sad epidemic.

She’s right: Divorce doesn’t just lead to father absence but to mother absence as well. Not in quite the same way—most children of divorce live with their mothers.

But those mothers aren’t home. They’re at work.

The end result is the same for children whose parents are married but who both work full-time and year-round. These families function similarly to single parent families: in both instances, Mom and Dad are gone.

Even when the parents are home, they’re so drained of energy they have little left to give. That’s why no one’s in the kitchen anymore—it’s too much work to cook. The result? Childhood obesity has soared.

But children’s physical health is only half the equation. The other half is their mental health, which has never been more precarious. Is there anyone out there who honestly believes parental absence and disconnection are unrelated to the meteoric rise in mental health problems among our youth?

According to MARRIpedia, an online social science encyclopedia that translates the work of myriad social scientists, “The early experience of intense maternal affection is the basis for the development of a conscience and moral compassion for others. Children whose mothers are distant emotionally or physically tend to have behavior problems and are more likely to commit crimes.”

Even if you were to reject the data and point to technology as the reason for mental health issues in our youth, follow that argument to its end: Yes, media and the Internet have a huge influence. But guess why kids have access to it?

Because no one’s home. Or when parents are home, they’re too tired to do anything about it.

Parental absence and disconnection—whether a result of divorce or of both parents working full time and year round—begins soon after birth, when babies are placed in the care of hired help for most of their waking hours.

Fast forward ten or fifteen or twenty-five years, and they’re still struggling—because their needs have never been met.

No one knows this better than psychoanalyst Erica Komisar, author of Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters.

“Parents come to my practice regularly to discuss symptoms their children exhibit due to their families having busier and more distracted lives, premature separation (children being placed in day care as early as 6 weeks old), and their parents’ lack of interest in nurturing…I have come to understand the connection between [depression, anxiety and addictions in older children and young adults] and the emotional and physical absence of young children’s mothers in their day-to-day lives.” writes Komisar in “Biden Was Right About Day Care.”

It’s not just enough for parents to be physically available either; they need to be engaged when they’re home. They need to be sensitive to children’s needs and not dismiss them because they have other things to do. And that isn’t happening.

When children withdraw or lash out, or when they acquire mental health issues, the proper response is to connect the dots. Parental absence and disconnection is rampant in America. The family unit has collapsed.

Did we honestly believe it would have no impact?

Suzanne Venker

Suzanne Venker is an author, columnist and radio host known as The Feminist Fixer. She helps free women from feminism so they can find lasting love with men. Suzanne's newest book, WOMEN WHO WIN at Love: How to Build a Relationship That Lasts, will be published October 2019.

Reader Interactions


  1. Wylmina Hettinga says

    Better but if you really want to help women in divorce situations, again, research the AFCC, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts who have been responsible for “educating” judges. Guess who the members are? Matrimonial lawyers/divorce lawyers, mental health professionals and judges who fir the past 50 years have been promoting parents being separated from their children for “conflict resolution”. I’m not kidding. That sends a child’s mind into hiding to stop the pain. The AFCC got caught because Non-Self-Serving mental health and pediatricians (Real doctors) came out in droves against the Feds separating children from primary caregivers at the border with videotapes of the small child being reunited with their parents without emotion but clearly anger. This is the first time we are seeing the AFCC respond by studying the “splitting” that occurs after the hiding. The AFCC has been educating judges privately for 50 years. New family and juvenile dependency court judges are taught to remove mothers from their children’s lives if they are causing conflict. Call and ask Matthew Sullivan PhD in Palo Alto the new president of the AFCC.

  2. D'James says

    My mother worked, full time, as a teacher. My father also worked.
    But she was the best teacher I ever had. She made sure I mastered all my skills. My parents were tough on me, which I didn’t understand at the time. But they were coaching me for real life.
    My parents bought any book I asked for, until I was in college, and had some money on my own.
    They did everything they could, for their kids. There is a biblical statement about the “hireling”, who couldn’t care less about the flock. Powerful image then. Very real now. If parents don’t parent, which is the goal of mass media, then mass media, and the Internet, and our staggeringly toxic culture, parent. And these replacements do a very bad job. Don’t believe me. Talk to kids who grew up in divorced families. They have major problems. They are very dysfunctional as parents, as members of society, they have a much harder road in life, because they didn’t get their early training, their “home training”, as black people in the South call it. My mother also cooked, using Adelle Davis’ books, which were good for the time. We all had chores, or as it is called nowadays, contributions to make, to the family. I raised a child by myself, because I foolishly married a narcissistic sociopath, who ran away when my kid was young. It wasn’t easy. That child is now happily married, with children, doing a better job than I did. She is not working, and won’t till her kids are in school.

    You, as a parent, decide how healthy your kids will be- good diet, minimal to no TV, learning how to question the mass media’s BS, making good choices by looking at long term consequences, and so on. There is no greater pain than seeing a child do badly in life, because you, as a parent, did a crummy job of parenting. And no greater joy than seeing a child do well in life, because you did your parenting job.

    How many of the shooters came from healthy families? Who filled society up with all the crap in the media, to help create all those dysfunctional families? Why do we have little boy and little girl politicians, who are less mature than even the 17 year olds I knew, when I was that age? Can you name one really mature, intelligent, respected, competent, committed politician, in office nowadays? I can’t.

  3. George says

    I am so very amused by people expecting the government to do something.
    Government is running large deficits. Some would call it credit card debt.
    Around 80% of government expenditure is Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and interest on the debt. Had Social Security funds been invested, intelligently, people would get more. Instead, Congress got their hands on it. Medicaid costs for nursing homes are ballooning- as baby boomers enter them. From the around 15-20% of the budget, comes defense, and federal programs. When your hear Congressional folks talking about how much people *need* help, what they aren’t thinking, is that the funds aren’t there. They want to take more money from the rich, and corporations. The rich already pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes- and they are best suited to evade new taxes. No, the middle class pays much of the taxes, now. Corporations? Please. An IRS agent against a big corporation is like sending a skeet shooter against a herd of rhinos. Most Congressional folks get along very well with corporations. Democrats are all arguing for large federal funds for infrastructure. From what funds? They don’t know. Except that they will take it away from the bad people.

    If positive change is going to happen, it will happen the way it always has- with small groups of people deciding to make it happen. Slavery was ended in the British empire, because four people-just four- sat down, and decided to dedicate their lives to making it happen. They worked through existing associations. The British government even paid reparations to slaveowners, for losing their property.
    Had this been done in the USA, say about 1855, it would have been far, far cheaper than the Civil War was. Jim Crow laws were passed by very bitter Democrats. Read the history books- it wasn’t until around the 1930’s that a Democratic black congressional rep was elected. Early black legislators were all Republicans. I am aware of a church-based day care, in a city in my state. Interesting. Even better wold be setting up cooperatives, to provide both employment, and on-site day care, for families.

    The Baptist Children’s Village, in Jackson, MS, is an example I was aware of. This is a large long term shelter, for children in difficult circumstances, or was when I knew of it. The board of directors is connected with many corporations in the state, and they cadge, do deals, and so on, to get stuff cheap. I believe their format is 10 children to a house, with a sort of house parent present. The children put on a Christmas concert, which is very well attended. They have other activities. Some children might stay for a short time, when their parents have difficulties. Others might stay till they are 18. I have dealt with faith-based corporations, doing a public mission, including housing for those who don’t have a lot of money. Some aren’t so good. Some are utterly fantastic. Some are in between. All of them are run by local boards. You see, the feds pay retail, and usually high retail. Local nonprofits can work deals, donations in kind, and even services.

    Let us recall that all of FDR’s programs, and spending, didn’t end the Depression. I go to a CCC built park, in my state. Workers were paid around $20/month, which wasn’t bad money at the time. What ended the Depression was spending for WW II. The US budget for 1939 was around $9 billion- for the entire federal government. By 1945, it was $90 billion. My father worked for a federal agency, which among other things, would finance housing. They worked with local nonprofits, that ran it. They came together, in cooperation.

    And the only path that will solve these problems, is for people to quit fighting and demonizing their “opponents”, identify common goals, and come together to solve these problems, in cooperation. If you want an education in socialist housing, there is an apartment building in Moscow, built by a merchant before WW I. It now houses about $200 people. There are 2 room apartments, shared bathrooms, and it’s like a rooming house, at best. And it will be there for a while, because it is so needed. Russian buildings are known for instant aging, because they are poorly constructed. KGB, I mean SVD, officers, and politicians, live quite well, but they are a tiny percentage of the population, and they have special stores not open to the regular people.

    People like to point to Scandinavia as successful socialism. Uhh, no. Corporate tax rates are lower than they are in the US. And they are largely ethnically identical. And their politicians are just as stupid as hours. And they have some major social problems, too. Spain is socialist. Real employment is around 50%+, among young college graduates, and young Spaniards are going to other countries, even Canada, to get jobs. Italy? Among the socialist “PIGS”- Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Nice people, but their governments divert just as much money to politician’s pockets as ours do- actually more.

  4. Dave says

    The first state to declare bankruptcy will be Illinois. Chicago puts about 20% of what it needs to, to cover school employee retiree pensions. Nursing home payments are 6 months in arrears. Maybe once this happens, Illinoisans will realize that they, and only they, can solve their problems. FLASH: Illinois is not going to build a lot of day care centers, nor invest much in infrastructure, or do anything except fight over the limited pot they have now.

    it would be interesting to see the co-housing idea spread. This is basically a kind of housing where people know each other, and share, say, an evening meal, in a central area. A woman on my bus lived in housing like that, in New York, when she was young. Everybody helped everyone else. Her father was out of work, for a bit. Unknown hands put money into the mail slot, in their door. The housing was so valuable that… you guessed it… the price went up so much, that only the rich can live there, and this woman, much as she’d like to retire back there, can’t even begin to think about doing so.

    In native cultures, the old are treasured, as a storehouse of wisdom. The old train the young. In this country, we let the old rot, their treasures of awareness unshared. Could we combine senior housing, with, say, child care? It’s called intergenerational programs, in the industry. I’ve spoken with Hispanic single moms, who are raising children. Seems like all of them have mom, an aunt, and other family helping out. The single Hispanic moms understand polarity. They put their boys in Boy Scouts, and other programs run by adult men. I talked to one such mom, divorced from a drunk, who had her son do all this. Her son was a US Army Ranger, and is now working in corporate America, where he is doing well, because he works hard, and intelligently. Few corporations turn down people like that.

    Instead of looking at what we don’t have, and fussing, how about looking at what we do have, what we need, and putting them together, in small ways that work, and can be scaled up? I work with church programs that help inner city single parent families, and kids, well really anybody who needs help. In 20 years, I have never once seen or heard of a feminist helping the single moms. Las feministas tambien no les importan ayuda a los madres solas, o los ninyos. Prefieran que las familias sea muy malas, para sus propagandas. Taking a load of baseball bats, balls, gloves, helmets, clothing, and other useful stuff- where it is put out on tables for people to take- is a rush for me. And it is all gone, in 5 minutes. My church works through local cutouts, so we have people introducing us.

    We have all we need to solve these problems, right now. What we lack is the vision, the will, and the follow through, to make it happen. Per no expecta nada de las feministas.

  5. Mark says

    Speaking as a Caucasian, you are preaching to some truly stupid white people. Other cultures know this stuff. For example, I live in an apartment complex, where 2 Mexican families life in a 2 BR apt. Most work at the local Mexican restaurant. They are the politest people in the complex, the happiest, they have birthday parties for their kids, gramma and grampa come up for the summer to play with the kids, they are better with their kids and each other than people were in the small town I grew up in. I would trust those people with my own kid, if I had to. Somebody is always with the kids, who go to school. There is a back room, in the restaurant, where the kids play after school. These people work hard, I’ve never once seen one of them drunk, high, or fighting, and I have seen Caucasians do all that. One woman has a kid; her husband vanished; she’s with another guy, who treats her respectfully. They know what family values are. Their Spanish language television, which I have watched, is full of family values. Their soap operas are full of family values, and the evil people always get it, towards the end. They just shake their heads at the BS that is mass media, in the USA. They can’t believe that Americans, who by their standards are very rich, could be so unbelievably unaware. I’ve known a number of Mexicans, and other Latin Americans. With one exception, they were all the nicest people I could have hoped to meet, very pleasant, polite, bright, hardworking, and everything I would want in neighbors. Most Asians, while more reserved, are the same way. They know BS when they see or hear it, and just ignore it. They know what is important in life. As I speak with them, they all eventually ask me- how can Americans be so stupid? How can they ignore their children? How can they spend so much time away from family? And I have to explain to them that American families started fissioning, in the 1960’s, and the mass media is trying to destroy the culture. They just shake their heads, in disbelief. They cannot imagine doing to their children, what Caucasian Americans do to their children.

  6. Harv says

    My mother’s mother worked as a teacher, in Detroit, from about 1910, to about 1920, when she got married. She had a problem kid, always misbehaving. She asked the other kids how to handle him. They told her to cut a length of rubber hose, and hit him with it. She did so, on lunch, and he began behaving. Different times, I guess. She gave birth to my mother in the mid 1920’s. She had finished college. Her husband hadn’t gone to college. He worked in a bank, in Chicago, in a good job. If men showed up to work without a hat, they were sent home, to get one. He didn’t want his wife working, he felt it was a slur on his ability to earn income. So gramma stayed home. Monday was washday. They washed clothes in a tub, with a washboard. My mother’s special job was getting coaldust out of the collars, which wasn’t easy. They still cooked and heated with coal. My mother’s favorite expression about a good situation was “now we’re cooking with gas”, because the new gas stoves were so much better. Tuesday was ironing day, with a flatiron heated. Wednesday was mending day. Clothes were expensive, then. Women knew how to use sewing machines, an essential tool. Thursday was baking day, baking bread for the week. Ever heard the expression, “bottom of the barrel”? Flour, sugar, and coffee, were scooped out of a barrel, into a paper bag, a pound at a time. Packaged foods came after the war. Sugar and coffee were each 8c/lb. My mother was paid 25c/hour, in her grocery store job, after school. Food was organic, then, and healthy. Friday was catchup day.

    You talk about parents needing to not only be physically available, but also engaged, sensitive to children’s needs, and not ignoring them. When kids are hungry, they eat, hopefully. When thirsty, drink. When lonely- they seek out connection. Humans are social beings. I believe it was Khalil Gibran who said we are only truly alive, when we are connected. Look at native american villages, in the traditional culture; they interacted a lot, they danced together, ate together. The bee is not the organism; the hive is. The human is not the organism; the community is. My parents’ had some very happy times, with family. They talked about it, later, when they were old, and us kids listened. What happens when people are cut off and lonely? They get mental problems. I heard a neighborhood organizer say that TV is designed to make people fear and hate each other, so they live alone, in their buildings, feel so empty, and rotten, and… buy more products, to fill the emptiness. That is some part of the mass addiction that is current American culture. It was not unusual, in my grandmother’s day, to have dances, say Friday and/or Saturday night. People met each other, and talked. If someone was having a hard time, a bag of groceries was left on their porch, anonymously. During the Depression, where my mother was, every family with a house, where dad was still working, would take in another family, that was effectively homeless. I saw the house my mother grew up in. It is not a big house.
    Maybe that’s why my mother always said, if you can’t say something nice, say nothing. People had codes of behavior. Crime rates were much lower. I saw some research on the number of criminals that came from what used to be called broken homes. Correlation was around 90%. You say the family unit has collapsed. Well, in some areas, yes. There are some smart young people, though. My daughter has two small children, which she is raising at home. When they are of school age, she’ll go back to work. She told me once she would do whatever she had to, to stay married, because of what she saw with her parents divorcing.

    J.T. McKinney, a medal of honor recipient for stopping a Japanese attack in the Pacific, by himself- he just kept loading his Garand, going through clips- was never proud of having killed 50 Japanese soldiers, at least. He got his skills because his mother would send him out with 8 .22 rounds, and expect him to come home with at least 7 squirrels for the table. Every day. Life was not easy back then- but people had connections, to release their stress- and know whom to help. I make a special point of helping those who need help, when I can. I learned this from my parents.

    What does Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and similar groups offer? Connection. It is healing. And then they offer a path out of the darkness, and isolation. All of the high level Oriental martial arts involve spiritual awareness, learning to reach out into infinity, what one might call a higher power.

    The government will never, and can never, fix this problem. It can only be done at the family level, because people decide to do it, and follow through. I have a child in school. I go to the parent/teachers’ organization, and often I’m the only male there. Those moms are efficient. yes, many work, and they are competent, really competent, and smart. Running a family demands developing intelligence, it’s a school of itself. They raise $50,000 per year, in a rather small town, for programs the school cannot fund, like field trips, enrichment programs.

    I hear people complaining about inner city schools. Yes, they have problems. The parents are in a bad way. Some of the most dedicated teachers in the country work in inner city schools. I knew one Hispanic woman, who was tougher than the drill sergeants I recall from the military. My mother was a teacher, who started in a military school. There is a named quality, in the Japanese martial arts, can’t think of the name, it’s like expressing your core, as a warrior. I read about a guy whose son came to report some teens, drinking, had thrown stones at him, 100 yards away. he began walking towards the teens. They jeered him. He kept walking to them. They started getting nervous. They had driven away by the time he reached them. Texas Rangers have this quality. My mother did, also. Kids did not misbehave, in her class. She had to get some concession from a guidance counselor, and I was along. She didn’t have to say anything. One look, and the guidance counsellor rolled over immediately, wanting to get my mother out of there.

    Look at successful men. Douglas MacArthur, say. Many of them had mothers who invested a lot of time in their sons. And many successful women cite their fathers, as most influential in their lives.
    My oldest daughter has thanked me, for all I did for her. People, particularly feminists, have no idea what connection is, or mentoring, or healthy community. Feminists do not understand the concept of the concentric ring, or cause and effect- like when you throw a rock in a pond. The damage they do to men, spreads, to women, to children, and ever outward. Every man impoverished and destroyed in a divorce case… is no longer available to other women, as a spouse. Really think about that. I saw a poll, not long ago, on the desire of American men to get married. It was apparently the lowest ever recorded. There was a time, as you yourself say, when many women had good suitors- note the plural. You said your mother did, Suzanne. Women had much more choice, then. Now… women have to go looking, in a respectful way. Men are a lot less willing to deal with the ever increasing risk of marriage.
    There was a place where men and women worked, in the same job. Six days per week. 12+ hour days. In British coal mines, in the 1800’s. Men and women alike crawled through tunnels, to get to the coal. It was hellish work.
    Chinese people aren’t stupid. They know very well that as the family goes, so goes society. An educated Chinese woman of 28, without a husband, is a “left over” woman, who has major difficulties finding a husband. They get educated, and they need to find a husband quickly, if they want one.
    You miss another major point, Suzanne. Gloria Steinem regularly engages in what can only be called hate speech, against men, particularly white men. She clearly had some major trauma growing up. Ti-Grace Atkinson said that feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice. She had some major trauma growing up. I’ve noticed, peripherally, that any feminist I can get info on, seems to have had some major trauma, growing up, and they are taking revenge. Cool. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind- Mahatma Ghandi. I can think of another person who grew up with serious trauma. He said his father beat him with a rod, 157 times, once, and he never shed a tear. He bottled himself up, and his trauma came out in other ways. He was Austrian. His name was Adolf. yes, that Adolf, Adolf Hitler. Dysfunctional families have effects far beyond what we think. Adolf passed on that trauma in a big way. Maybe that’s why the word “feminazi” has become a catchword, among men.

    When children withdraw or lash out, or when they acquire mental health issues, the proper response is to connect the dots. Parental absence and disconnection is rampant in America. The family unit has collapsed.

    Did we honestly believe it would have no impact?

  7. Terence says

    “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa
    “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
    “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa
    “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” – Mother Teresa
    “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Teresa
    “God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.” – Mother Teresa
    “Live simply so others may simply live.” – Mother Teresa
    “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” – Mother Teresa
    “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” – Mother Teresa
    “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa
    “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” – Mother Teresa
    “Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.” – Mother Teresa
    “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, now, person to person.” – Mother Teresa
    “Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.” – Mother Teresa
    “Good works are links that form a chain of love.” – Mother Teresa
    “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.” – Mother Teresa
    17.) “I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I don’t know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will NOT ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ Rather he will ask, ‘How much LOVE did you put into what you did?’” – Mother Teresa
    “I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness.” – Mother Teresa
    “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” – Mother Teresa

    “I think I’m more difficult than critical.” – Mother Teresa
    “I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn’t touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God.” – Mother Teresa
    “I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?” – Mother Teresa
    “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Teresa
    “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa
    “If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” – Mother Teresa
    “It is a kingly act to assist the fallen.” – Mother Teresa
    “It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.” – Mother Teresa
    “Intense love does not measure, it just gives.” – Mother Teresa
    “It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.” – Mother Teresa
    “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” – Mother Teresa
    “Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” – Mother Teresa
    “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa
    “Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.” – Mother Teresa
    “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” – Mother Teresa
    “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” – Mother Teresa
    “Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.” – Mother Teresa
    “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Teresa
    “Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa
    “The success of love is in the loving – it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does NOT determine the value of what we have done.” – Mother Teresa
    “There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things that we could use.” – Mother Teresa
    “There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” – Mother Teresa
    “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Mother Teresa
    “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa
    “Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can free souls.” – Mother Teresa
    “One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.” – Mother Teresa
    “Please choose the way of peace. In the short term there may be winners and losers in this war that we all dread. But that never can, or never will justify the suffering, pain and loss of life your weapons will cause.” – Mother Teresa
    “I have never been in a war before, but I have seen famine and death. I was asking (myself) what do they feel when they do this? I don’t understand it. They are all children of God. Why do they do it? I don’t understand.” – Mother Teresa
    “Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.” – Mother Teresa
    “We fear the future because we are wasting today.” – Mother Teresa
    “If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” – Mother Teresa
    “Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.” – Mother Teresa
    “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use violence to get what they want.” – Mother Teresa
    “Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.” – Mother Teresa
    “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” – Mother Teresa
    “When you don’t have anything, then you have everything.” ― Mother Teresa
    “Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.” ― Mother Teresa
    “Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” ― Mother Teresa
    “Profound joy of the heart is like a magnet that indicates the path of life.” ― Mother Teresa
    “I prefer you to make mistakes in kindness than work miracles in unkindness.” ― Mother Teresa
    “We do not need guns and bombs to bring peace, we need love and compassion.” –― Mother Teresa
    “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” ― Mother Teresa
    “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa
    “Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it.” ― Mother Teresa
    “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”― Mother Teresa
    “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use violence to get what they want.” – Mother Teresa
    “How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” ― Mother Teresa
    “Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it.” ― Mother Teresa
    “Work without love is slavery.” ― Mother Teresa
    “Spread the love of God through your life but only use words when necessary.” ― Mother Teresa
    “Jesus said love one another. He didn’t say love the whole world.” ― Mother Teresa
    “Some people come in our life as blessings. Some come in your life as lessons.”― Mother Teresa
    “A life not lived for others is not a life.” ― Mother Teresa
    “I want you to be concerned about your next-door neighbor. Do you know your next-door neighbor?” ― Mother Teresa
    “If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.” ― Mother Teresa
    “What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight; build it anyway.” ― Mother Teresa
    “‎Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” ― Mother Teresa
    “Keep the corners of your mouth turned up. Speak in a low, persuasive tone. Listen; be teachable. Laugh at good stories and learn to tell them…For as long as you are green, you can grow.” ― Mother Teresa
    “If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.” ― Mother Theresa
    “I fear just one thing: Money! Greed was what motivated Judas to sell Jesus” ― Mother Theresa
    “Life is a challenge, we must take it.” ― Mother Teresa
    “If you are discouraged, it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own powers.” ― Mother Teresa
    “It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself.” ― Mother Teresa
    “I am only a pencil in the hand of God, but it is He who writes.” ― Mother Teresa
    “The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action.”― Mother Teresa
    “There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter.”― Mother Teresa
    “I don’t do great things. I do small things with great love.”― Mother Teresa
    “Sometimes a good feeling from inside is worth much more than a beautician.” ― Mother Teresa
    “If we worry too much about ourselves, we won’t have time for others”
    ― Mother Teresa
    “The less we have, the more we give. Seems absurd, but it’s the logic of love.” ― Mother Teresa
    “Let us all smile at each other for a smile is the beginning of love.”
    ― Mother Teresa
    “The openness of our hearts and minds can be measured by how wide we draw the circle of what we call family.”― Mother Teresa
    “The fruit of faith is love,and the fruit of love is service…spread love everywhere u go..”― Mother Teresa
    “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”― Mother Teresa
    “I go of my free choice, with the blessing of obedience.” ― Mother Theresa
    “Together we can do great things.”― Mother Teresa
    “Poverty was not created by God. It is we who have caused it, you and I through our ignorance.” ― Mother Teresa
    “We are not called to be successful, but faithful.” ― Mother Teresa
    “The greatest mistake is to think you are too strong to fall into temptation. Put your finger in the fire and it will burn. So we have to go through the fire.”― Mother Teresa
    “If we are humble, nothing will change us, neither praise, nor discouragement.”― Mother Teresa
    “Do not allow yourselves to be disheartened by any failure as long as you have done your best.”― Mother Teresa

  8. Jerry says

    This is astounding, amazing, and, well, humbling.
    Take this test and pass it on to your more literate friends…

    What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895…

    Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an
    8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th
    grade in 1895?
    This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA . It
    was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical
    Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

    8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS – 1895

    Grammar (Time, one hour)
    1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
    2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
    3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
    4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of ‘lie,’
    ‘play,’ and ‘run.’
    5. Define case; illustrate each case.
    6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
    7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you
    understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

    Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
    1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
    2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels
    of wheat will it hold?
    3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel,
    deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
    4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000.. What is the necessary levy to
    carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
    5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
    6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
    7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per
    8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
    9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is
    640 rods?
    10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt

    U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
    1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
    2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
    3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
    4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
    5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas
    6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
    7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
    8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

    Orthography (Time, one hour)
    [Do we even know what this is??]
    1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology,
    2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
    3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals,
    diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
    4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u.’ (HUH?)
    5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under
    each rule.
    6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
    7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis,
    pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
    8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign
    that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare,
    9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain,
    feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
    10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of
    diacritical marks and by syllabication.

    Geography (Time, one hour)
    1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
    2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
    3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
    4. Describe the mountains of North America
    5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba ,
    Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco
    6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the
    republics of Europe and give the capital of each..
    8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
    9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
    10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

    Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete. Gives the saying ‘he only had an 8th grade education’ a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?! My own parents’ high school education gave them more practical skills than many college graduates have, today.

    Women were trained from childhood in how to become good wives and mothers, too. And, yes, even men were trained, in how to be good husbands, and how to keep a marriage, and a healthy community, together. My grandmother’s brother, son of a working class british immigrant, would make up plays- the scripts, everything- and act them out with his friends. As teenagers. He had memorized lines from Shakespeare, and Tennyson.

    Many West Point graduates, in the 1800’s, experience West Point as their first formal schooling- for they had been home-schooled, often released on a library and told to start reading. Back then, it was expected that one would memorize lessons, especially in languages. The art of clear thinking was taught. The art of clear speaking- elocution- was taught. The workday was 12 hours long, often six days per week. Laundry was done by hand. There were no mixes, so all baking was from recipes. Many women sewed their own clothing. If you go to Noah Webster’s preserved house, they have his man cave. What did he have there? A loom. And a tool for breaking up flax, to get fibers. He was weaving cloth, in his man cave, for shirts, sheets, and so on. Many southern troops in the Civil War came to war with their own “homespun” garments, as storebought cloth was still a novelty, and expensive.

    In colonial times, a daily diet was about 6,000 calories per day, for men, because there was so much physical labor- chopping wood, for fires, shovelling, and so on. Even my mother remembered doing laundry as a kid- by hand. Then came washing machines- but there was no spinning, so you had to use rollers.

    Death was very much a part of life, prior to WW II. There were no ambulances. One got the doctor, often by riding a horse. Hospitals were primitive. Modern feminism was made possible only by labor-saving devices. If women still had to do their own slaughtering, skinning, meat drying, planting of vegetables in the garden, laundry by hand, baking their own bread, dealing with food without a refrigerator, as my grandmothers did, life would be very different. Those days aren’t so distant. If the power grid failed, and we had no gasoline, for a while, we’d be right back there. I wonder how people would cope?

  9. MalcolmN says

    Yes father absence hurts her choices too. However the question is why is he not there? What is the cause of him not being in the child’s or mother’s life? Oddly taking a look at who made the choice to dissolve the relationship – would be important. Also in a nation that asserts she has the right to avoid parenthood and he does not, we cannot ignore the reality that there are many children born of men who did not want to become parents – where their choice was hijacked by a lie. It is a wildly different thing if she got pregnant when he understood that he was responsible for birth control, and when she got pregnant having led him to believe that she had birth control covered. It is that she is extended a host of choices of exit – even when she has far more and more effective choices for birth control.

    It is that – she can say what she will, having made the choice to say that women should have the option to have additional exits – he does not – and that she is more likely to remove the other parent than he, it is that most of the time – it was she who did most to create the circumstances of single parenthood.

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