Mothers selflessly carrying so much of pandemic burden – Bishop Leahy’s Mother’s Day tribute
Sunday 14 March 2021: Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has today paid tribute to the role of mothers in the pandemic, describing them as the ‘glue’ that has kept families together in the most trying of years.
Speaking after Mass at St. John’s Cathedral, Bishop Leahy said that in many ways mothers have carried the brunt of the restrictions that Covid-19 has drawn down on top of us in this past year.
“It is fair to say that over the past year, mothers have taken on so much more,” he said.
“From what I’ve picked up talking with mothers and fathers, I want to acknowledge how women are yet again proving the great and selfless multi-taskers, the essential glue for families in all of this Covid crisis. On top of already packed lives of being earners, mothers, wives daughters, sisters and so much more, they’ve become caregivers, home-schoolers, juggling child-care challenges with work responsibilities and multi-tasking even more than they’ve done before.
“Yes, mothers have combined a new tapestry that has wrapped around families in this Covid year.”
While grateful to them, Bishop Leahy said that out debt of gratitude must involve recognition also that this multi-tasking has come at a cost.
“Stress levels have been higher this year. Research indicates that mothers took on more household and childcare duties than fathers. First time mothers experienced isolation in giving birth and also throughout the first year of their child’s development. They missed the support of immediate family, relatives and friends, especially the reassuring presence of their own mothers. It seems that in some cases some women ended up having to scale back and even leave the workforce during this past year.
“This year, then, and today, in particular, let us applaud mothers for their role in the pandemic, in being the glue in the family that is keeping so much of it together. They have contributed much. They are society’s very first frontline workers, coming also with that unique maternal caring instinct that so often sees them be the first responders to others in the family enduring various impacts of this pandemic – fear, disarray, frayed nerves, boredom, cabin fever, isolation.
“We think, of course, of mothers whose home environment does not honour their incredible work – to the contrary. We pray for them especially. And let us pay particular attention to single mothers who have probably borne even greater burdens during this time. It is worth asking if we as a society or state can do more to help them.”
Bishop Leahy also prayed for those who have been without the privilege of a maternal influence this past year or who have lost mothers during the pandemic.
He closed: “let’s remember for all of us, we have a special mother in Heaven, Mary, the mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church. May she in her maternal care untie any knots that burden us at this time.”