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The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Friday, May 6, 2011

What is a "Mother?"

As Mothers' Day approaches, I am reminded of a scene in the Broadway show La Cage aux Folles in which the characters debate what constitutes a mother. One character essentially states that a mother is the person who gives birth to you, the other argues that this isn't at all his definition. He counters that a mother worries about the tiniest threads of your life, someone who senses that you need them without being told, someone who puts you first, and as someone who loves you more than all of the loves you've ever had in your life.

As social workers, we frequently deal with family units and we practice under the Code of Ethics, which acknowledges differences and demands that we be both sensitive and open-minded regarding the differences of others.

For as often as single mothers on tv sometimes are shown discussing how she is both the mother and the father, it's interesting how rare it is that media shows other versions of "mothers."

That said, I hope everyone will take a moment this weekend to thank the mothers in your life. Whether they are biological parents, adoptive parents, grandparents, a trusted female who isn't a blood relative, a father who served as a mother-figure, a pair of mothers raising a child together, or any other type of person who takes on a maternal role, each one deserves acknowledgment and thanks... after all, where would we be without them?!

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