MOTHERHOOD is not what it used to be, we hear. More likely, motherhood is exactly what it used to be, but lots of things have changed around it. The enduring dilemmas of motherhood - balancing gentleness and discipline, and children's need for both independence and guidance - remain the same.
But the context around such constants has been transformed. More than half the mothers of young children now work outside the home; hence the need to parcel out child-rearing duties. Most mothers work because family finances demand it; yet surveys show that many find separation from their children troubling.
Does this spring from steady reminders that ``a mother's place is in the home''? Or is it based on a deep feeling that few things are more challenging, and ultimately more rewarding, than shaping within your home the life of another human being?
Working mothers, single mothers, and mothers who stay at home all share the extraordinary task of nurturing young lives. Even with the arrival of ``more involved'' fathers, mothers continue to shoulder the bulk of this responsibility.
On this Mother's Day - in fact, every day - we salute them.