By Patricia Roberts, CSPN Corporate Affiliate Chair

May 9, 2018

On special occasions like Mother’s Day, my siblings and I made it a tradition when we got together to make a list of reasons for which we were grateful for our amazing mom. Since our thoughts could never properly fit into a traditional greeting card (beautiful displays of which I always loved browsing through in stores this time of year), we often made a large “card” out of poster board for this purpose. We took turns reflecting on and then individually reading aloud our “thank you for…” submissions as we posted them one by one. While she was always so modest, it clearly made our mom proud to listen to us recall with such appreciation her many contributions to our individual and collective lives. And, long after our family celebrations ended, she enjoyed the visible reminder of our many thanks on the make-shift card we had created for her.

I recently found a photo from the very last family celebration in which we gathered to honor our mom and noticed that in looking05.08.18 CSPN Mothers Day at the photo, among the many thanks listed were ones relating to her unwavering commitment to our education. For instance, we thanked her for attending our school events, for doing flashcards with us, for reading stories before saying prayers with us at night, for being “our audience” as we practiced book reports, for cheering us on from afar through our undergraduate and graduate degrees and in general, for always being there for us.

Like mine, so many moms are at the heart of their children’s education. Moms play the critical role of first teacher in a child’s early life and as they grow, moms remain an important part of their children’s more formal education. Beyond this, by example, moms provide children with tools of all types to carry with them throughout their lives. By seamlessly demonstrating time management skills, budgeting and savings strategies, the art of juggling multiple priorities at once and so much more, moms make the home a place of continual learning by simply doing what they do each day.

As we celebrate remarkable moms this Mother’s Day:

  • Take time to reflect on and acknowledge the support and encouragement you received from your mother or other role models throughout your journey. If you’re fortunate enough to have a mom who is still around, offer her a special thank you for her commitment to your future. If your mom has passed on, share her contribution with others as it lives on through you.
  • Help moms-to-be and new moms get off to a strong start by replacing more traditional gifts (which are often quickly outgrown) with a contribution to a college savings plan account as a baby shower or baby arrival gift. Your thoughtful present may quickly become a favorite as it helps moms (and dads) get an early start on an important goal, while opening the door for other friends and family to contribute as well.

While my days of joyfully browsing through Mother’s Day cards this time of year may be behind me, I am still reminded that there will never be enough words to adequately thank moms for all they do. Moms are simply awesome. Wishing moms everywhere a very Happy Mother’s Day!


About the Author

Patricia Roberts has been a part of the 529 industry for more than 17 years, serving as an attorney, product manager, state relationship manager, and currently as chair of the CSPN Corporate Affiliate Committee.