Barack Obama photo

The President's Weekly Address

May 07, 2016

Hello, everybody. In our house, everybody knows that President is only the third most important job in the family. So this weekend, I'm going to take a little extra time to say thank you to Michelle for the remarkable way she does the most important job: being a mom. And I'm going to give extra thanks to my mother-in-law for the role model she's always been to Michelle and the countless selfless ways in which she's helped Michelle and me raise Malia and Sasha. I am incredibly lucky to have these wonderful women to help me raise, love, and look after our girls.

I hope you'll also take a moment to say thank you to the women in your life who love you in that special way moms do. Biological moms, adoptive moms, and foster moms; single moms, grandmas, and godmothers; aunts, mentors—whomever you think of when you think of Mother's Day. Or take a moment, like I will, to remember the moms who raised us, whose big hearts sustained us, and whom we miss every day, no matter how old we get.

Giving flowers is always a good idea. But I hope that on this Mother's Day, we'll recommit ourselves to doing more than that: Through deeds that match our words, let's give mothers the respect they deserve, give all women the equality they deserve, and give all parents the support that they need in their most important roles.

That includes paid maternity leave and paternity leave, sick leave, accommodations for workers who are pregnant, good health care, affordable childcare, flexibility at work, equal pay, and a decent minimum wage. We ask our moms to do more than their fair share of just about everything. Making sure they're treated fairly is the least we can do.

The idea of setting aside a Sunday in May for our mothers became an official holiday with a congressional resolution a little more than a hundred years ago. They did it on May 8, the same day we'll celebrate Mother's Day this year. If Congress can make a holiday, surely they can back it up with the things that give it meaning. After all, that's what my mother taught me. I couldn't just say I was going to do the right thing or say I agreed with it on principle, I had to actually do it.

So this Mother's Day, say thank you, say I love you, and let's make sure we show that gratitude and appreciation through acts of respect throughout the year. No one deserves that more than our moms.

Happy Mother's Day, and have a great weekend.

NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 11:20 a.m. on May 6 in the Map Room at the White House for broadcast on May 7. In the address, the President referred to his mother-in-law Marian Robinson. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 6, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on May 7. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of this address.

Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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