On Mother’s Day, people pay tribute to their moms, thanking them for their love and support and encouraging them to take a break from the often round-the-clock work that motherhood entails.

Moms certainly deserve recognition and rest, but this year, Mother’s Day should also be a time for women to recognize the awesome responsibility that is placed in their hands when they become mothers. We get to shape the next generation. We teach our kids what they should value and the types of people they should aspire to become. We help set their expectations for the future and their role in the world.

This is a big responsibility. Generations of mothers before us would undoubtedly envy how easy it is for us privileged American mothers to ensure that our children have ample food and shelter. Yet they would be dumbstruck by the challenges we face in terms of laying out a moral compass—of keeping our kids focused on their own true value and on pursuing sources of lasting joy and satisfaction. Insecure food supply and a potential grizzly bear may seem simple obstacles compared to the dangers of TikTok and Snapchat.

But this is our battle, and we cannot back away from the fight.

Our first job is to not let all of those who would push us mothers out of the way succeed. In her must-read book, “Bad Therapy,” Abigail Shrier details how millions of parents—who want so much to raise healthy, happy children—were convinced to defer to so-called experts and let them make the biggest decisions about their children’s upbringings. Yet we learn every day how often those experts get it wrong. Sometimes the experts are wrong for terrible reasons; they prioritize money or their own political agenda over our children’s actual well-being. Often these experts have good intentions but are still just wrong.

Mothers need to reclaim a respect for their natural instincts. No one knows your child like you do. No outside expert—no therapist, teacher or administrator—has the same long-term interest in your child’s well-being. Don’t let anyone try to push you aside or challenge your role in raising your children.

On a day when you are getting treasured paper flowers and first-edition poems, it is especially hard to remember that parenting requires a lot of saying no. As someone who values harmony at home, it is always tempting to give in to a surly preteen’s demands and let her fall into technology’s rabbit hole of texting and entertainment. But our job is not to be their friend but their parent. We are supposed to take the long view and see beyond any unpleasant afternoon or difficult stage. This is an area where I certainly struggle, but as a Mother’s Day resolution, I recommit to doing right by my children, even when it’s hard.

The recent demonstrations on college campuses across the country are a reminder of the importance of our work. How depressing to see young adults joining protests without even rudimentary knowledge about the cause they supposedly support and turning a blind eye as radical protestors harass fellow students based on their ethnicity.

How thankful we all were to the mothers of those students who decided to rise up and speak out against those shutting down classes and breaking into buildings; we need more well-raised young adults, who are strong and courageous patriots and recognize that America, imperfect though she may be, is still the best and freest nation on Earth and that living here is a privilege.

Online influencers, hedonistic celebrities, and radical professors seek to instill a set of values that we know are at odds with our kids’ long-term interests. Their recipe of self-absorption, division, and negativity needs to be counteracted with a vision of a purpose-filled future of meaningful relationships and making valuable contributions to a respectful, peaceful society. It’s our job as mothers to guide what our children aspire to become.

Enjoy your breakfast in bed. Have a nice cup of coffee or even a glass of champagne. I wish you sunshine and a relaxing day treasuring your loved ones. Then take a deep breath and get ready to go back to it; you are the first line of defense in the battle for your children’s hearts and minds. Mothering today is not for the faint of heart.

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