Since last June, I have watched with equal parts joy and concern as my wife, Marci, has dived head-long into motherhood.

When she checks the diaper bag for the fourth time on our way out the door or agonizes from baby department to baby department over which crib protector our little Anna needs, it seems like pieces of her sanity are being chipped away.

But there’s a new drive I hadn’t seen in her before. It’s the drive of a mother’s love that makes those small tasks and seemingly insignificant decisions weigh so much heavier on her. She’s thinking months and years ahead, preparing for first steps and first days of school while I’m not always aware of where Anna’s socks are or if there’s anything healthy in the fridge for her to eat.

Don’t worry, Marci always makes sure there is.

This speaks to Marci’s amazing ability to organize and plan, but also her innate understanding of how to raise a child. She’s a caring person by nature, and from the day Anna was born that tenderness has increased and focused with great intensity on her daughter.

The recent attacks on the?American mom — whether over the legitimacy of stay-at-home mothering as a career or the proper age to ween a child from breast feeding — seem to be a distraction from a basic fact we all know.

Moms who try are great.

There are some mothers who don’t or can’t try, for any number of reasons. That’s tragic, because a mother’s love and nurturing is crucial in our development.

But for the rest of the moms, the majority, who put their children first and use their intrinsic abilities to care for them as best they can, there should be less finger pointing and name calling.

Maybe it’s because of the aisles of child-care books, gigabytes of online information and hours of seminars available on parenting, but somehow we’ve all become experts on how children should be raised. That doesn’t just mean our children — it means all children.

So when we see someone doing things radically different, we assume they need some advice.

Yes, Marci has sought out the books, websites and especially personal wisdom from other mothers. She has a support group of new moms, plus the tested-and-true advice from both our mothers.

But after taking all that in, she has ultimately gone with her heart. And that’s been proof enough for me that a mom who truly cares rarely goes wrong.

So for all moms who take on the daily duties of preparing children for their lives, to my mother and especially to my wife, happy Mother’s?Day.

— Daniel?Wattenburger

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