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A Most Rewarding Job

(May 9, 2011) As a follow up to Mother's Day, we thought that we would publish some facts about Mom's.

    - 2 billion -
    The number of mothers in the world.

    - 1914 -
    The year that President Woodrow Wilson signed the orders that made Mother's Day a national holiday.

    - Maharis -
    Some tribes of people, like the Assam in Africa, don't call themselves families. They call themselves "maharis" or "motherhoods."

    - Life of the Nation -
    Native American women have long been honored with the name, "Life of the Nation" for their gift of motherhood to the tribes.

    - Over 1,000,000 -
    The number of women worldwide who die each year because of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. (read more)

    - 72 -
    The infant mortality rate for Nepal -- that's the number of deaths per 1,000 live births. In the United States, there are only 7 deaths for every 1,000 live births. (read more)

    - 1 in 7 -
    The risk of a women dying during childbirth in Ethiopia. (read more)

    - 1 in 3,500 -
    The risk of a women dying during childbirth in the United States.

    - Every 3 seconds -
    A baby is born somewhere in the world.

    - Sweden and Malawi -
    Sweden has the lowest birth rate in the world, 1 in 100. Malawi, in Africa, has the highest, 5.3 in 100.

    - 20 million -
    The number of infants who are born prematurely or with low birth weights because their mothers didn't have proper nutrition while they were pregnant.

    - 25 -
    The percentage of deaths, of mothers and children, that could be prevented by educating families to space births by at least two years.

    - 69 -
    The largest number of children born to one woman is recorded at 69.

    - 1978 -
    The first child ever born on the continent of Antarctica was born in 1978. (read more)

    Facts on Women in the Workforce from the DOL.

An this article would not be complete with out the Top 10 Science Fiction Mom's from GeekDad, Matt Blum:
1. Sarah Connor - Who else could be at number 1? When it comes to standing up for your family, she goes far beyond what most people are capable of. She would do, and does, just about anything to ensure her son John's safety, not just because she knows he's supposed to grow up to be the savior of humanity but because he's her son and anyone who wants to hurt him will have to go through her first. She may not always know the right words to say to John, but sometimes actions speak louder than words, right?

2. Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan - One of the awesomest moms in science fiction, Cordelia kicks butt and takes names. She starts off the Vorkosigan saga as captain of a survey vessel, a position requiring a lot of education and no small amount of command ability. Even after marrying Aral and moving to Barrayar, a planet where women are typically treated as second-class citizens, she remains resolutely independent and strong. To rescue her unborn son (they use a "uterine replicator," so she isn't actually pregnant) she even infiltrates the Imperial Residence and beheads the pretender to the throne. When Miles is an adult, she is always a great mom to him, providing advice and comfort when needed, and a kick in the butt every now and then.

3. Elastigirl / Helen Parr - It's certainly not a stretch to say that she's a great mom. She does everything she can to protect her family, even at great risk to herself. And it has to be tough raising kids with superpowers (see Martha Kent, above) - we never get to see what Violet was like as a little kid, but can you imagine having a toddler who could turn invisible?!

4. Molly Weasley - We'll never quite understand what possessed Molly and Arthur to have more kids after Fred and George, other than the fact that their two younger kids are essential to the Harry Potter books' plots. Molly is a great mom, raising seven great kids (well, maybe six great kids and Percy) without a lot of money, though we're sure the magic helped a lot. And of course she treats Harry almost as if he's her son, too. Consider what she had to deal with in the last two books: her eldest son Bill being attacked and disfigured by a werewolf, George losing an ear, and of course Fred's death. We do love the scene where she kills Bellatrix Lestrange, protecting Ginny and finally kicking butt the way we'd always known she could.

5. Sharon "Athena" Agathon - It has to be pretty tough, being the first Cylon to successfully reproduce with a human. And unimaginably tough to have your child taken away and to think she's dead. But she manages to stay true to her promises of allegiance with the humans, and certainly comes through for Hera in the end. The ending, whatever you may think of it, strongly implies that Hera, and thus Athena and Helo, are the progenitors of what became humanity on Earth.

6. The Alien Queen from Alien - She may not look like a very good mom from a human perspective, but consider her side of the story: she's just doing what she needs to do to perpetuate her species. The fact that that's a bit. . . messy for the people on the Nostromo is not her fault, is it?

7. Padme Amidala - Yes, we know, she never actually had the opportunity to be a mother to Luke and Leia. And she did spend most of Episode III sitting at home being pregnant and spouting mind-numbingly bad dialogue. But she was pretty badass in Episodes I and II, and she did produce her twins, who did eventually help bring about the downfall of the Empire.

8. Martha Kent - You think it's tough to deal with your kids' temper tantrums? Imagine having to worry they'll register on the Richter scale! And imagine his birthday parties: "OK, Clark, blow out the candles. . . CAREFULLY!" It's a miracle she had any hair, gray or not, left by the time she was getting old.

9. Lady Jessica Atreides - OK, so she may not be the most successful mother ever, but her son does turn out to be the Kwisatz Haderach, so that has to be worth something, right? Her influence in the Dune universe is hard to overstate, with both of her children and her grandson ruling the Empire for periods of time (in the case of her grandson Leto II, a really long time). Her ultimate legacy is tarnished a bit by her name being used by the Sisterhood as a warning to practice restraint, but at least she was remembered, right?

10. Carol Marcus - Raising Jim Kirk's son as a single mom couldn't be easy: you hope your genes carry through instead of Kirk's, but then the boy starts climbing the tallest trees he can find, chasing anything female with a pulse, and freely ignoring the Prime Directive. But she not only managed to bring up a smart and fairly well-adjusted (if a bit whiny) son, but also be a brilliant and prominent scientist - if that doesn't make her an awesome mom, what could?

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