A mother rocks and rocks her babe to sleep in a cradle, but the thoughts of the child’s sleep may so take possession of her mind that sometimes she is able to put him to sleep without the aid of the cradle. This effect is produced by the mother’s magnetism.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 517)
Blessed is the mother who bore thee and the breast whose milk suckled thee and the bosom wherein thou wert nurtured, because thou hast apprehended the Day of the Lord, hast prepared thyself to enter in unto His kingdom, hast set thy face singly toward His Gracious Countenance, hast believed in the Manifest Light, hast rejoiced in the Abundant Grace, hast responded to the Voice of thy Lord with a sincere and beating heart and hast presented thyself from those regions at the Glorious Threshold and hast marked thy forehead with pure, holy, fragrant Tomb, the breaths of whose sanctity are spread abroad throughout the lands as fragrant musk is diffused unto the distant place! Then thank thy Lord, the Merciful, the Clement, for this great salvation (or fruition, achievement, or attainment) and exceeding grace!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 114-115)
In regard to the question you asked him: he feels sure that, although in some ways you may be a financial burden to your children, it is to them a privilege to look after you; you are their mother and have given them life, and through the bounty of Bahá’u’lláh they are now attracted to His Faith. Anything they do for you is small recompense for all you have done for them.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 229)
In relation to your specific queries, the decision concerning the amount of time a mother may spend in working outside the home depends on circumstances existing within the home, which may vary from time to time. Family consultation will help to provide the answers.
(Universal House of Justice, Compilation on Women)
Let the mothers consider that whatever concerneth the education of children is of the first importance. Let them put forth every effort in this regard, for when the bough is green and tender it will grow in whatever way ye train it. Therefore is it incumbent upon the mothers to rear their little ones even as a gardener tendeth his young plants. Let them strive by day and by night to establish within their children faith and certitude, the fear of God, the love of the Beloved of the worlds, and all good qualities and traits. Whensoever a mother seeth that her child hath done well, let her praise and applaud him and cheer his heart; and if the slightest undesirable trait should manifest itself, let her counsel the child and punish him, and use means based on reason, even a slight verbal chastisement should this be necessary. It is not, however, permissible to strike a child, or vilify him, for the child’s character will be totally perverted if he be subjected to blows or verbal abuse.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 289-290)
The Manifestation of God gives birth to the religion of God as a mother gives birth to her child. One may observe that if the mother of a child becomes aware that she is going to die, she will entrust her infant to the care of a trustworthy nurse or other reliable person, to look after and protect him until he becomes older and able to stand on his own feet and become self-supporting. This is what Bahá’u’lláh did when He wrote the Kitáb-i-‘Ahd and appointed ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to assume responsibility for the Cause of God which, in the terms of the above analogy, was passing through the stages of infancy and childhood, and needed to be nurtured and cared for. Had it not been for the divine protection vouchsafed to it in the person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, left on its own, would have been like an orphaned infant without a nurse, and it would have suffered the same fate as older religions did when schisms occurred and the followers divided it into many sects.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 381)
The great importance attached to the mother’s role derives from the fact that she is the first educator of the child. Her attitude, her prayers, even what she eats and her physical condition have a great influence on the child when it is still in womb. When the child is born, it is she who has been endowed by God with the milk which is the first food designed for it, and it is intended that, if possible, she should be with the baby to train and nurture it in its earliest days and months.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 626)
Thou didst ask as to the education of children. Those children who, sheltered by the Blessed Tree, have set foot upon the world, those who are cradled in the Faith and are nurtured at the breast of grace—such must from the beginning receive spiritual training directly from their mothers. That is, the mother must continually call God to mind and make mention of Him, and tell of His greatness, and instill the fear of Him in the child, and rear the child gently, in the way of tenderness, and in extreme cleanliness. Thus from the very beginning of life every child will be refreshed by the gentle wafting of the love of God and will tremble with joy at the sweet scent of heavenly guidance. In this lieth the beginning of the process; it is the essential basis of all the rest.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 280-282)