DALLAS (WOMENSENEWS)–A district court judge expressed surprise that a man, three times convicted of gun and assault charges, shot his 6- and 9-year old daughters to death.

On May 2, the girls, Liberty and Faith Battaglia, were found murdered in their father’s loft apartment.

“No one could have ever have known this horrible thing would have happened,” Judge Theo Bedard was quoted as saying by the Dallas Morning News. She had presided over John David Battaglia’s divorce from the girls’ mother, Mary Jean Pearle, and had granted him visitation rights with limited supervision.

Battaglia had been convicted of misdemeanor gun possession and assault charges in connection with domestic violence. He had been arrested six times for violating court orders related to two divorces. He also had violated a protective order granted to Pearle.

Brief: A Special Mother’s Day Message From Women’s Enews

On Mother’s Day, Let’s Give Thanks to Mother, the Breadwinner

(WOMENSENEWS)–A heartfelt thanks to all those mothers who are truly terrific providers for their families. Yes, yes, I know I’ve got this all wrong. It’s Mother’s Day and I should be congratulating mothers yet again for giving hugs on sad days, kissing scrapped knees and saving toddler’s teddy bear from the trash.

But those sugary thanks for scrapped-knee kisses and teddy bear rescues have been done for years, in sweet denial of the most critical work of most moms: Putting food on the table. Paying the rent. Buying the shoes. Paying for summer camp. Paying the doctors’ bills. For mothers do that, too.

Among all women with children under age 3, 62 percent are in the labor force and 40 percent work full-time. And for that, most moms get not only the challenge of work, but the guilt that goes with it. As Mother’s Day is romanticized, we exacerbate her struggle to be both traditional teddy-bear-saving mom and bread winner. On Mother’s Day, we pretend this critical bread-winning work of mothers doesn’t exist.

How many times have you heard in a reverent whisper, one woman to another, “He’s such a great father. He does the wash on weekends and even took his son to the doctor! What a wonderful father!” But have you ever heard the proud whisper, “She’s just such a great bread winner, holding down a full-time job. What a wonderful mother she is!”

This year, I challenge you to turn to a working mom and say, “Thanks for being a good provider for your family!” You’ll give her the simple gift of thanks and the enduring gift of guilt relief. And after a moment of startled surprise, you’ll get back from that tired mom the warmest teddy-bear hug of all time.

Carol Head, the mother of two young sons, is the owner of Los Angeles-based Carol Head Consulting and a specialist in marketing and strategy for businesses experiencing rapid change. She is also a member of the Women’s Enews advisory board.