More often than not, mothers are the most influential people in our lives. From the moment we’re born, it’s our mother who takes care of us and gives us what we need to grow into well-adapted adults. Our needs become hers.
Mothers protect, nurture, teach, and love us every day growing up, so it would be surprising if there wasn’t a holiday that brought attention to this fact.
Mother’s Day wasn’t even a holiday until Anna Jarvis observed it for the first time in 1908. Growing up, Anna’s mother was involved in many community outreach groups all aimed at helping mothers raise their children.
Anna’s mother had always wished there was a day that celebrated the work mothers did, so when she died, Anna decided to make her mother’s dream a reality. It is because of the love Anna had for her mother that we celebrate Mother’s Day today.
The Western celebration of Mother’s Day isn’t the only holiday devoted to mothers. In fact, nearly every country in the world has their own version of Mother’s Day.
In the U.K., Mothering Sunday has been celebrated since the Middle Ages on the fourth Sunday during Lent. On this day, people go to their mother church to meet with their extended family and celebrate their mothers. Traditionally, children would pick flowers on their way to the church to give to their mothers, which is why today, flowers are one of the most common Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday gifts.
In Mexico, Mother’s Day is celebrated with lots of flowers, food, and music. Mariachi singers serenade mothers with the traditional song, “Las Mananitas.”
In Thailand, Mother’s Day is celebrated on their Queen’s birthday, August 12. Both their Queen, Sirikit, and mothers are celebrated with parades, flowers, and gift-giving.
Why Celebrate Mother’s Day?
We all know that caring for and appreciating our mothers is important, which is why there being a single day devoted to this may seem a bit strange. Shouldn’t we be celebrating mothers year-round?
Of course mothers deserve to be celebrated every single day, but realistically, life sometimes gets in the way of that. Some people, especially those who no longer live with their mothers, need a holiday to remind them of the importance their mothers still have in their lives.
Mother’s Day motivates them to give their moms a call, or better yet, to visit.
A holiday also creates the opportunity to ‘go big’! Instead of the everyday appreciation you show your mom, use Mother’s Day as a chance to take your appreciation to the next level with as much pomp as you deem necessary.
And remember, Mother’s Day isn’t just about celebrating your own mother. Use the day to celebrate any mothers and mother-figures who have made a positive impact on your life.
Moms on a Mission
Historically, Mother’s Day has been a day to not only show appreciation for your mother, but to bring attention to important issues.
It has always been a goal of mothers to bring about improvements in the world, and to make the world a safer, and more peaceful place for their children.
Anna Jarvis, the creator of Mother’s Day, was a social activist who fought for better public sanitation and health education. She was a pioneer in the public health movement of the Progressive Era which lasted from 1896-1916. Middle and lower-class mothers were one of the largest groups of people during that time to fight for social and political reform across the US.
Other social issues and movements throughout history spurred by mothers include the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, better gender equality, and better healthcare for women and children.
So, doing your part to help and support social and political causes, in addition to your usual Mother’s Day traditions, is an amazing way to show mothers that you care.
How Should You Celebrate Mother’s Day?
When women become mothers, the focus goes from their own needs to the child’s needs. It’s a selfless job, being a mother, and a thankless one too. Mother’s Day comes around once a year to remind us of the amazing things mothers do.
It’s a day that calls us to put our mother’s needs before our own.
Sometimes, what a mom needs is simply time to herself. Being a mom makes life hectic and exhausting. If you know that your mom could use a break, let Mother’s Day be an opportunity for her to have some time for self-care.
That means breakfast in bed, a trip to the spa, getting all the chores around the house done for her, taking her out to dinner, or anything else you think would make the day special for your mom.
However you choose to celebrate Mother’s Day, as long as you put your mom first, she’s sure to enjoy it.
One day is not nearly enough time to show mothers how much they are appreciated, but you have to admit that it’s a good start.