Mother’s Day has a long history. According of History.com, the Greeks and Romans had festivals honoring mothers and England had celebrations during Lent to honor mothers. The American holiday can be traced back to Anna Jarvis from West Virginia, who around the time of the Civil War, started “Mother’s Day Work Clubs,” which helped mothers learn skills to raise their children. Ms. Jarvis then changed the focus of the club to “Mother’s Friendship Day,” where mothers of former Confederate and Union soldiers gathered together in order to bring the country together. Jarvis then campaigned to have Mother’s Day become an official holiday.
So, the history of Mother’s Day is quite impressive. Jarvis really wanted to assist mothers and improve relations between groups that needed mediating. Ironically, after Mother’s Day became a holiday in 1914 with Woodrow Wilson signing a proclamation, and Jarvis saw the commercialization of the day, she worked the rest of her life to repeal the holiday.
I like the commercialization of the holiday. I am not going to lie. I enjoy receiving gifts. I have gotten a new bicycle, in a town where you need a new bicycle every few years usually because your children “borrow” your bike and it disappears. The newest bike I received was an electric bicycle so I can keep up with my husband who bought one first. It was the best Mother’s Day gift EVER. I have received facial and massage gift certificates, also awesome gifts.
Of course, the best gifts were the ones the children made in school. I worry that with everything going on in the world, will teachers stop working on these crafts? Will the word “mom” become a cancelled word? I hope not. I had on the refrigerator for many years a poem my daughter wrote for me for Mother’s Day and one of the things that made me a great mom was while in the car I allowed them to listen to their music while driving in the car! Something so simple was a thing they loved about me.
In a trying year, Moms need this day to celebrate how hard we all work. This past year, mothers across the country became teachers and technology gurus. Thank goodness my children are older and not school age, because if I had to work from home while trying to have the children learn while on Zoom and Google Meet, it would not have been pretty. I have said to my friends with school-aged children, “God gives you what you can handle.” God knew I could not handle online learning. According to Forbes Magazine, alcohol sales were up 80% in 2020 compared to 2019. I do not see that as a coincidence. I see it as surviving online learning.
So to all the moms out there: I hope you get that manicure and pedicure gift certificate and I hope you get to go to the nail salon alone! I hope you get to go to the bathroom alone and without anyone calling your name, asking you where something is. I hope you get breakfast in bed. I hope you get a homemade card and/or gift from the kids. I hope you get to sleep a little later. I hope your husband surprises you with a cleaning lady while he takes you out for the day.
Thanks to all the moms out there, especially those not with us anymore, for showing us how to be the best moms we can be.
By Beth Hanning