Mother's Day - Who Knew?

According to

 “Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, whose mother had organized women’s groups to promote friendship and health, originated Mother’s Day. On May 12, 1907, she held a memorial service at her late mother’s church in GraftonWest Virginia. Within five years virtually every state was observing the day, and in 1914 U.S. Pres. Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday." (Emphasis added.)

Anna’s mother was Ann Reeves Jarvis and they were both social activists, which I find so interesting. Mainly because I associate Mother’s Day with gentle love and comfort, and apple pie and big, smothering bosom hugs, and yet this day was created by a strong, determined woman following in her mother’s footsteps while honoring her strong, determined mother’s goals, resulting far beyond what her mother could ever have imagined. I love it. But I don’t love Mother’s Day. It's just so much pressure.

First of all, it’s hard enough thinking of gift ideas for birthdays and Christmas or Hannukah, or whatever you religiously celebrate. To add a third day per year requiring a gift is simply too stressful. Secondly, we’re not all lucky enough to still have our mothers with us and the day can be very sad for some people. Thirdly, some of us moms are not lucky enough to get to see our children, which can also make for a very depressing and lonely day.

And besides, shouldn’t we be honoring our parents every day? No gifts needed, just love and attention. A visit now and then, a phone call every few days. A heartfelt “I love you, mom.” There are so many ways to show our love throughout the year without putting so much emphasis on this one day with flowers and greeting cards and candy and dinner reservations. And guess what, folks? When Anna Jarvis saw how the holiday was being exploited, she wasn’t very happy about it.

Quoting once again:

“Jarvis also headed the Mother’s Day International Association, which she incorporated in 1912 to guide the annual observance of Mother’s Day and preserve the integrity of the holiday in the face of what she considered to be commercial exploitation by businesses and ideological distortion by political and social movements. Near the end of her life, having largely failed to prevent such supposed desecrations of her holiday, Jarvis vigorously (but unsuccessfully) campaigned for the legal cancellation of Mother’s Day in the United States.” (Emphasis added.)

And there we have it.

Here’s hoping your Mother’s Day is filled with the purity and beauty of the day’s original intent. ❤️