By Beth Hanning
Mother’s Day has a long history. According to 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. 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 started to see the commercialization of the day, she worked the rest of her life to repeal the holiday.
Well, I like the commercialization of the holiday. I am not going to lie. I enjoy receiving gifts. This year is awful because my youngest daughter Megan’s birthday is that day and I do not like sharing!
Of course, over the years 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. It said that one of the things that made me a great mom was, while in the car, I allowed them to listen to their music while I was driving! Something so simple was a thing they loved about me.
Being a mother is, to me, the hardest job in the world, and especially in these trying times, Moms need this day to celebrate how hard we all work. I see my friends going to five to 10 sporting events for their kids each weekend. They do this while working, getting the kids who have these games to practices all week and making sure all of their schoolwork is completed. This all in addition to trying to get dinners on the table and maybe trying to fit in a workout!
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. And I pray no one asks you on Sunday night to help them with the project they forgot to tell you about!
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.
A special thank you to all who texted and emailed me about returning to writing! It is much appreciated.