Mother’s Day is celebrated by people all over the world but do you know how and why it began?
In the beginning
The first Mother’s Day was credited to the concept of Anna Jarvis to commemorate her dear mother.
When Anna was 12 years old she heard her mum express in a prayer, that she would love a special day to appreciate all mothers both dead and living for their endless hard work. Anna’s mother worked tirelessly to help mothers in her community.
Mrs. Anna M. Jarvis (Anna’s mum) began the Mother’s Day Work Clubs in local churches. She encouraged women to join these clubs to prevent poor health and sanitation environment which attributed to the high mortality rate of children. Her mother founded Mothers Friendship Day after the civil war, to bring both sides together again to find friendship. She was an activist who did so much to support women and help them support themselves.
Anna’s mother died in 1905 and she always remembered her mother’s wish to honour all mothers. She began to campaign for a special day to be set aside in her own mother’s memory and to recognise the sacrifices and hard work of all mothers. She wrote letters to politicians, business leaders, and civic organizations, urging them to support the idea of a special day to honour mothers.
It finally came to fruition on May 10, 1908. This date was chosen because her mother died May 9, 1905 and she decided to remember have Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May every year in memory of her mother.
What made Anna Angry?
Anna became upset when her precious Mother’s Day became commercialised. She started the tradition of wearing white carnations at the first church service because it was her mother’s favourite. White carnations were worn to pay tribute to mother’s who’ve died and red for those living. It soon became a time when florists put exorbitant prices on flowers and began to expand to roses and other expensive flowers that had nothing to do with her mother.
She was also upset about greeting card companies profiting enormously.
On this she said:
“A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother – and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.”
She fought continuously to go back to the roots of honouring Mother’s with a simple carnation instead of the monstrosity it’s become. Anna died having no children and having Mother’s Day still commercialised to the hilt.
My Mother’s Day Celebration
I have fabulous memories of when our girls were little. I loved waking up on Mother’s Day morning to handmade cards with heartfelt messages. They’d also made breakfast with their dad and drawn gorgeous pictures for me. It gave me great joy to sit and talk all morning about how they made the cards and what the drawings were actually of.
After spending ages in bed with everyone we’d get dressed, make a picnic and go to a park somewhere. It was always a surprise where we’d end up.
The Wrap Up
It’s sad that it can’t be a simple celebration of Mothers all over the world. I didn’t know why or when Mother’s Day began, however I think it’s lovely that it began to celebrate the life of a mother who gave so much to her family and community.
What’s your Mother’s Day celebration like? I’d love to know.
Sending you love, strength and joy.