The Mothers behind Mother’s Day
The Mother’s Day holiday we know today was born with the help of a few midwives. It wasn’t dreamed up by a greeting card company. It was the cumulation of a few different women’s efforts to recognize mothers and the importance of their role in shaping the future. The roots of Mother’s Day are more complicated than you’d think, like the roots of most of us!
The ancient Greeks and Romans had festivals honoring their goddess mothers. In the 16th century, Mothering Sunday was observed in the United Kingdom. But this wasn’t originally about moms; it referred to people visiting the ‘mother church’ – the main church in their area – on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
In the 1850s, women in the Southeastern USA began organizing what they called ‘mothers’ day work clubs’. These group were focused on reducing child mortality by improving living conditions for poor families. Ann Jarvis was a key figure in this movement.
In 1870, abolitionist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe read her ‘Mother’s Day Proclamation’ urging mothers to unite in the cause of world peace. A few years later, she tried to establish ‘Mother’s Peace Day’ as a holiday in June.
It was Ann Jarvis’s daughter Anna Reece Jarvis who usually gets credited as the mother of Mother’s Day. She took her inspiration from her mother and combined it with her experience in the advertising industry to lead a successful campaign to make the second Sunday in May officially Mother’s Day. President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law in 1914.
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What Mother’s Day Means Now
Motherhood is a unique experience for every woman. Thankfully, society no longer has one rigid view of what a mother should or can be. But there is one thing mothers have in common – they are our roots. To say they give us half of our DNA is technically true, but it seems an understatement. Mothers give us so much more, whether they are the woman who gave birth to us or a stepmother, adoptive mother or godmother. For many of us, our mothers are the people who guided us as we figured out who we are.
Consider how the word ‘mother’ is used in the English language. We have a mother tongue and a motherland. We all live on Mother Earth, and let’s not forget Mother Nature. The role of mothering is primal. Whether you have one mother or are blessed with more, it is worth celebrating them. (And it is worth noting that it took more than one mother to create Mother’s Day!)
Every mother is unique. Every family has its own traditions, rooted in their heritage, their experiences and their unique imaginations. Through the generations, families grow. They carry some traditions on, adapt some to their lives and drop others. And mothers play a huge role in that.
How will you celebrate the people who mothered you as you grew and blossomed? What can you do to pay tribute to those who taught you where you came from and showed you that you can go as far as your dreams take you?
Browse the store to find elegant hand crafted jewelry gifts to celebrate your Mom’s Celtic heritage.