Ysam new picture newMother’s Day this year is entering its second century since its inception 101 years ago, yet most people have yet to find its true meaning. The women who originally celebrated Mother’s Day conceived it as an occasion to use their status as mothers to protest injustice and war.
In 1858, Anna Reeves Jarvis organized Mother’s Work Days in West Appalachian communities to protest the lack of sanitation that caused disease-bearing insects and polluted water to sicken and kill many poor workers.
In 1870, after witnessing the bloody Civil War, Julia Ward Howe—a Boston pacifist, poet, and suffragist who wrote the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”—proclaimed a special day for mothers to oppose war. Committed to ending all armed conflict, Howe wrote, “Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage… Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.”
When Anna Jarvis died in 1905, her daughter, also named Anna, vowed to honor her mother’s political activism by creating a national Mother’s Day. Companies seized on the holiday by setting out to teach Americans how to honor their mothers by buying them flowers, candy, or cards. This outraged Anna Jarvis, the daughter. When florists sold carnations for the then exorbitant price of $1 a piece, she began a campaign against “those who would undermine Mother’s Day with their greed.” Sadly, she was hardly a match for the flower and card companies, and so a billion-dollar industry was born.
Like birthdays and Christmas, this mid-spring holiday generates much revenue for card companies like Hallmark, florists, candy companies, and restaurants. However, with this special day soon approaching it is wise for all to consider the vital importance of the pillar of a stable society.
From the moment the pregnancy test reads positive, the woman is differently defined. There is a status change, she has joined the ranks of special people and now embarks on a special journey.
Anyone who believes that mothers are unimportant in the lives of their children should consider the problems that have resulted from moms leaving home on a mass scale. Studies have proven that, on the whole, just as surely as plants need water and sunlight, children wither without motherly influence and flourish with it. This is a truth long ago expounded on in a source that too few recognize today as being authoritative: the Bible.
Feminists cringe at the thought, and view any attempt to persuade working moms to return home as an attack on women’s rights. They would rather compete with men to prove they are every bit as capable of holding a successful career. The problem is that while they have proven that point, it has come at considerable cost to our children.
In the Good Book, there is some specificity, Proverbs 29:15 says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. No one cannot speak enough of the second oldest profession in the world, that carries no prior training, is non-salaried, has no job security, no vacation, no stipulated hours of duty, no paid overtime, and one for which you can be held accountable despite how old the product has become.
Personally, at best I cannot even conjure up the thought of a more thankless job. If things do not turn out a certain way, then it is Mom’s fault. Well, Mom didn’t… Or, where was your mother when you did this…?” I have said it myself standing in a public place when I see a child acting out; the first thought that runs through my mind is: “Where is that child’s mother?”
No sane or rational thinking human would challenge the following facts: babies are endlessly demanding; toddlers require twenty-four hour security surveillance to protect them from their relentless curiosity.
Parents of elementary school children are corralled into helping with homework, bake sales and field days, while in high school provide the requirements for science projects with frightfully sounding names. Adolescents’ extra-curricular activities require complicated shuttle services, and teenagers can be intimidating, surly beasts, challenging parents to love them most when they are most unlovable.
We need to look more closely at Mother’s Day and allow it to take its rightful stand and stance.
Many people, when becoming parents themselves, develop the attitude that they are being altruistic when they bring their children around to spend time with grandma and grandpa, often leaving their parents to baby-sit for hours, while they are off doing their own activities.
In effect, their mothers end up becoming mothers, or even indentured servants to their grandchildren and lose the time they should be relaxing.
When spending time with mothers on Mother’s Day, it is important that children remember that their mother needs a break too from being a mom.
Ask anyone the most important day for them and you will get answers ranging from birthday, Christmas, to wedding anniversary day. How many have said or will say Mothers’ Day? Unfortunately, I would guess very few. For some reason Mother’s Day gets overlooked or downplayed.
Yes, there are commercials all over the place reminding us to send flowers, or buy Mom candy, but where is the real sentiment?
Yes, Mother’s Day continues to roll on as an engine of consumerism, yet, on a note of reminder, it is so much more than a gift or saying Happy Mother’s Day. It would be a great thing to give commercialism the same break and bring this day back to what it was intended to be – a day of immaterial love and appreciation for Mom.
May we all feel a deeper appreciation for the great blessing of motherhood, not just when we celebrate Mother’s Day, but every day? After all, without Moms where would we be as a society?
Aleuta—The struggle
continues.