6 May 2022
Celebrating all Great Women-Everyday
Mom, mommy, mater, mama, maman, mutter, madre, and matka are just some of the ways we refer to our mothers. No matter what we call our mothers, one thing is clear, mothers play a special role in our lives.
I remember the days when a week before mother’s day we would make cards, special paintings or jewelry boxes made out of popsicle sticks in school. I’m not very crafty or artistic, but I still like to believe that those gifts meant something to my mother. My brother and I would work hard on mother’s day morning to pour a glass of orange juice and a bowl of cereal and milk without spilling. We’d load up the breakfast tray with homemade cards, flowers we had picked from our neighbor’s yard, and other knick knacks and candy we could find. Typically, the four of us would go for a bike ride or spend the day together out in nature and my father would make a BBQ for dinner. It was a simple day and as we got older, things got less simple. There seemed to be higher expectations, more elaborate gifts and fancier meals. I don’t know if the expectations were from our mother or if we had placed them on ourselves, but Mother’s Day became more of a chore and less of a desirable day.
Mother’s day is a holiday that was started by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official holiday in 1914. Celebrations of mothers is an old tradition and can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. Jarvis was determined to see the holiday she created added to the National calendar. She continued to argue that many holidays were biased towards male achievements and she started a letter writing campaign to newspapers and politicians for the adoption of the holiday.
Her persistence paid off; however, Jarvis had originally thought that Mother’s Day would be a celebration between mothers and their families. The day became incredibly popular amongst florists, card companies, and other gift businesses. Jarvis had worked so hard to get the holiday recognized, but it wasn’t long before she became disappointed with the commercialization. She outwardly asked people to stop buying cards, flowers, and other gifts. Many holidays were created with the right intentions, yet they become heavily commercialized and we forget the true meaning of them.
Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. In Ethiopia, families have a sing along in honor of the mothers. They dance, sing, and share stories. In the UK, churches traditionally hand out daffodils to mothers and girls bake fruit cakes as gifts. In France, les mamans receive flower shaped cakes, and in Mexico, flowers are a must and all of the restaurants are filled with large family gatherings. Gift giving and celebrations take place in Egypt, and in Peru, families spend time at the cemetery cleaning and honoring the graves of lost ones.
Mother’s Day can be used to celebrate not just mothers, but all women in our lives who have helped us grow and become the women we are today. Everyone knows someone they can celebrate and honor. Maybe it’s an aunt, grandmother, teacher, friend, or neighbor. We have all shown love and support towards others throughout our lives. Let’s be sure to celebrate and thank other important women in our lives.
No matter what you do, try to remember why Anna Jarvis created the holiday in the first place; to honor the sacrifices that mothers made for their children. It is nice to have a special day, but it’s also important to treat your mom and other women in your life with respect, love, and kindness every day of the year, and not just the one called “Mother’s Day.”