Mother’s Day has a long a various history but what is most exciting to me is that it was founded to honor women’s work in the field of peace building. As early as the mid-19th century, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia started Mother’s Day Work Clubs to teach local women how to better care for their children. Later, in 1868, she organized Mothers’ Friendship Day that brought together women from north and south to promote reconciliation after the divisive Civil War.
Soon thereafter in 1870, Julia Ward Howe, an abolitionist and suffragette, wrote the ‘Mother’s Day Proclamation’ which was a call to action asking mothers to unite in promoting world peace. The official holiday that we call Mother’s Day began in the 1900s by Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, who wanted to honor her mother’s work for peace and all the mothers who sacrificed so much for their children. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure to make the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day but by then, the day had become so commercialized that Anna Jarvis disowned the holiday.
Needless to say, florists, greeting card companies and other retailers have benefited from this holiday honoring mothers which apparently is one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending. Mother’s Day has now spread around the world and is celebrated differently in many cultures. The holiday has also been used to launch various campaigns to support underprivileged women and children and highlight the need for equal rights and childcare.
Whatever your path, whether your mother is living or passed on, whether you are motherless or have a full brood, we know we all come from our mothers. Whether your mother was the best super mom in the world, or if your mother wasn’t quite what you had hoped for in a mother, we wish you the blessings of peace and reconciliation in your family. Happy Mother’s Day.
And hopefully, not to seem too commercial, Soundings of the Planet’s Mother’s Day CD sale ends on May 11 so you can take advantage of it for yourself or a late gift for your mom.