Celebrating Mom! A Look Back at the Beginning of Mother’s Day!
Owner of Embody Pole Fitness and UPA Contributor, Diana Renee Boyle, talks about how Mother’s Day got started and how she celebrates the holiday.
Mother’s Day, is a holiday with deep significance, although celebrated around the world it is an American invention. Celebrations of motherhood and mothers have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration. For me Mother’s Day represents the perfect time to reflect on the bonds between women, and especially the bonds between mothers and daughters.
I spent the morning watching the Dove Real Beauty Sketches, Women and Men, what struck me was, in both videos, two people, a man and a woman, said “My mom told me I had…X.” It brought to mind how much of who we are and how we see ourselves is shaped by our mothers. This power we have as mothers, is truly terrifying and wonderful, a grave responsibility. With a grown child, I reflect back on the positive affirmations and the negative remarks I’ve made to Chris and realize, as all mothers do, that I could have done better. Despite everything I’ve ever done wrong and because of everything I ever did right, I witness my son grow into a strong, moral, hard-working and kind man and I’m so proud. The relationship mothers have with our children is sacred, Lord help anyone stupid enough to get between a mother and her children.
My mother is my best friend, the person in my life who knows me best and loves me anyway. As I age, I realize the powerful influence my mother has had over my life. My smile, my mannerisms, my work ethic, I see her everywhere. I love my mother more than any other woman in my life, because of her I am able to meet challenges, push past obstacles and most importantly love myself. When the roses are blooming, the sun is out and all is good in the world, I call my Mom. When it is cloudy, stormy and seems I’m lost forever, I call my Mom. She is my cornerstone, the strongest person I have ever known. When I grow up, I want to be my Mom.
How it all began
Mother’s Day — or a similar incarnation — is celebrated across the world on different days throughout the year. In the United States, the holiday’s orginaly purpose was to honor the sacrifices mothers make for their children, but its roots stretch back much further.
Ann Reeves Jarvis, an activist in West Virginia in the mid-1800s, worked tirelessly to improve health conditions for both infants and mothers. She formed groups known as Mother’s Day Work Clubs; these groups helped teach women how to care for their children, as well as providing care and aid to wounded soldiers — from both sides of the Mason-Dixon line — during the Civil War.
When the war was over, the work clubs took on a more political role, calling for women across the country to unite and work together toward peace. Jarvis and Julia Ward Howe — a pacifist suffragette and abolitionist who’s best known for writing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” — developed a Mother’s Peace Day with the goal of reuniting women who’d been on opposite sides of the fighting during the Civil War.
An Evolving Holiday
When Jarvis died in 1905, her daughter Anna wanted to honor her mother’s memory, as well as the sacrifices that all mothers make, so she organized the first Mother’s Day celebration in 1908. The success of the event led her to petition the government to adopt the day as a national holiday, and a few years later, her dream was realized.
Today, Mother’s Day still honors that essential relationship between mother and child, but it’s also transformed into a celebration of all women. The bonds between women remain strong, and the holiday has been used to make them even stronger; for instance, Coretta Scott King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s wife, has lead marches to support needy women and their children on Mother’s Day.
This Mother’s Day, why not spend the day celebrating the many women that enrich your own life! So go buy some flowers and call your Mom!!!