On Mother’s Day, hard-working moms from all over the globe are celebrated for being compassionate caretakers, tireless supporters and dedicated cheerleaders for their around the clock. Their hard work and devotion has earned them the praise of their peers, luxurious , bouquets of and family outings in their honor.
But before this commendable holiday ever existed, mothers were honored for much more, and some even fought tooth and nail not to commercialize this well-intended day.
The history of can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, who honored Rhea by naming her Mother of the Gods on a day specifically assigned to her. The Romans also honored Cybele, Mother of the Roman Gods.
In 19th century England, daughters were said to have brought along a special cake called a “mothering cake” to on the holiday they called “Mothering Sunday.” During this time, young women worked as servants in the homes of the wealthy and would be granted the day off to go and visit their mothers. Later, named the fourth Sunday of Lent as a day to honor Mary, mother of Jesus.
And in 1872, Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the words for The Battle Hymn of the Republic, suggested a day to honor American mothers and promote peace. She spent her time organizing annual mothers' meetings in Boston.
But it wasn’t until 1907 that Anna Jarvis galvanized the process that catapulted Mother’s Day into a national holiday. It was her own mother’s selfless actions that sparked an idea for Jarvis. Her mother, Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, assisted in healing the nation after the Civil War in 1858, and Anna wanted to honor all of her mother's contributions (including raising awareness for the poor health conditions in neighboring West Virginian communities).
After her mother’s death, Anna urged her mom’s church in Grafton, West Virginia, to memorialize her mother on the second anniversary of her death, which fell on the second Sunday in May.
Determined to further honor her mother’s memory, Anna later approached her church in her hometown of Philadelphia in hopes of formalizing this day by lobbying every she could find. Relentless in her determination, Anna eventually sat down with presidents Roosevelt and Taft, and her dream came true when President Wilson declared Mother’s Day an official holiday in 1914.
Even though Jarvis originally did not want to commercialize the day, fearing it would detract from its inherent value and honor, it was out of her hands. She was even arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of the day, having once said that she “wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit."
Not only is this popular holiday known throughout the world, it is also slated as one of the biggest holidays in our country, as Mother’s Day is celebrated by 96 percent of Americans and is said to be one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants.
In Montrose, locals are known for their hard work, but none seem to work as hard as mothers. “It's the hardest job I've ever had,” said Deena Kamm, a married mother of one.
“There are no breaks. I’m always tired. I come last most of the time. Yet, I don't miss a single thing about life before my son. This Mother’s Day will be all about our little family celebrating at home,” she said, adding “And I’m lucky because I live in the present now because that's where my 2-year-old son lives, and I want to see life through his eyes.”
Montrose local Jan Durburg said that having two grown children is more fun now that they are older. “You live and learn and I like my kids as the grown-ups they have become,” she said.
As far as where she will spend the holidays, Durburg said: “. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
What are your plans for Mother’s Day in Montrose? Tell us in the comments.