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The Story Behind Mother’s Day

By Kimberly Stephenson

It is that time of year again, when Hallmark is flourishing in a surplus of cards, spa salons sell out of gift certificates, and whimsical slogans are being sung in order to celebrate the women of all women … mothers. This year mother’s day falls on May 13,2012.  Mothers around the United States will be preparing for a day of relaxation and appreciation by their friends, families, and loved ones. Though many women reap the benefits of having a day solely dedicated to motherhood, it is not often that people take a step back, and question how this “holiday” came into practice.      Mother’s Day may seem like a courteous gesture to honor the dedication and labor that goes into motherhood, but on the contrary the idea for this holiday actually began in the ancient times of the Greeks and has religious affiliation.  Ancient Romans celebrated a spring festival in dedication to a mother goddess. The original term “mothering day” (though still used in England) was in reference to honoring the Virgin Mary during the times of Lent. Lent falls on a different Sunday of March every year, which is why the British still celebrate their Mother’s Day in March.       Here in the United States, we became quite fond of the British suggestion to celebrate mothers. After the idea was put into place, a woman named Julia Ward Howe, who was a civil war activist, petitioned for a Day of Peace and observance in 1872. She had been proclaiming the necessity for this day with the intentions to promote womanhood.  Her underlying meaning behind the ordinance that would declare June 2nd as Mother’s Day, was to unite women in warfare. After a passionate fight, and fearless perseverance, the idea of having a Mother’s Day finally spread throughout the nation and now is heavily practiced throughout the United States and worldwide.             Mother’s Day began with uniting woman in warfare but it has slowly transpired into a commercial-driven holiday as most franchises and business feed off of the marketing behind the holiday for a spike in revenue. Due to Julia’s extreme efforts to fight for women around the world, every mother can smile and give a silent thank you for being appreciated.  This Mother’s Day, hopefully every mom in the United States is putting her feet up and enjoying as everyone else tries to survive a day in her shoes.  Happy Mother’s Day!

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