Before we all head to the polls at the next Federal election, Australian households will turn their minds to mums as we celebrate Mother’s Day on 12 May.
While the Mother’s Day that we celebrate on the second Sunday in May is a fairly recent development, the basic idea goes back to ancient mythology. The Greeks paid annual homage to Cybele, the mother figure of their gods and the Romans dedicated an annual spring festival to the mother of their gods.
The modern iteration of what we today know as Mother’s Day is the result of Anna Jarvis who after her mother died in 1905, wanted to commemorate her life. Known as “Mother Jarvis,” her mother was a lifelong activist who had organized “Mother’s Work Days” to save the lives of those dying from polluted water. During the Civil War, Mother Jarvis had also organized women’s brigades, encouraging women to help without regard for which side their men had chosen.
On May 10, 1908, a Mother’s Day service was held at a church in Grafton, West Virginia, where Anna’s mother had taught. From this grew the idea that the second Sunday in May be set aside to honour all mothers, dead or alive. A few years later in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day an annual national celebration.
Fast forward to the hyper-digital world in which we live today, and you can expect to be bombarded with suggestions for Mother’s Day gifts, specials and competitions. But perhaps we’d be best to keep it simple as we celebrate the 105th anniversary of Mother’s Day?
Spend the time to find your own unique way to let the “mama bear” in your life know what she means to you. And if no longer here, remember the good times and forgive the little moments where she may not have got it quite right. For unfortunately motherhood does not come with an instruction manual. It’s a real “learn on the job” kind of situation!
Happy Mother’s Day!