“It is possible to have many mothers. There’s the one who gave birth to you.
And then there are all the women who raised you up.”
~ Oprah Winfrey, May 2019 cover of Oprah magazine
Sunday, May 12th, is Mother’s Day in the United States. More than a century ago, Mother’s Day was invented by Anna Jarvis of West Virginia as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. Anna was inspired by her own mother, Jarvis’s mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, who had helped to start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs,” teaching women how to care for their children. What started out as public recognition and good will, quickly became highly commercialized. Story has it that the founder Anna later became dismayed by the way the holiday got out of hand.
Just how crazy have things become? The National Retail Federation has been tracking consumer spending on Mother’s Day since 2003. This year, they project that U.S. adults will spend a record amount: $25 billion in 2019 (up from $23.1 billion in 2018). That’s a lot of flowers, candy, and meals out for Mom.
Think of the Many Women Who Helped to Raise You to Become the Person That You Are
There are so many women who have had profound impact on my life. I found this photo that made me smile. Shown here (left to right) are my mother Roz, Cousin Tina, me, and Cousin Linda. I also am blessed to have had the advice, love and friendship of these significant women in my life: my grandmother Rosario, Aunt Rosie, Aunt Hermine, friend Julie May Vescovi, managers Yolanda Canny, Leslie Bergh, and so many more.
Are Gifts the Only Way to Show Our Appreciation?
Of course there are many ways to show your appreciation for the mother figures in your life. Gift giving is one of the five love languages, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages. Understanding how you give and receive love is really important, and can shed insight into the dynamics of an important relationship in your life. (Take the quiz to find out about your dominant love language(s) and of your partner and/or family members). Through this book, I now understand how much gift giving is part of the way I show my love and appreciation for other people. I also understand that not everyone is wired the way I am. For some people, gifts are not as meaningful, and don’t necessarily make them feel loved and appreciated.
We are pressured by consumerism, advertising, and expectation to buy, buy, buy. If we don’t shower our mothers, wives, daughters, aunts, sisters, etc. with cards and gifts on Mother’s Day, we might hurt their feelings. And for some women, Mother’s Day is an especially painful day. Women like myself who suffered from infertility and couldn’t have children of their own. Or women who have lost children to illnesses, accidents, or gun violence. No amount of flowers, cards and candy can ease that pain. How can we show our love and respect for all of their sacrifices and contributions as mothers and as women?
Expressing Our Love and Respect for All Mothers, Everywhere
Let’s go back to the founder’s intentions for this special day: to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children. Notice that the word is “mothers” – plural, not singular. This holiday is really about all mothers – mothers everywhere – women being motherly and making sacrifices for the betterment of children everywhere.
What if, instead of honoring our mothers with consumer disposables, we reallocated some of that gift money and put it towards something which would help more mothers? What if we gave a gift in HONOR of our mother, and all the women who are in our lives?
What if we moved the apostrophe in Mother’s Day to be Mothers’ Day, and made it a movement? If you like this idea, you will want to join the Mothers’ Day Movement. For the price of a bouquet of flowers, you can save a child’s life.
The MothersDayMovement.org was started for four motivated women, one of whom is my dear friend Eva Hausman. Since 2011, the Mothers’ Day Movement (also called MDM) has raised over $600,000 for charities that directly help women and their children. (Click to read their one-page fact sheet).
This year 100% of your donation goes directly to this year’s chosen charity — Edesia Nutrition –which helps treat and prevent malnutrition. Imagine a world where every child is well nourished. You can be part of making that happen.
How it Works
First go to MothersDayMovement.org and make a financial donation to honor the mothers in your life.
Then choose a beautiful ecard to be sent to your designated honorees – your mother, your friend, your wife, your sister, your aunt, or any special woman in your life. Mom would be proud of you!
Then, share this opportunity with your friends and connections on social media.
Join me and thousands of others in supporting MothersDayMovement.org