Reflecting on Mothers’ Day earlier this week, I wondered if it should be renamed in an effort to reduce the commercialism and consumerism currently associated with the day.
As I discussed my thoughts with a friend, she informed me that it used to be Mothering Day and was/is included in the Roman Catholic Calendar.
My religious knowledge is fairly limited so have done a quick bit of investigation (courtesy of Google) and here’s what I found:
“Mothering Sunday is a holiday celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Christians in some parts of Europe. It is observed in many parishes of the Church of England, as well as in many Anglican parishes throughout the world, especially in Canada and Australia. It falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Day. The name comes as it was once observed as a day on which people would visit their “mother” church.”(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothering_Sunday,)
In the US, Mother’s Day is credited to have been established by Anna Jarvis as a recognition of mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general particularly at a time when women were trying to cope with and remedy the destructive impact of alcohol, the ravages of war and disease and the impact of this on children and the family unit. It was first celebrated on May10th 1908. More info: http://junkee.com/the-real-origin-of-mothers-day-is-weirder-than-you-might-think/77729
Mother’s Day as a holiday was instigated in US by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honour of those mothers whose sons had died in war. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/President_Woodrow_Wilson%27s_Mother%27s_Day_Proclamation_of_May_9%2C_1914_%28Presidential_Proclamation_1268%29._-_NARA_-_299965.jpg
“And from The Encyclopædia Britannica (1959 edition):
(Mother’s Day): “A festival derived from the custom of mother worship in ancient Greece. Formal mother worship, with ceremonies to Cybele, or Rhea, the Great Mother of the Gods, were performed on the Ides of March throughout Asia Minor.”
Some historians believe that the earliest celebrations of Mother’s Day was the ancient spring festival dedicated to mother goddesses”
So we have gone from a spring festival to the honouring of and return to a sanctified religious space, to a women’s friendship and community movement and a recognition of the pain of a mother’s loss to a day of profit in a marketers calendar.
I loved this statement on Google:
“Internationally there are a large variety of Mother’s Day celebrations with different origins and traditions; but most have now also been influenced by this more recent American tradition.”
This is where my discomfort lies.
Interestingly, Anna Jarvis herself opposed the day seeing how commercial it had become in such a short time and was appalled at the increased cost of carnations on the day. And this is in the 1920’s!
I am not saying there is no place for honouring your mother but:
- What if your mother is no longer part of your life, or did not give you the best start in life or was absent?
- What if you don’t fit the sweet saccharine perfect model of motherhood that society holds up as the goal – All smiling love and homemade cakes?
- What if as a woman, you are not a mother – either by choice or circumstance?
Mothering is associated with unconditional love and nurturing.
How do you nurture?
Where do you show unconditional love?
It may or may not be appropriate to have a heart to heart with your mother but there are other ways to bridge the gap and fill it with love –
- See your mother (grandmother or other female) as the person they are/were
- have the intention to hold love in your heart as you think of them
- Be present to them
- Honour that it is because of them you are here on this earth
And of course there is a mother that gives to us all unconditionally. Mother Earth is the epitome of a nurturing mother.
Why not give her a little gratitude today and honour her gift of life she gives one and all?
I will be enjoying brunch and dinner cooked courtesy of two gorgeous souls who chose me as their mother this lifetime
I will sing to the earth and thank her for all she give us
I will be in contact with my mum
How about you?