It’s Mother’s Day here in the UK. Once again, being the contemplative soul I am; I’m here thinking about this day… Is it pagan at its roots? Does it go against any religious beliefs I have? Am I subscribing to some kind of social construct designed to sap me of my commercial energy by tapping me in to yet another consumerist trap?
‘Chill out Miikz. It’s just Mother’s Day. You love your mum, don’t you? Why not celebrate her and make her feel special?’ – say the voices of my friends and co workers…
Yes – I’m inclined to think this way; but still, similar to how I feel about birthdays – why can’t I make her feel special EVERY day?? Why does it take this special day to do it? Why do I have to join in with everyone else? Don’t we all have mothers? Why do we all have to do this on the same date? I haven’t done any research on this so up to this point, in this blog I can’t say that it has dodgy roots at its origin; – but the fact that it’s all done on the same day makes me think that it’s easier to commercialise it and make money on the usual things – chocolates, flowers, cards, perfumes etc. Am I one of the many sheeple in this world?
<<< QUICK RESEARCH BREAK >>>
OK so here’s what I’ve just learned (I do this to make it easier for you guys that can’t be bothered)
In the UK, we observe what is officially known as ‘Mothering Sunday’. It is a religious observance in Christianity where on the 4th Sunday during lent (Laetare Sunday), Christians would take the day to visit their original or ‘mother’ church. This would typically be the church they originally ‘got saved’ in or where they were baptised. At the time, Biblical Sabbath observance (Saturday) had long been discouraged and replaced with Sunday worship. Young people and children that were household servants were given this day off so they could visit their mother church with their families; whom they often did not live with. Children would pick wild flowers along the way and give them to their own mothers when they were reunited for the day. This is where we get the giving of daffodils from as they are in bloom now. It was truly much of a public holiday. This practice is recorded as having taken place as early as the 16th century and is not to be mistaken for the American – ‘Mother’s Day’.
Mother’s Day didn’t come around until the dawn of the 20th century. It was nothing to do with Christianity or the church. In fact, it was the efforts of the daughter of a peace activist named Ann Reeves Jarvis that started the Americanised, commercial Mother’s Day template that we see today.
Ann R Jarvis looked after and nursed soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War. She was reportedly a true humanitarian and so, upon her death in 1905, her daughter Anna Jarvis continued her mother’s work by starting work clubs for mothers, and fought tirelessly to get a day nationally recognised in honour of all mothers. In 1914, Mother’s Day became a national holiday in the United States of America. It is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday in May.
Anna Jarvis’ idea of Mother’s Day was always about thought, notion and sentiment. It was not designed to have a commercial side at all. However, by the early 1920’s Hallmark Cards began selling cards to commemorate the day, despite Anna’s protest and vocal outrage; she even threatened lawsuit action and got arrested by protesting at an American War Mothers meeting in 1925.
So what we experience in the UK is a strange mixture of English religious tradition and American consumerism. With most things in my life, I let my conscience guide me. Assuming it hasn’t been seared with a hot iron and is undamaged; – I navigate this life by it. So – as of the time of the publication of this blog – I’M OKAY WITH MOTHER’S DAY.
Saying that, let us never forget others at this time. The people that have lost their mothers and are still grieving… The women that have lost children or would have been mothers to children that have passed away or were never born… The women that desperately want to be mothers but have been told that it is impossible for them…
We honour you at this time too!
May we forever live with empathy and be sensitive to each other – in love.
So mum, if you’re reading this – today, and everyday… I LOVE YOU!!!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!