Mother’s Day

Mormon Hereticchildren, christianity, Culture, death, depression, families, women 5 Comments

As you know by know, I often like to talk about history.  So, I thought I would try to learn a little about Mother’s Day.  While there have been various movements over the centuries, in the United States, it seems the first Mother’s Day movement began just after the Civil War with Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870.  Julia was a poet, writer, journalist, women’s suffrage activist, and abolitionist.

Anna Jarvis continued the cause, and created the Mother’s Day International Association in 1912.  The Vancouver Sun said, “She was specific about the location of the apostrophe; it was to be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.”  Woodrow Wilson was the president who first signed the law designating May 9, 1914, as the first Official Mother’s Day celebration.

This past week at church, my bishop talked about how hard Mother’s Day can be for some people.  I remember dating a girl whose father had passed away, and she remarked that she hated Father’s Day for that reason.  I also thought about a brother and sister of mine who both passed away (separately) both leaving behind 4 young children.  Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is tough for my nieces and nephews.  I also think about how tough the day can be for childless couples who crave children.  As a person who got married much later in life than Mormon culture expects, I can personally tell you on behalf of me and my wife, how difficult Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be for singles who desire marriage and children, yet remain unmarried for whatever the reason is.

How do we celebrate mothers and motherhood, and still be sensitive to those who may struggle with the holiday?

Comments 5

  1. How do we celebrate mothers and motherhood, and still be sensitive to those who may struggle with the holiday?

    by openly acknowledging that struggle while still honoring mothers and fathers. I also like talks that focus on “mothering” as a verb apart from “being a mother”.

  2. I appreciated this post as a reminder, and wanted to indicate that I actually just posted on the question posed (and responded to by Ray) at my blog, where you can find a fuller treatment of my thoughts. To summarize, I think that Mother’s Day can be reframed in a way that can inspire all, men and women, in every condition of life, to aspire to a sense of parenthood unbounded by the limitations of mortality.

    Thanks again!

  3. Post

    I think it is important to realize that sometimes there is nothing we can say to ease someone’s pain over the loss of a mother, or over the chance not to become a parent. For those dealing with losses, it seems to me that referencing some kind memories does help. I know when I talk to my nephews and nieces, I will often try to tell a fun story about their mother. They seem to really enjoy those stories. Of course, for those who never met my sister, it is really tough to come up with something to say to the kids on Mother’s Day.

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