In March I wrote a super successful post about How to Explain The Spirit Of St. Patrick’s Day To Your Toddler. Then in April I followed it up with How To Explain The Meaning Of Easter To Your Toddler. I received overwhelmingly positive feedback for both of these posts. I also learned so much from doing them, and found that I really enjoyed researching and writing them. A recurring comment that I received was that I should create a similar post for each upcoming holiday. I think that is a fantastic idea! I will have to explain each holiday to Morgan anyway and what a better way than to actually learn the facts behind them. Today I will be sharing with you How To Explain The Importance Of Mother’s Day To Your Toddler.
To be honest all I knew about Mother’s Day was that it is a National Holiday honoring mothers and motherhood. I am so every fortunate to have become a mother for the 1st time in 2015. Although I have been celebrating Mother’s Day with my own mother for years and years; until today I didn’t know much about the history of this special day.
Morgan is still too young to understand fully what I share with her but I wanted to make sure that I did my research so that I can pass on to her the stories and traditions of the many holidays that we celebrate here in America.
I do absolutely love traditions and customs. So I set out to learn as much as I could about Mother’s Day and the meaning behind the holiday. Here are the top 7 things that I have learned about the importance of Mother’s Day that I will use to explain it to my little Morgan. Thank you so much to my wonderful friend Google for steering me in so many interesting directions while researching this history.
- What we know today as Mother’s Day has several origins. The first origin being the festival of Mothering Sunday. On the 4th Sunday of Lent Catholics and Protestant Christians honor mothers. Traditionally, it was a day when children, who were servants living in their masters homes received a day off to visit their mothers. However, the ancient Greeks and Romans also celebrated mothers and motherhood during festivals honoring the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele.
- Mother’s Day in the United States started as an anti-war movement. In the 1870’s, Julia Ward Howe horrified by atrocities of the Civil War issued a Mother’s Day Proclamation calling on all women to rise up and oppose the war. Julia at the time was a well known writer and poet who rose to fame with her Civil War song, Battle Hymn of the Republic. She campaigned that June 2nd be celebrated as a day of peace known annually as Mother’s Day. She tirelessly campaigned to make the cause an official holiday. Julia Ward Howe however was not the founder of Mother’s Day in the United States, instead Anna Jarvis is most often credited with the founding in 1908.
- Anna Jarvis was a loving daughter who had made it her mission to pay tribute to her mother. Anna Jarvis dedicated her life to fulfill her mothers dream of creating a day for honoring mothers.
- In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation to declare Mother’s Day as a National Holiday to be held on the 2nd Sunday in May.
- Anna Jarvis was quoted as saying that the white carnation was the perfect Mother’s Day flower “Its whiteness is to symbolize the truth, purity and broad-charity of mother love; its fragrance, her memory, and her prayers. The carnation does not drop its petals, but hugs them to its heart as it dies, and so, too, mothers hug their children to their hearts, their mother love never dying.”
- There is a dark side to Mother’s Day however that led Anna to live a life of obscurity and poverty. Anna struggled with the commercialization that overwhelmed her original message of celebrating mothers and motherhood. She despised the confection, floral and greeting card industries and believed that they were only after profits. In 1943, she began organizing a petition to rescind Mother’s Day. However, her efforts stopped once she was placed in a Sanitarium. A Sanitarium specialized in the treatment of tuberculosis before the advent of antibiotics. She passed without ever marrying or becoming a mother.
- I don’t want to end on such a somber note. Anna’s efforts were not all for nothing. Today 46 countries across the world celebrate Mother’s Day. I am sure for that amazing achievement she can truly rest peacefully.
I feel much better knowing the meaning of Mother’s Day and how important it was to so many. However I am sad that both Julia and Anna’s intentions which were so pure became so heavily commercialized. It makes me think of these ladies and makes me want to celebrate their memories on this special day. In addition to celebrating the fact that I have a 17 month old to hug and cherish. I am so happy that we have such an amazing day to honor all of us mothers.
I hope you enjoyed learning about How To Explain The Importance Of Mother’s Day To Your Toddler. It really is an interesting and important history.
Thank you for reading!