(Long Island, N.Y.) Well, it’s that time of year again….the mother of all holidays. Yep, May 14 2006, mothers of the world will kick back and enjoy a day of pampering and relaxation. (Yeah right!)
Come to think of it, I really don’t need a day at the spa or flowers, or jewelry. Although those thing would sure be nice, what this mamma really wants is some good old fashion VALIDATION. Just a nod from the husband and the kids that says…Hey, you’re doing a great job!
But when I really think about it, being a mom isn’t a job—it’s an honor. So in honor of mothers near and far, and to truly appreciate the holiday, here’s some Mother’s Day fodder to feast your eyes on.
According to the US Census Bureau:
- There are 80.5 million mothers in The United States
- The average number of children that women of today can expect is 2.0. (The average number of women in Niger, Africa is 7.5)
- In 2004, the estimated number of stay-at-home moms was 5.6 million
- The odds of a woman delivering twins: 1-in-32
- In 2003– 35,723 births did NOT occur in a hospital (Ouch!)
- 25.2 is the average age of women when they give birth for the first time (a record high)
- Last year, the estimated number of Mother’s day greeting cards given…152 million.
The “mother” of Mother’s Day
The “founder” of Mother’s Day was surprising not a mother herself. Her name was Anna Jarvis and back in 1908 she set her sights on making one day out of the year —a day to honor her mother along with all mothers of the world).
Anna was born in West Virginia in 1864 and was one of 11 children. It was after the death of her mother in 1905, did Anna decide she was going to dedicate herself to honor her mother. Two years after her mother’s death,
Anna became quite aggressive in her quest to celebrate mothers, so she campaigned to establish a National Mother’s Day. She even passed out 500 white carnations at her mother’s church and started the first memorial church service for mothers.
Getting the word out and starting a nationally recognized “Mother’s Day” holiday was no easy task. She wrote letters to politicians and state leaders, gave speeches and did all she could to support her movement. Her pleas to set aside a day to tribute mothers often fell on deaf ears, but she kept at it. Soon, her dedication paid off and her dream of a mothers day began to catch on.
By 1909, 45 states began to officially conduct a “Mother’s Day” observance. The tradition began for people to wear carnations (her mother’s favorite flower). By 1914–success! Mother’s Day was officially designated by congress to be observed on the second Sunday in May. Anna Jarvis’s incredible idea gives her a place in history as the “mother” of Mother’s Day”.
And boy did her idea take off! According to The National Retail Federation, for Mother’s Day 2006, American will be spending:
- 2.83 billion dollars on special outings such as brunch or dinner
- 682 million dollars on greeting cards
- 1.98 billion dollars on flowers
- 928 million dollars on a personal service (like a day at the spa)
Would Anna Jarviss be impressed? Probably not. It is said she detested the commercialization of her holiday, and felt nothing could be a better tribute than a handwritten note and heart-felt gratitude. Good old fashion “Validation”.