Americans have been officially celebrating their moms since 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday in May “Mother’s Day.” The idea was cooked up in 1908 by West Virginia native Anna Jarvis who wanted to honor her own mother, Ann Maria Jarvis who had died 3 years earlier. The elder Jarvis had 12 children but only 4 lived to adulthood. She was a social activist who taught women child care techniques and sanitation methods. Ann Maria Jarvis later worked with other parents helping unify Union and Confederate soldiers returning home after the Civil War in an effort called “Mothers Friendship Day.”
We’ve come a long way in the 110 years since Anna Jarvis started “Mother’s Day.” Like so many other things, it’s gone commercial. Brunch and flowers now symbolize the occasion.
Since it is pretty clear that women make the world go round; the chances of mom’s special day being everything it should be are slim.
Just what is it that busy, worn out, overworked moms want? We asked the women of the Center for Family Involvement and they delivered. If you’re hoping your children or spouse will step up; perhaps leave this open on a shared device to drop a hint.
“My dream Mother’s Day would be doing something fun with my kids on the actual day – a picnic, a hike, or a favorite museum. I want to celebrate the day with the creatures that made me a mom so they equate this day as something we cherish together. But then, on another day I get a massage and a morning or evening all to myself as my gift. Most importantly, when I come home from my mini-escape the house is clean, dinner is made and there is no extra work for me to do when I get home because I wasn’t there doing maintenance.”
“I really never think about wanting to spend time with my kids on Mother’s Day. Isn’t that horrible? … But I am with them ALL ALL ALL the time!!!”
“I just want to relax – maybe sleep in, maybe go for a massage, pedicure & manicure, read a book while lying in a hammock with a breeze slightly blowing and the sun peeking through the trees that are providing some shade on a warm day … with a cup of coffee and some nice cold water too. No one says my name all day long. I could deal with being called your highness too if someone MUST address me.”
“I want to sleep in. Everyone else cooks all day, washes the dishes, and cleans up. Nothing is left for me to clean up come Monday morning. We have an outdoor picnic at home. Steak is cooked on the grill with a nice Caesar salad with lots of vegetables. Maybe we watch a movie together as a family and have snacks and homemade popcorn or play card games together.”
“My ideal, fantasy Mother’s Day has always been the same: A day of no kids fighting, a plant for my garden and grilled lamb chops with roasted potatoes and asparagus for dinner. This has been my annual dream for more than 10 years (seriously). Part One (the no kids fighting part) rarely comes to fruition. Generally, by lunchtime all hope is gone on that part. So, instead I focus on digging in the dirt and the amazing meal prepared for me by my family. A year or so ago, my children suggested I start asking for a real gift instead of perfect behavior for several hours in a row. I guess I should be grateful they now admit not fighting isn’t a realistic expectation, even once a year.”
“My fantasy Mother’s Day is simple. I get to sleep in. Period.”
“My ideal Mother’s Day is to have time to myself to go on a hike, read a book, or go on a long bike ride. I love my children but when I have time to myself to recharge I love them even more.”
“I know my daughter loves me with every fiber of her being, but my fantasy Mother’s Day would have her truly looking at my face and into my eyes, hugging me tight, and saying the words “I love you a wicked lot, mama!” And, then we would spend the rest of the day ghost hunting!”