Mother’s Day, as it exists now, in this country, is a commercial success for Hallmark. It wasn’t always that way. During the 1600’s, the early Christians in England celebrated a day to honor Mary, the mother of Christ. By a religious order the holiday was later expanded in its scope to include all mothers, and named as the Mothering Sunday. Celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter), “Mothering Day” was celebrated honoring all mothers of England. Since many of England’s poor worked as servants for the wealthy, jobs were located far from their homes and the servants would live at the houses of their employers. On Mothering Sunday, the servants would have the day off and were encouraged to return home and spend the day with their mothers.
In 1914, President Woodrow adopted a resolution that the second Sunday in May was to be set aside to honor mother’s. It took less then nine years for Americans to commercialize Mother’s Day.
In our family, Mother’s Day always involves a mix of emotions. The little ones plan and plot surprises. I still struggle with the loss of my mom, even though four years have gone by. The Dad’s Mom has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember anything. GB has been angry at her Birth Mother for several years now and does not, even in her own mind, consider BM as Mom. Hope gets angry, I think, because in her mind, she doesn’t have a mom. MK is proud to be a mom, but has never resolved her feelings about her birth mother, prenatal alcohol damage, and being given up. I am her Mom, but in her mind, the worst mom in the world. J always finds Mother’s Day a source of guilt- for expectations he had for himself and didn’t meet.
With all these emotions swirling around, Mother’s Day is tiring, sometime exhausting. I try to take several minutes to myself to be grateful for the mother I had for 50 years, for the birth mothers of my children who chose life when they didn’t have to, for the children God gave me to love and end with a prayer that my children will find peace with who they are. Then I join in whatever celebration my children decide they want this year. And maybe, we get a little closer to acceptance.