100th MOTHER’S DAY: Mother’s Day founder Anna Jarvis once regrets having started the occasion


By Kaybie Chongloi

The bond between mother and child may be as old as humankind itself and the origin of Mother’s Day may dates back to the era of ancient Greeks and Romans the world is celebrating a very big birthday of Mother’s Day this year. Mother’s Day is officially 100 years old today.

Today (Second Sunday of May 11,2014) the nation witnessed brunches and banquets, cards and calls, little kids proudly presented their mom with handprints and crayon pictures while other children offered gadgets and other store bought presents to their lovely mom.

Everyone has their own way to celebrate this grand occasion. Some people give cards, gifts, flowers to their mom. Some prefer to dine out and some prefer to spend the whole day with their mom.

On the other hand, some people are compel to spend this beautiful day in the graveyard of their mom and keep their presents or gifts upon the graveyard and say “Thank You Mom”. Though unfortunate they too have the privilege to feels and remember the uncountable contributions of their mom and the same opportunity and platform to thanks their mom like others.

Churches organized a special program to celebrate Mother’s Day in honour of the mothers. Various CSOs too organized a special occasion to celebrate this wonderful day.

Whatever the way, it’s a day to celebrate the natural bond between a woman and her child from the earliest attachment to the relationship they share today. It’s also a time to fete other mother/mentor relationships with strong, nurturing women.

And the soul aim of this world wide popular day is to thanks the mothers for everything that have done and make them feel very special.

As the world celebrated the day with their moms, most children – young or old – won’t know it’s in fact a day with a colourful history, started by a woman who adored her own mother but later tried very hard to take the day back.

The origin of Mother’s Day might date back to many years and have different story, the official celebration of Mother’s Day has been started by Anna Jarvis after President Woodrow Wilson put pen to paper and signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day on May 8, 1914 and made official declaration of the day.

Anna Jarvis, recognized as founder of Mother’s Day, though never married and never had kids, is also known as “Mother of Mother’s Day”, an apt title for the lady who worked hard to bestow honour on all mothers.

As said earlier, Anna Jarvis got the inspiration of celebrating Mother’s Day from her own mother Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, an activist and social worker.

She was just 12, when Anna Jarvis heard her beloved mother praying in a Sunday school class after teaching young children about mother in the Bible.

“I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial Mother’s Day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every walk of life. She is entitled to it”, is how Anna Jarvis repeatedly recalled her mother’s prayer.

Her mother Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis died in 1905, not long after, Anna Jarvis stood near her grave and vowed she would be that person who will found a memorial Mother’s Day and resolved to fulfill her mother desire of it.

Another factor which soared the ambition of Anna Jarvis in her long crusade to see the occasion adopted is the growing negligent attitude of children-young or adult- towards their mother and desire to honour the mothers.

Anna Jarvis begin with sending Carnations in the Church service in the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia to honour her mother in 1908. Carnation were her mother favourite flower and Anna Jarvis felt that they symbolized a mother pure love. Later Anna and her supporters wrote to the people in position of power lobbying for the official declaration of Mother’s Day but the hard work paid off.

By 1911, Anna Jarvis movement and crusade of celebrating Mother’s Day gained traction and almost every states in America celebrated Mother’s Day.

Ultimately, the celebration was officially declared by President Woodrow Wilson on May 8, 1914 which now become the platform for everyone – young and old, literate and illiterate, able and disable, wealthy and poor – to honour their moms, thanks them for their efforts in giving them life, raising them and being their constant support and well wisher.

Mother’s Day become hugely popular in almost every country of the world and in the meantime it has become commercialized to a great extend. Florists, card manufacturers and gift sellers see huge business potential in the day and make good money through a rigorous advertising campaign.

Mother’s Day too is also the busiest day of the year for restaurants in the USA and according to Hallmark, each Mother’s Day around 162 million greeting cards are sent, making it the third largest card-sending day in the world.

A well placed source also reported that number aggregator Statistic Brain says that Americans spend $14.6 billion on gifts for mom, including $671 million for cards $1.9 billion for flowers. The average amount spent to honour mom is $126.90.

Such commercialization of Mother’s Day became so rampant that the founder Anna Jarvis, who devoted her life for the declaration of the day was deeply hurt to note the huge commercialization and she herself became a major opponent of what the celebration had become and spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.

Anna Jarvis was so infuriated of the commercialization and other exploitations of Mother’s Day that she made her criticisms explicitly known the rest of her life.

She criticized the practice of our purchasing greeting cards, which she saw as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter.

She was arrested in 1948 for disturbing peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother’s Day and finally said that she regretted having started the day.

Whatever the way people celebrate the sweet occasion it is very much vital to noted the soul aim of the day and remember Anna Jarvis who had envisioned a sweet, even reverential day where children would visit their mothers or send handwritten letters to honour and thank them while keeping in mind the matchless uncountable contribution of their moms towards humanity in every walk of life.

Varieties of gifts, presents, offers, etc are not that important on this wonderful occasion. It is the emotional attachment and the true spirit of honouring and thanking Mother which is significantly important.

If the happiness and the spirit of attitude to honour and thank to the mother could continue everyday till the end of the day but not only on this special occasion, it will bring a magical and miracle changes in the family, society and the nation itself and among the celebrators.

Finally, if “Thank You Mom” words can be heard everyday throughout the year by every mothers in the world not only on Mother’s Day, it will definitely makes the world much more beautiful and peaceful.
Let’s make Mother’s Day a platform not only for thanking but a platform to transform our future.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here