If you’re reading this, congratulations. You survived yet another Mother’s Day. One of the downfalls of social media is being unable to escape current happenings, holidays, et cetera. I’m more active than ever on twitter, Instagram, and Facebook these days and while I’ve willingly made that choice, I can’t help but roll my eyes in Anderson Cooperesque fashion at the steady stream of #momlove.
I don’t have anything against moms. I have a mom (hi mom!) and I love her dearly. However, I think we would both agree that I should take advantage of the 365 opportunities per year to appreciate her, not just the one commercially-driven day. I recently heard of someone who would agree with me on this: Anna Jarvis. Just who is she?
Anna Jarvis is the founder of Mother’s Day. She created the holiday in memory of her own mother who cared for wounded soldiers in the Civil War. Jarvis’ mother may have been her source of inspiration in more ways than one since she also established a holiday of sorts – Mother’s Friendship Day. This celebration was used to establish peace between Union and Confederate moms. Although Anna Jarvis founded Mother’s Day from a place love and admiration, she grew to regret having created it once commercialism took over.
She referred to the florists, greeting card manufacturers and the confectionery industry as “charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations.”
-Jonathan Mulinix, The Founder of Mother’s Day Later Fought to Have It Abolished, mentalfloss.com
Jarvis lived out the last of her days in a mental asylum. Now, we can’t say Mother’s Day is what drove her mad but one of her last public appearances included going door-to-door petitioning Philadelphians to rescind the holiday. Hm.
Many today have similar beefs with how commercialized Mother’s Day has become, referring to it as a Hallmark holiday. Plenty of women who are not mothers also have a difficult time accepting this day as it fails acknowledge the 48% of women who do not have children and the 1 in 8 couples who are infertile.