Sunday 30 March 2014

Happy Mothers Day

It's only this year that I have realised just what a controversial statement that is.

I don't think I've ever really known WHY we celebrate Mothers Day.  Of course I've always done/ received the card and present bit but it's not like Christmas.... my teacher never sat us down and told us a story about why we were making our mummy's a card or why it was never the same date/ day...... same goes for Fathers Day.  So lets start by taking a few minutes to think about the background to the 'celebration' then I'll let you know where I sit and you can leave your comments to give me your opinion.

Mothers Day (or Mothering Sunday)'s roots are not really set in stone.  It seems that different Countries celebrate the occasion on different days for different reasons.

For the United Kingdom Mothering Sunday falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent.   For us the holiday has its roots in the church and was originally unrelated to the American holiday.
  It is believed that it evolved from the 16th-century Christian practice of visiting your mother church annually on Laetare Sunday. For this visit young apprentices and young women in service were often released for the weekend by their masters giving them a rare opportunity to be reunited with their children.  
  I'm not religious and we don't go to Church but apparently the historical background is still recognised in Church, tho with it falling in Lent the attention is on Mary (mother of Jesus) and the concept of a 'mother church'.
  It is thought the commercialisation we know today was brought to the UK by US Soldiers in World War 2.
  For most though, this historical meaning has been lost and Mothering Sunday has transformed into the tradition of showing appreciation to one's mother through the commercial buying of cards and gifts, or by letting mm "put her feet up".

In American the custom and history is very different, they celebrate on the second Sunday in May.
     In 1872 Julia Ward Howe called for women to join in support of disarmament and asked for 2 June 1872, to be established as a "Mother's Day for Peace".  This appeal became known as a Mother's Day Proclamation. But Howe's day was not for honoring mothers but for organising pacifist mothers against war.    The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. She then began a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States. It took a lot of work, supported by churches until President Woodrow Wilson made it an official holiday in 1914 she had been successful.  Sadly she became disappointed by its commercialisation by the 1920s... however this is the tradition that is most observed now.
    For Americans Mothers Day yields the highest church attendance after Christmas Eve and Easter with worshipers celebrating their mothers with coloured carnations for the living and white for those who have passed away.

Israel's celebration stands out for me as being the one with most meaning.  The Jewish population celebrates Mother's Day on Shevat 30 of the Jewish calendar  (which falls between 30 January and 1 March). The celebration was set as the same date that Henrietta Szold died. Henrietta had no biological children, but her organization Youth Aliyah rescued many Jewish children from Nazi Germany and provided for them. She also championed children's rights. Szold is considered the "mother" of all those children, and that is why her annual remembrance day (יום השנה) was set as Mother's Day (יוֹם הָאֵם, yom ha'em). The holiday has evolved over time, becoming a celebration of mutual love inside the family, called Family Day (יוֹם הַמִשְּפָּחָה, yom hamishpacha). Mother's Day is mainly celebrated by children at kindergartens. There are no longer mutual gifts among members of the family, and there is no longer any commercialization of the celebration. It is not an official holiday either.

For me...........
I'm not against it, after all who doesn't like presents and cards?  However I wouldn't miss it if it wasn't there.  In this era where people are struggling to live daily another commercial festival (or Hallmark Holiday) is just one more thing for people to spend money on.

A mother should feel loved and appreciated all the time, not because a day tells you to buy her a card.  I bought my mum a card this year .......... ok so it was an online one that they made and posted for me (I live 300 miles away) and I shall take her home a token present when I go to visit.   I certainly did not feel compelled to make the £100 journey to go and see her for a day and she won't be sitting on her sofa moaning about what a terrible daughter I am not caring.

In this house "putting my feet up" is laughable.  Husbands alarm went off at 7am as per usual as he's at work today, 5 minutes of fumbling to switch it off later I was obviously wide awake (and judging by that murmur boy2 is now as well). I got up and made myself a cup of tea .... may as well start as you mean to go on. My day will be filled with "no", "stop that" and "play nicely".  We might make a cake, we need to go to the shops (where i will no doubt buy myself some flowers as my husband appears to have gone back to bed) and I will cook Sunday Tea.  Then I will wash up, bath the kids and put them to bed (while he watches TV or plays on the PS3).

He might run me a bath which I can relax in while listening to one of the boys arguing or winging about why they don't want to go to sleep right now and how mean I am.

Just a normal Sunday then ...... except with presents and cards ...... if I am very lucky my present may even be wrapped up unlike my birthday ones...... nahhhh.

How will your day be spent??

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