The inspiration for this post happened as I was researching a Mother’s Day blog post for work. I’ve never really thought much into Mother’s Day other than what to get my mum and if my sisters have gotten her anything better. But during my research I discovered that after getting the day nationally established in 1914, the founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, worked the remainder of her life to get it disestablished after she saw how popular it became- and not in the way she intended it to be. She said that the intention was for every mother to be honoured and celebrated, not the individual mother being gifted with sweets, flowers, cards and other treats.
So it got me thinking, how has this special day grown to be what it is today? I found that Mother’s Day is the second biggest special occasion of the year behind Christmas. With restaurants, florists, card shops and other gift giving companies sales going through the roof during this time. I mean in 2018 £1.4 billion was spent on sales alone, wow. Of course the idea behind Mother’s day is undeniably good, mums should be appreciated and thanked for all their love and support. But does this growing demand for increasingly priced gifts really equate to your level of love?
I mean surely, like everyone says it’s the thought that counts. Yet when push comes to shove, the pressure to buy a gift substantial enough to show your mum how much you love her tends to end in mounting zeros at the end of a big number.
This thought train had me contemplating what high priced gifts can be substituted for simple acts of appreciation. Stick with me on this.
Try making a home cooked meal of your mother’s favourite food rather than go out. You can dress up the house and put on her favourite music to have an intimate dinner where your mother gets waited on hand and foot rather than the other way around. Mothers are so use to taking care of others that it’s nice to give them some time off and let them put their feet up for the day. Sure a fancy restaurant is nice and all, but isn’t it more special when you put the effort into treating her to a delicious meal, it certainly shows how much thought you’ve put into the day.
This one seems simple, make your own! Of course many deem this to be ‘cheap’ but really it isn’t about the money. It’s about creating something thoughtful and special that shows your mum how much you think about her. As the founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis once said;
‘A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world.’
Then again, I’ll be the first to admit sometimes time gets away from me and it’s way too convenient to simply buy a card from the shop rather than make one from scratch. But in writing this post I’m thinking it’s something I should make the effort to change.
While tasty as they are, think how likely is it that your mum is going to eat them all herself. If she’s anything like mine then she’s either going to share them out or be appreciative and then give them to someone who is more likely to enjoy them. As good old Anna Jarvis stated;
‘And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.’
Think we’re getting a clearer picture of Anna’s opinion of the ‘new’ Mother’s Day.
Now this one is slightly harder to avoid. I mean it’s not like you can go and pick wild flowers out of someone’s garden now is it, that’s just uncalled for. Plus, flowers were apart of Ann Jarvis’ notion of honouring motherhood, particularly with carnation flowers. Red signified those who were living and white were to remember those who had passed. So I’m thinking we can give flowers a pass on this one and let them be.
With all this in mind think about how Mother’s Day as we know it has changed from the original notion of the day. Are all the cards and gifts really worth it? Or should it be more about the little things and sentimental aspects that surround the day? Food for thought.
I’d love to hear what you all think, let me know in the comments!
Click here to read my Valentine’s Day self love post