Mother’s Day means different things to different people, in different times


More than 50 countries celebrate Mother’s Day, and in The United States alone it is estimated that Americans will spend around $36 billion dollars on Mother’s Day, May 14, this year.

“My siblings and I were all baseball/softball players, so we spent many Mother’s Days on the ball fields. Giving my mom flowers after the games was always a sweet touch,” math teacher Lindsay Melnick said.

Mother’s Day is about cherishing and showing mothers the appreciation that they deserve; however, this has not always been the case.

Mother’s Day originated in the late 19th century by a woman named Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. She was a lifelong activist who wanted to help mothers who needed it most. She created “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to battle very unsanitary living conditions that caused many children’s deaths in the Appalachian regions. These clubs allowed needy mothers the medication and food their families needed to survive.

During the Civil War, Ann’s daughter, Ann Jarvis continued to work hard to preserve her mother’s legacy and created the “Mother’s Friendship Day” to attempt to bring people from the North and South together throughout these times. This event ended up being a great success.

“I think the original purpose of Mother’s Day has a more innocent and beneficial intent. I never knew about how it originated, but now after realizing, I feel a bit sad on how wholesome things often turn into cash grabs and such,” freshman Kami Rowland said.

After her mother’s death in 1905, Jarvis advocated for a national holiday called “Mother’s Day” in her mother’s honor. Mother’s Day became a national holiday in 1907. However, Jarvis noticed that the holiday was being used for profit rather than for what she originally intended. As a result of this, she created a campaign called “Mother’s Day International Association” where she threatened anyone with lawsuits who treated the holiday for financial gain.

“Holidays that are very commercialized are very affected, and as a result, it takes away the original meaning and applies pressure (especially financially) to those who participate,” Rowland said.

Javis continued to advocate for Mother’s Day to return to its original meaning; however, she never achieved her goal. Javis spent her last four years of life in the Marshall Square Sanitarium mental asylum and later died in 1948 while suffering from severe dementia.

Mother’s Day may not be celebrated how it was originally planned to be; however, many people continue to admire all of the amazing things their mothers do for them on this day.

“I am planning on cleaning the house and buying her flowers and painting her something,” freshman Jalaana Grimes said. “Love your mom for everything she has sacrificed for you. She has put all of her dreams aside just for her child to achieve [their dreams] before her.”