Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May. It complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Father’s Day, Siblings Day, and Grandparents Day.
Anna Marie Jarvis (May 1, 1864 – November 24, 1948) was the founder of the Mother’s Day holiday in the United States. Her mother had frequently expressed a desire for the establishment of such a holiday, and after her mother’s death, Jarvis led the movement for the commemoration.
Ann Reeves Jarvis was a social activist, founder of Mothers’ Day Work Clubs. As a woman defined by her faith, she was very active within the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church community. It was during one of her Sunday school lessons in 1876 that her daughter, Anna Jarvis, allegedly found her inspiration for Mother’s Day, as Ann closed her lesson with a prayer, stating:
I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mothers day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it.
— Ann Reeves Jarvis
However, as the years passed, Jarvis grew disenchanted with the growing commercialization of the observation (she herself did not profit from the day) and even attempted to have Mother’s Day rescinded. She died in a sanitarium, her medical bills paid by people in the floral and greeting card industries.
I hate all of the commercialization behind the day that celebrates moms; imagine how Anna Jarvis would feel now. The holiday’s founder worked so hard to get the world to give moms everywhere a day of recognition. Before her death, even she had to admit she had some regrets about starting Mother’s Day.