Relevance of Mother's Day: Past and Present

The history recorded that early concept of Mother’s Day in the United States was to ensure women's roles at home and their contributions to their families. It was not a celebration like many. It was a celebration of the political power of motherhood by which mothers could organize themselves for the benefit of the larger society and for the betterment of their future generations. It was an influence beyond the realm of home and family. It was for their participation in public and political areas.

In the mid -1800s, activist Anna Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia organized Mother’s Work Days for the purposes of working in their communities to improve health and sanitary conditions. Its very purpose was also to assist mothers suffering from tuberculosis with supplying of medicine, food and bottled milk. Thereafter, it was shifted for the care of soldiers affected in then civil war. Later Julia Ward Howe, women's right activist came forward to serve civil war affected families. And Howe wrote, ‘Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World' which was known as “Mother's Day Proclamation." Her call was to organize mothers everywhere and demanded a Mother’s Day for peace.

After expiry of Anna Reeves Jarvis in 1905, her daughter named Anna Jarvis pledged to establish a nationally recognized Mother’s Day. In 1914, it was adopted as official holiday by then the Congress. The ultimate goal of this day was to empower the woman and motherhood outside home. It was an entry point of women’s participation in larger society. Now every year second Sunday of May is being celebrated as Mother’s Day.

Now Mother’s Day becomes a consumer-driven. Its focus is exclusively on a privatized view of motherhood. It becomes a celebration to honour mothers. It is marketed to the mass public, specifically in urban and educated as well well-off families by the flower, greeting card, and jewelry industries, and so forth. A mother's self-sacrificing activity all year long is to buy her a simple token of their affection and dote on her for a day.

In fact, this celebration is not attaining it’s ultimately goal for mother and womanhood. Mothers as well as women are till in deep crisis. There is very less effort to realize the hidden pain of womanhood. Women have to face multifarious problems in daily life. They are being abused differently every day. The mothers of poor families have no alternative to get relief from their daily suffering. Today elderly mothers are becoming neglected. If they have no financial sufficiency, they are becoming orphan.  Mothers of almost all ages are in emotional and financial crisis. Celebration of this day is just a symbol of consumerism. Where is the respect to the womanhood and mothers? Where is their safety and security? How much they should pay to make this society alive? We have to remember before the celebration of the very personal day – Mother’s Day.


More by :  Dr. Harasankar Adhikari

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