- It was all started by a mum, of course. Ann Reeves Jarvis arranged Mothers’ Friendship Day in West Virginia back in the 1860s, and she had a surprisingly serious purpose. A social activist (and mother of 13), Jarvis hoped the special day would quiet the seething animosity between the Union and Confederate soldiers, in addition to their families and neighbours, at the end of the American Civil War.
2. Her daughter took it very seriously too. After Ann Jarvis died in 1905, her daughter, Anne M. Jarvis, made it her mission to take Mother’s Day national. Anna never had kids, but you could say Mother’s Day was her baby. She campaigned for years against what she saw as its commercialization, from candy to store-bought cards to a 1934 postage stamp. “If the American people are not willing to protect Mother’s Day from the hordes of money schemers that would overwhelm it with their schemes, then we shall cease having a Mother’s Day, she wrote.
3. Tommy loved his mommy. It was President Thomas Woodrow Wilson (Tommy to his family) who made Mother’s Day a national holiday in 1914, 26 years after his mother’s death. “I remember how I clung to her (a laughed-at-mamma’s boy) till I was a great big fellow”, Wilson wrote in a letter to his wife, “but a love of the best womanhood came to me and entered my heart through those apron-strings.”
4. The French once gave medals to their mothers. After their enormous losses in World War I, more than 4 percent of the population was killed- the French were desperate to build the country. So, the government celebrated Mother’s Day in 1920 by presenting a woman who had five children with a bronze medal. Mothers of eight got silver and those with ten- or more! – got the gold.
5. In Mexico, it starts with a bang- and a strum and a toot. Dia de las Madres (which is always on 10 May) is one of the biggest holidays south of the US border for restaurants-and for mariachi bands. Because of the high demand, families often hire a band month in advance to perform just for Mum, and children rouse her in the morning with the traditional song ‘Las Mananitas’ as a precursor of the show to come.
6. Expect a crowd at the restaurant. More people eat at restaurants on Mother’s Day than on any other day of the year, with 92 million Americans dining out with Mum. (The second busiest day: Valentine Day)
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7. Or you could just call her. Mother’s Day is also the busiest day of the year for phone traffic in countries all around the globe.
8. You can never go wrong with a bouquet of carnations. Americans spent $2.4 billion on flowers on Mother’s Day in 2016 (compared with $792 million on cards). Carnations are the traditional bloom of choice for Mum (even Anna Jarvis sent them). In case you are wondering whether you’re a big enough spender, the average Mother’s Day bouquet goes for $29.
9. She is definitely worth the money. Insure.com’s Mother’s Day Index estimates that it would cost $67,619 a year to hire someone to do all the household tasks that mum does for free cooking and cleaning. That’s about as much as the average accountant or chiropractor makes.
10. This mother deserves a hand (and a nap). India’s Daljinder Kaur was believed to be in her early 70s when she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy on 19 April 2016. Daljinder and her 79-year-old husband, Mohinder Singh Gill, spent decades trying to have a baby- and finally succeeded after saving up enough money for fertility treatments.
11. Becoming a future mum is good for your brain. Pregnancy not only alters a woman’s skin and hair but may also affect her brain. According to a small 2010 study published by the American Psychological Association, the changes include a small but significant increase for grey matter in the parts of the brain responsible for sensory perception, reasoning and judgement. These changes may play a role in shaping maternal behaviour and motivation in the development of higher cognitive function.
12. She’s got the same name in every mother tongue. Babies in nearly every country on the planet speak the word mama in almost the same way.
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13. But don’t accuse her of smothering you. Of the mother lode of words will mother as their root, perhaps the most recent is motherhood: the main circuit of a computer. A surprise to some is that smother doesn’t come from the same source- no matter how much you think it’s in your mum’s DNA.
Source- Lauren Cahn and Caroline Fanning –Reader’s Digest May 2018