Mother’s day has always been a special holiday for it’s the day that all mothers can put their feet up and relax. A solid day of respite from the mind boggling routine that keeps them on their toes all day is much welcomed. How can we even begin to pay her back for all that she has done for us?
Let us have a comprehensive look at how, when, where and why the tradition started, and how you can celebrate it even amidst the COVID19 Lockdown.
The whole hoopla of Mother’s day, goes as far back as the 1850’s. That’s a long time ago for sure. Back then, Women were still fighting for their rights, while fighting wars and also participating in essential services like hospitals. They were just beginning to get empowered for the Suffragette movement started a bare 2 years back in 1848.
Women were forced to work under the most unsanitary conditions that was detrimental to their health and mental well being. In addition they also had to care for their children, some as young as infants whom they had no choice but to bring to work. Ann Reeves Jarvis, a women’s rights activist was the first to organise Women’s Work Clubs that worked to improve working conditions and decrease infant mortality rates by providing access to good sanitation, food and shelter. The Civil War broke out in 1861 in the US, and once again Women were forced to work the frontline of healthcare providing care to wounded soldiers, putting them at high risk of infection. Ann Reeves Jarvis became more politically active in forming groups and creating events that promoted solidarity between women. She encouraged them to fight for their rights and be vocal in their demands. She was also an activist who spoke for peace, against the war.
She had 11 children, only 4 of whom would reach adulthood. Anna Jarvis one of her daughters was also an active participant in her mother’s work. She strongly believed in the principles and motives that drove her mother to take unbelievable efforts towards the betterment of women. The Mother’s Day tradition was started in 1905 upon Ann Reeves Jarvis’s death. Anna Jarvis visualised the notion of a day that children would acknowledge and celebrate their mothers for the love and sacrifices that they make. Her idea of an ideal Mother’s day was wearing a white carnation as a badge, and visiting one’s mother and going to church for prayers and gratitude.
Today the day has become largely commercialised but the intentions of the children celebrating it are pure and mothers are pampered and showered with love by their families.
Traditional Mother’s Day celebrations
The traditional mother’s day involved a day of pampering and gifts from the husband and the children. The day would begin with a special Breakfast in Bed, which would be prepared by the kids, followed by gifts. The mom would be allowed to sleep in that day, for she would otherwise, normally be the first one to rise and prep everyone for the day. Since the tradition began in the US, they would attend a late service at the Church for religion was very important to them. Then the husband would take them all to a celebratory lunch at her favourite restaurant or they would go for a picnic in the park. They would also visit their own mothers in the evening if the distance allowed it.
Those living long distance would send their mother’s postcards or greeting cards and usually attach a gift of money and flowers. A phone call to wish them and offer their gratitude for the sacrifices their mothers made was also a norm, provided they had access to phones.
Those whose mother’s had passed away would take the time to visit their Mother’s graves to lay white carnations and pay their respects. This is the traditional way that the holiday is celebrated in the western culture. However different countries celebrate it in different ways and even on different dates.
Lockdown celebration ideas for Mother’s day
This year the Corona Virus has turned our lives upside down and in the middle of the Lockdown, plans for celebrations like anniversaries, birthdays etc have taken a step down. But Mother’s day is just so special and it is practically the only day of the year that we deliberately and consciously show our love for our mothers. How does on celebrate it in the lockdown. Even the smallest gesture can go a long way in showing them how much we appreciate the part they have played in our lives.
Write a handwritten letter to her. Of course if your parents don’t stay with you, it is difficult to deliver it. In this case, the letter can be virtual in the form of a personalised mail. If they reside with you, then write her a note of love and gratitude. It doesn’t have to be long and elaborate, but the more personal it is, filled with memories from your childhood, the more impactful it is. In our busy lives, we hardly ever have a proper conversation with our parents. So this note will be treasured as a lot of thought and time goes into it.
As cakes are difficult to procure during the lockdown, you can try your hand at baking her one from scratch. If you are a gourmet cook, then whip up a special recipe for a baked goodie that you reserve specially for Mother’s day. If nothing else even a store bought pack of her favourite cookies or anything that her sweet tooth craves would be a god option too, as it is the thought that counts.
Pamper her with a home spa treatment with ingredients you can find right at home. Pedicures, manicures, massages etc are simple enough with a few tips and tricks and kitchen ingredients like salt, baking soda, lemon and a few drops of her favourite essential oils. In case you head out to the store, you can also pick up a home salon kit, that comes with professional tools and compounds.
Breakfast in bed sounds good and gives her a much needed respite from having to get up early herself and prep things for meals. Let her sleep in and you can surprise her with breakfast. If she lives with you, prepare a nice home made meal of her favourite dishes. If there is a recipe handed down in the family, now is a good time to try your hand at it.
Mothers are very particular about cleanliness and having an organised household. If you could actually do all the chores and do a thorough deep cleaning of the house, it would give her so much rest from the daily routine. This is not only for the one day. Take up the responsibilities and divide the chores every day as well. This is a part of maturity and nothing makes moms more happy than seeing their children actually growing up to be mature, responsible adults.
Mother’s have dedicate their entire lives and sacrificed so many hopes and dreams for us. It is only right that we celebrate their presence in our lives. Although Mother’s Day is a dedicated holiday for them, make it a habit to constantly cherish her and value their importance. We would not be who we are, why our very existence would not be, if not for her. If you have memorable ways to celebrate mother’s day or heart warming stories about you and your mother, share them with us and your fellow readers in the comments section.