When I first started doing policy work for the WOW organization I was shocked to see radical feminist NGO groups having open hostility and disdain for motherhood, yet also declaring they were activists for creating strong women. How is a woman strong at all when she tears down other women? It’s weak, manipulative, immature social behavior to try to make yourself look important by tearing other people down or ripping people apart.
Yesterday, May 9, 2020, emotions about motherhood came to the forefront as a young Australian child was ripped from his mother’s arms kicking and screaming while his mother was getting detained. The footage of the treatment of this child and mother is heart-wrenching to watch because we all know a child needs their mother for security and mental well-being. I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone was factoring in the trauma the child was facing and what the outcomes of that trauma might be fore that child. No one can replace a child’s mother. And, because of this fact, that we all personally know, we set aside a day each year to honor our mothers.
Since ancient times the importance of motherhood has been honored. Celebrations and festivals to honor Greek and Roman mother goddesses and the Christian celebration of “Mothering Sunday” during lent all happened long before the modern Mother’s Day we know today. So, how did Mother’s Day come about?
Ann Reeves Jarvis, from the US state of Virginia, started “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” prior to the Civil War to teach women how to better care for their children. After the Civil War, Jarvis and her “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” played an important role in unifying the most socially and politically divided state in the nation where she lived by hosting “Mother’s Friendship Day”. On these occasions the clubs would invite Union and Confederate soldiers to talk openly in order to promote reconciliation. It was this action by Jarvis that led the nation to make the second Sunday in May a national holiday dedicated to honoring the power and influence of Mothers in all of our lives.
Mothers, like Jarvis, have a history of not only mothering their children, but mothering communities and nations too. Even women who aren’t mothers yet, can be motherly influences upon the world when they promote high morals, values, and love of mankind. Jarvis’s groups helped bring a war-torn nation together by reaching out with love and creating a safe place for open communication to happen. That’s what mothers do. Jarvis’s clubs also taught mothers how to better care for their children. That’s what mothers do. They teach and lead, and even mother other mothers. The mothering I’ve received by other mothers has been a constant blessing in my life. Every time a mother or loving woman hugs me I think of the love and hugs from my mother.
My mother gives hugs and snuggles. She always has. I still remember crawling into bed with my mom as a child, and her wrapping her arms around me. I remember hugs while canning and cleaning together in the kitchen, and side-hugs while shopping with her. I can still feel those hugs after all these years. They are stamped in my body memory. Because of those memorable, loving embraces, I’ve always hugged and snuggled my children too. And now I have even more memories of truly loving embraces.
Thank you Mom, for showing me what love is, what it looks like, what it feels like, how it serves unselfishly, how it heals all the pains of life, and how it is blind to our imperfections. The example of your love for me helps me recognize God’s love for me. I can better understand how He cares because of how you care. ❤️ You are the heart and hearthstone of the our family. I owe my identity of my your deep and abiding love.
Happy Mother’s Day 2020!