by Angela and Laura
Mother’s Day: an entire day devoted to honoring, rewarding, and reflecting on your role as an Amazing Mother, right? For many people the evening of Mother’s Day comes, and because of unmet expectations, there’s disappointment, argument, tears, and frustration in place of satisfaction and love. Who even came up with this holiday?
The history of Mother’s Day is kind of incredible, considering what it is today.
The American Mother’s Day goes back before the Civil War (1860’s). Ann Jarvis helped start “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to instruct local women to care for their children. She also established “Mother’s Friendship Day” to reunite families divided by the war. In the meantime other women were calling for mother’s days for various reasons: to promote world peace, to have a day for mothers and children to spend together, and a day to send penny postcards home.
Mother’s Day became official in the 1900s because of Anna Jarvis, the daughter of the aforementioned Ann Jarvis. Anna thought there should be a day to honor the sacrifices mothers make on behalf of their children. In May of 1908, one year after her own mother’s death, she launched the first Mother’s Day at a church and retail store in West Virginia. Anna’s desire was that families would celebrate by attending church, visiting their mothers and wearing a white carnation, (Anna’s mother’s favorite flower).
After Mother’s Day became a national holiday the florists, card companies, and other business wanted to commercialize on the popularity. Anna was disheartened and by 1920 she was so disgusted with the holiday that she denounced it, calling for people to stop purchases for Mother’s Day. She hated that people used the name “Mother’s Day” for such commercial gains. Eventually she lobbied to remove the holiday from the calendar.
Present Day Expectations and Reality
The magazines, movies, blogs, and social media posts would lead us to believe that anything less than royal treatment for mamas is insulting. They put bold font on you deserve nothing less.
Saturday night you can almost picture the following day! What better way to celebrate than starting the day off with a little sleeping in, followed by some breakfast in bed. You arrive into the main house to see your children all dressed and ready for the day, the house sparkling clean, and the kitchen immaculate. Your husband hands you a gift certificate to the massage parlor and the car keys, and says, “take all the time that you need-I’ve got dinner under control”.
Kids often miss the memo that this is a day they are supposed to keep the house clean, not need anything extra, not argue with their siblings, sit sweetly and take an extra long nap! Husbands who work shifts might have to work on Mother’s Day, or your husband is a pastor and works EVERY Mother’s Day. Your kids get sick. Family get-togethers are stressful. What happens when you are feeling more discouraged then celebrated? This was not what you had in mind!
How to Fight Discouragement for Delight
Put your trust into the Lord for your identity and contentment in your role of motherhood. He is best at understanding our disappointments, fears and worries, joys and even Mom guilt. He knows that mothering is a job with a LOT of responsibilities and emotions! He will give rest at the exact moment we need it. He sees the daily sacrifices that are made when no one else does.
So, Mother’s Day morning, pray and sit quietly for a few minutes sharing your heart and listening to His gentle response to you.
Zephaniah 3 :17 “The Lord your God is in your midst. A mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with delight; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing”.
Be gracious to your husband. Communicate to him what your expectations are and work out an achievable, (this the key word) plan for the day and for your Mother’s Day gift. Whether you keep it simple, or plan something you have been wanting to do for awhile- talk through it together. Thank your hubby for the efforts he puts into making you feel special. Even if it’s a small step. Communicate what he did right and good! Men like to be told what they did right, not being put down for not doing something good enough. Be careful not to make him feel inadequate or like a failure.
Keep in mind that the photos on Facebook and Instagram are just moments and not the whole of your friend’s day. If your Mother’s Day afternoon consists of kids crying, be careful not to jump to conclusions that all is happy and fairy tale land in every other home but yours!
What COULD you do
Reflect on your past year as a mother. Write down times you have cherished, times you have wept, where you’ve improved, where you can still grow.
Enjoy your children exactly where they are at today. Don’t compare them to others or wish they were younger or older than they are. Be reminded that at every age and stage there are things you will love and things you will be glad will pass. They are growing and learning. You are growing and learning.
Help your friend who is a single Mom and take her kids shopping to pick out a gift to give their Mom. Invite other families who don’t have relatives in town to share in a meal or dessert to celebrate together! Write a card or text a special women in your life who has encouraged you like a Mother would or inspired you in your role as Mom.
Remember that YOU have a mom too. Send her a card, even if it will get there late. Call her and remind her of a way you are thankful for her sacrifice.
As you fight for delight and not discouragement this Mother’s Day, be a thankful representative of Motherhood to your family, your friends, and even your social media. We wish you a delightful day Mothers! We love you and are with you!!