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Happy Mother's Day from Ask Patty

Published May 11th 2008, 9:06am by

Ap_mothersdaygreeting Are you a mom? Do you remember your first Mother’s Day? What did you think of it? Did it live up to the hype? Do you go all out, or just relax at home?

Mother’s Day is celebrated on different days of the year in various countries. Here in the U.S., it is today, May 10. There are several possibilities of its origin, from mother worship in ancient Greece, the Roman holiday Matronalia (dedicated to Juno, but mothers were given gifts), or the Christian festival in Lent to celebrate Mary, mother of Jesus.

As I think about this day’s origins, I wonder if one day of celebration is enough. Not because I’m now “officially” a mom (I’ve been a mom to my stepdaughter for almost 10 years now, but just had my own son last fall), but because I now understand what mothers really do.

Mother’s Day wasn’t started in corporate America, designed to sell cards, flowers, or diamonds. It started around 150 years ago when Anna Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker, organized a day to raise awareness of poor health conditions in her community. She felt the cause could best be carried by mothers. It was called “Mother’s Work Day.” In 1914, Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. And it’s now the most popular day of the year for dining out (according to the National Restaurant Association). And phone lines buzz with high traffic as children call their mothers to say hello, and hopefully thank you.

Apwikipediamothers_day_cake I’ve always appreciated having a loving Mom. And I was lucky to have such a terrific relationship with her. But now… now I really get it. When you become a parent, you understand even more about your mother’s love than you did before. And this year, my thank you, my “I love you, Mom” will be even more sincere than it has been before.

Thanks for driving me to the movies.
Thanks for carpooling to marching band and pep band events.
Thanks for taking me shopping.
Thanks for our weekly grocery trips, where we sang along to the oldies on the radio.
Thanks for teaching me to drive.
Thanks for helping me with my first car.

Here are a few more facts about Mother’s Day.

  • There are 80.5 million mothers of all ages in the U.S., and 55% are between 14-44 years old.
  • Most U.S. women can expect to have two kids (except the Duggar family in Arkansas, who just announced they’re expecting their 18th child). Women in Niger, Africa can expect at least seven children.
  • More than 150 million Mother’s Day cards will be sent in the U.S.
  • In 2006, the average age of a new mom was 25 years old. More than 50% returned to work within four months (no surprise since the average leave is somewhere between 6 weeks and 3 months). The average childcare payment was $92 a week.
    (US Census Bureau, 2006 stats)


We hope you moms have a terrific day. Enjoy your brunches, breakfasts in bed, flowers, cards, or however you decide to celebrate. And maybe you can convince Dad to watch the kids while you take a drive. Enjoy the scenery, maybe stop for a coffee. Whatever it is, have fun!

Becky_headshot By Becky Scott
Contributing Editor, Mother of two

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