Times have changed a lot since the first Mother's Day in 1908. With modern technology giving us the freedom to put laundry in a machine and then go check our email while it washes our clothes, our days are still full of responsibilities and chores. We load the dishwasher and then get on the phone to schedule doctor and dentist and orthodontist appointments, sign up the kids for extracurricular activities, or search the Internet for summer camps or sale prices for clothes and groceries. We volunteer at the schools, take the car in for oil changes, work for non-profit organizations and community events. On top of all this, some moms have yet another job -- the kind that actually gives us a paycheck. So while our job as a mom may be different, but I bet we go to bed at night with much of the same exhaustion and worry as our great grandmothers would have in 1908. We have guilt about things done and undone, and worry whether our children are getting what they need.
According to an NPR segment I heard this morning, the founder of Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, was pretty angry at the fact that Mother's Day was turning into a commercial holiday. She wanted people to write their mother's letters, not sign their name on the bottom of a Hallmark card and call it done. In fact, near the end of her life, she was arrested for disturbing the peace at a Mother's Day celebration in New York. [Source: Mother's Day celebration reaches 100th anniversary, NPR.org 5/11/08]
I loved this quote describing Anna Jarvis:
"She was a soft-spoken, gentle woman, but she could convince the devil to give up his pitch fork." -- Olive Dadisman, who operates the
Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum in
Webster, West Virginia
Sounds to me like a lot of the mothers I know!