13 things we didn't know about Mother's Day
Why do you think Mother's Day is so important? Here are 13 things we wished we knew and these are definitely facts we should know about.
It was all started by a mom, of course. Ann Reeves Jarvis arranged Mothers’ Friendship Day in West Virginia back in the 1860s, and she had a surprisingly serious purpose. A social activist (and mother of 13), Jarvis hoped the special day would quiet the seething animosity between the Union and Confederate soldiers, in addition to their families and neighbors, at the end of the Civil War.
Her daughter took it very seriously too. After Ann Jarvis died in 1905, her daughter, Anna M. Jarvis, made it her mission to take Mother’s Day national. Anna never had kids, but you could say Mother’s Day was her baby. She campaigned for years against what she saw as its commercialization, from candy to store-bought cards to a 1934 postage stamp.
3. President Wilson made it a holiday
Tommy loved his mommy. It was President Thomas Woodrow Wilson (Tommy to his family) who made Mother’s Day a national holiday in 1914, 26 years after his mother’s death.
4. The French once gave medals to their mothers
After their enormous losses in World War I—more than 4 percent of the population was killed—the French were desperate to rebuild the country. So the government celebrated Mother’s Day in 1920 by presenting women who had five children with a bronze medal. Mothers of eight got silver, and those with ten—or more!—got the gold.
In Mexico, it starts with a bang—and a strum and a toot. Día de las Madres (which is always on May 10) is one of the biggest holidays south of the border for restaurants—and for mariachi bands. Because of the high demand, families often hire a band months in advance to perform just for Mom, and children rouse her in the morning with the traditional song “Las Mañanitas.”
More people eat at restaurants on Mother’s Day than on any other day of the year, with 92 million Americans dining out with Mom.
Or you could just call her. Mother’s Day is also the busiest day of the year for phone traffic in countries all around the globe.
8. You can never go wrong with a bouquet of carnations
Americans spent $2.4 billion on Mother’s Day flowers in 2016 (compared with $792 million on cards). Carnations are the traditional bloom of choice for Mom (even Anna Jarvis sent them).
9. She is definitely worth the money
Mother’s Day Index estimates that it would cost $67,619 a year to hire someone to do all the household tasks that Mom does for free: cooking, cleaning, kissing boo-boos.
10. This mother deserves a hand (and a nap)
India’s Daljinder Kaur was believed to be in her early 70s when she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy on April 19, 2016. Kaur and her 79-year-old husband, Mohinder Singh Gill, spent decades trying to have a baby—and finally succeeded after saving up enough money for fertility treatments.
11. Becoming a future mom is good for your brain
Pregnancy not only alters a woman’s skin and hair but may also affect her brain. According to a small 2010 study published by the American Psychological Association, the changes include a small but significant increase in gray matter in the parts of the brain responsible for sensory perception, reasoning, and judgment—changes may play a role in shaping maternal behavior and motivation in the development of higher cognitive function.
She’s got the same name in every mother tongue. Babies in nearly every country on the planet speak the word mama in almost exactly the same way.
13. But don’t accuse her of smothering you
Of the mother lode of words with mother as their root, perhaps the most recent is motherboard: the main circuit of a computer. A surprise to some is that smother doesn’t come from the same source—no matter how much you think it’s in your mom’s DNA.
Source: Reader's Digest