Give the Gift of Time for Mother’s Day
Working in a spring garden.

Mother’s Day is a day we set aside to honor our mothers and to show appreciation for all of the sacrifices she has made and the love she has shown us. Being a mother can be a hard job! Each stage of our child’s life bring new challenges. It’s an emotional roller coaster that never ends no matter how old your children are.

But some people believe that the modern Mother’s Day celebration has become too commercialized, and the focus is less about our Mother and more about how much money we can spend on gifts and cards that ultimately aren’t used or that end up in the garbage. That’s how the founder of the first Mother’s Day in the US felt. By the time she died, she was campaigning for the holiday to be removed from the national calendar.

The First Mother’s Day

The American version of Mother’s Day was conceived of by Anna Jarvis following her mother’s death in 1905 as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. Times were different then, and women had very few rights. Their only job was to raise their children and take care of their households. Mothers and women in general were often undervalued and underappreciated. Anna Jarvis saw this celebration as a way to encourage women and show their importance. In May of 1908, she received financial backing from Philadelphia store owner John Wanamaker and organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration in a Methodist church in West Virginia. The event was a success, and Jarvis began to campaign to have the day added to the national calendar, believing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Anna Jarvis imagined Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between a mother and her family. She envisioned people visiting their mothers and attending church services together. But it didn’t take long for companies to capitalize on the popularity of the holiday, pushing flowers and gifts as the only way to show love to your mother. By 1920, Jarvis began speaking out against florist, candy makers, and even charities that used Mother’s Day for profit and by 1948 when she died, she had disowned the holiday altogether.

Mother’s Day Today

Walk into any store today, and you will see how commercialized Mother’s Day has become. Flowers and cheap trinkets line the aisles starting a couple weeks before the holiday. Stores remind us that if we forget our Mother’s day gifts, we aren’t showing love to our mothers. And we have bought into it. Stores are packed on the week before the holiday as we rush to grab last minute gifts. But are these store bought gifts the only way to show love to our mothers? I believe most mothers would say there is a better way.

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Mother is Your Time!

No matter what stage of life your mother is in, I venture to say that the most appreciated gift you can give her is time. For the young mother, time for herself may be the perfect gift. For the empty nester or grandmother, time with her family may be just what she needs to still feel an important part of her kids’ lives. Giving your time shows that you understand the time she has invested in you, and that you are willing to invest the same for her. It makes her feel important and appreciated. This is not to say that store bought gifts aren’t nice on occasion, especially if it fills a need your mother has. And a well thought out note telling your mom how you feel about her is something most moms would cherish forever. But your time is what’s important, especially since we all seem to have less and less of it. It’s a gift that shows you care!

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