9 Things You Should Know About Mothers and Mother’s Day

This Sunday is the day Americans set aside to honor their mothers. Here are 9 things you should know about moms and Mother’s Day.

1. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation that officially established the first national Mother’s Day holiday to celebrate America’s mothers. Many individual states celebrated Mother’s Day before then, but it was not until Wilson lobbied Congress in 1914 that Mother’s Day was officially set on the second Sunday of every May.

2. President Wilson established Mother’s Day after years of lobbying by the mother of the holiday, Anna Marie Jarvis and the World’s Sunday School Association. Anna Jarvis’ mother, Ann Jarvis, had attempted to establish a version of Mother’s Day during the Civil War as a time for remembrance. By the 1920s, though, Anna Jarvis became disgusted by the commercialization of the holiday. She incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association, trademarked the phrases “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day”, and was once arrested for disturbing the peace at a Mother’s Day carnation sale. According to her New York Times obituary, Jarvis became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card. As she said, “A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.”

3. Jarvis also established the tradition of giving carnations on Mother’s Day. At a memorial service for her mother, Jarvis gave away carnations, her mother’s favorite flower, to all that attended. Red and pink carnations were to be worn for living mothers, and white for those who had passed away.

4. Mother’s Day was the most important Sunday on the organized crime calendar. According to Joe Pistone, an FBI undercover agent, the mafia often closed for business when Mother’s Day arrived each May.

5. Mother’s Day is the third-largest card-sending holiday in the United States, with 141 million cards exchanged annually. It is also the largest card-sending holiday for the Latino community.

6. Based on the latest Census figures (2010), 53 percent of 15- to 44-year-old women are mothers. 20 percent had 2 children, 17 percent had one, 10 percent had three, and 5 percent had four or more.

7. In the U.S., there are 5 million stay-at-home moms. In 2012, 24 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15 had a stay-at-home mother, up from 21 percent in 2000. In 2007, before the recession, stay-at-home mothers were found in 24 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15, not statistically different from the percentage in 2012. 61 percent of women age 16 to 50 who had a birth in the past 12 months were in the labor force.

8. There are 10.3 million single mothers living with children younger than 18 in 2012, up from 3.4 million in 1970.

9. Five mothers are mentioned by name in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17): Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.


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  • Melody

    I think maybe I hate this holiday the most out of them all. And I have eight kids.

    We are supposed to honor parents every day. All it does is expose those that have to make up being neglectful. Those that are competitive with their siblings. The women that really do think they are supposed to be the center of the universe. A self-centeredness that will not let an invitation to an outside event interfere with “their day”.
    Then we have to have all the reminders for those that it might not be a good day for which just leaves me confused. Can we just skip it?

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  • Lovey

    I loathe Mother’s Day…..my Hubby and I struggle most days to honor our mom’s let alone set aside a “special” day for them. They are selfish and at times very cruel to all their children. No matter what we do, at any time of the year, to honor them or make them feel special, it won’t be good enough. And we don’t dare do anything extra special for the dads on Father’s Day because that inevitably leads to mom-meltdowns. I know my words don’t sound godly or remotely christian but it’s the truth. Add to that pain the heartache of hubby and I have suffered many miscarriages with no earthly children…..well, it only intensifies the pain.

    I know we are not the only people who feel this way. Just about everyone we know does not look forward to Mother’s (or Father’s) Day for many, many different reasons.

    In light of how our Moms are, we still believe in the biblical mandate to honor our parents. And we believe in doing this on a daily basis. It is irritating and frustrating for us that this man-made holiday causes so much heartache not just for us but for many people we know.

  • John

    Bathsheba was not mentioned by name in Mat 1:1-17 actually…

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  • Anonymous


    I completely sympathize. There are many people who have cruel manipulative mothers and/or mothers-in-law. I used to try to appease my M-I-L, but she was a person who was never satisfied. It’s best to just leave these people alone — and to celebrate the women who nurtured and strengthened you.

    Those who never had children usually have time and energy and love for other people who need family. In fact Isaiah 54:1-3 says that those who had no biological children have even more children who change the world. Your children — the people you loved and mentored and helped — will be bursting at the seems and making a difference.

    Happy Mothers Day to you.


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