This year Mother’s Day is officially one hundred years old in the U.S. On May 8, 1914 Congress passed a law to officially celebrate Mother’s day on the second Sunday in May.
Facts About Moms (in the U.S.)
- There are more than 85 million mothers of all ages in the United States.
- According to the Pew Research Institute, fewer Moms are married than fifty years ago
- Of all women age 15 to 44 how many kids do we have?
- 47% have no children
- 17% have one child
- 20% have two children
- 10% have three children
- 5% have four or more children
- The average age of first-time Moms in 2012 was 25.8 years old.
- The number of stay-at-home moms in married-couple family groups in 2013 was 5 million (statistically unchanged from 2012 and 2011).
- The number of single mothers living with children younger than 18 in 2013 was 10 million [Source for the statistics above: Info Please: Mothers by the Numbers]
- To what extent do Moms in the U.S. work? Check out this chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012):
And here’s an interesting chart from the Pew Research Center about how parents spend their time:
The History of Mother’s Day
One source says the the tradition of honoring motherhood goes back to antiquity. One of the earliest historical records of a society celebrating a mother deity can be found among the ancient Egyptians, who held an annual festival to honor the goddess, Isis. This website, Mother’s Day Central, goes on to explain how two other mother goddesses in Turkey and Greece, laid the most important foundation for the worship and celebration of motherhood in Europe.
The custom of honoring mothers was strong in the 1600s in England, which celebrated Mothering Sunday. Originally, people celebrated Mothering Sunday by visiting their “mother church.” In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother church, usually with their own mothers and other family members. Sometimes children would pick flowers to give to their mothers. Eventually, this religious tradition gave way to the secular tradition of giving gifts to mothers.
Now people in the U.S. and 80 other countries set aside the second Sunday in May to celebrate Mother’s Day. According to some, we first celebrated Mother’s Day in 1908 when a woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial service for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. The original purpose was to honor “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” Jarvis’ mother had been a pacifist during the Civil War tending to the wounds of soldiers from both the Confederate and Union armies. It was a few years after that that Congress passed the law to celebrate Mother’s Day. Woodrow Wilson declared the first Mother’s Day as a day when Americans were to fly the flag to honor “mothers whose sons had died in war.”
Less than 10 years after that, Mother’s Day had become commercialized. Today people in the U.S. spend 2.6 million dollars on flowers and $1.53 billion on pampering gifts. In Australia people will spend about $1.4 billion on their Mums. In Britain Mother’s Day was March 30; on average people spent about £30 ($50.50 U.S.) on their mothers.
Me? I mainly want a nice card from the kids… and they always treat me to breakfast in bed!
Have you seen this video for people applying for the world’s toughest job? It’s a job that requires you to work 24/7, 365 days a year. No vacations. The work load increases around the holidays… It made me laugh, so I wanted to share it with you.
I hope you have an amazing day! Happy Mother’s Day! ~Liesl