The Truth Behind Mother’s Day: BECAUSE I SAID SO

All my life I’ve celebrated Mother’s Day. As a child I celebrated my mother, my grandmother, my godmother, and my aunts that were mothers. In high school I celebrated fast assed teenaged girls that became mothers all too soon behind a set of gymnasium bleachers. As a young adult I celebrated motherfuckers. As it turns out, they don’t have a special day set aside. Motherfuckers don’t know how to reserve their motherfuckedness for just one day, so their celebration [gifts] usually only include a middle finger and not necessarily on one particular day out of a year. Sorry motherfuckers! I tried.

As I got a little older (I won’t put a number on it; I’m old enough to keep that to myself), I asked myself why am I celebrating mothers on one particular day? For as long as I can remember I celebrated motherhood every day because my mother gave me the gift of life. Also, because she said so. I personally try to give back to my mother all the love, time and support she’s given me over the years. But Mother’s Day wasn’t celebrated in my household simply because my mother told me so. Was it? Well maybe it started off that way long enough for me to recognize from a young age that all mothers deserve at least one day out of the year to tell their kids to fuq off for 24 hours so they can have a KFD (Kid Free Day) and/or be showered with gifts and compliments as a reward for all the shit they put up with from their children.

Is that the reason behind Mother’s Day – so mothers can have one stress-free childless day of self-indulging and mommy’s “me time”? I’m glad you asked. The answer is yes AND no, depending on what neck of the woods you’re from.

MothersDay

In ancient Egypt, Mother’s Day began with ceremonies and celebrations held each year to honor the goddess Isis, the Egyptian representation of motherhood and fertility. She was believed to be the mother of Horus, who was considered to be the mythological ruler of Egypt. Thus, Isis became the “mother of all pharaohs.”

The Romans celebrated the goddess Cybele, the “Great Mother.” Cybele originated as a Phrygian goddess, worshipped by the ancient Romans as the mother of a fertile earth.

If you look at these two examples of Mother’s Day history, mothers were celebrated because they were the bearers of life.

BUT……

In the US, Mother’s Day was started by a chick named Anna Jarvis, a West Virginian school teacher, named after her mom, who was devastated by her mother’s death in 1905. She (Anna, the daughter, not the mother) wrote in the American Enterprise magazine, the publication of the American Enterprise Institute, “…She decided that henceforth, on the anniversary of her mother’s death, all Americans ought to honor the women who gave them birth.”

This American schoolteacher, Anna Jarvis, wanted an all-American celebration after her mom died.  Foreign countries celebrate life. The US celebrates death. I’m just saying. Anyway….

Anna’s kids asked her (and I’m paraphrasing here)…they said, “Mom, it’s a great idea to declare that all Americans honor the women who gave birth to them, but what gives you the right to make such a declaration?”

Do you know what Anna said in reply?

“BECAUSE I SAID SO.”

MomSays_BecauseISaidSoTHAT, ladies and gentlemen, was the first time in American history that a mother used this closed-ended statement to her kids. And somehow, like dust in the wind, that statement traveled from the lips of every mother on the planet from then until now.

With that little walk down memory lane, at least in our American culture, though mothers are and should be celebrated every day of the year for carrying us in their womb for 9 months, enduring countless hours of labor pains, working 9 jobs to give us – their kids – money to buy shoes they could never afford, and continuing to listen to us whine even deep in our adult years, mothers are celebrated and honored one day a year because a fed up woman by the name of Anna Jarvis of Grafton, West Virginia SAID SO more than 100 years ago.


Quote of the Week:  “If a woman speaks and no one is listening, her name is probably Mom.”

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