Principle #5 – See Your Mother and Mentors Bigger Than They See Themselves

Do you know the history of Mother’s Day? I admit that I didn’t either. I find it interesting to learn how holidays came about. The United States adopted Mother’s Day as a national holiday in 1914.

It all started before the Civil War. A woman from West Virginia, Ann Reeves Jarvis, known as Mama Jarvis, started Women’s Day Work Clubs to teach young women how to safely take care of their children. These clubs unified during the Civil War and took care of the wounded soldiers. They also worked to bring Union and Confederate soldiers together to reconcile and bring peace. All throughout history, women step up and make a positive difference. Women were and continue to be badasses…just saying!

“Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.” – Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House

Another woman, Julia Ward Howe, an abolitionist, and suffragist, joined the movement. In 1870 she wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation, an appeal to women of the world to unite for world peace. These women were pioneers that led the way for mothers to be viewed as compassionate leaders and strong and capable women. Mothers and women found their voices for women’s issues and for all people worldwide. I’m genuinely grateful for the women that paved the way for women’s rights and equality.

Ann Reeves Jarvis died on May 9, 1905. Her daughter, Anna Jarvis, followed in her mother’s footsteps and started a movement in 1905 to make Mother’s Day a national holiday. She wanted to honor her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, for her activism for women and world peace. Also, she felt mothers, still with us or passed on, should be celebrated for the sacrifices they made for their children. By 1911, all states were celebrating Mother’s Day. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making Mother’s Day a national holiday.

Mother’s Day has evolved through the years because of the changes in society. Mother’s and women’s roles have changed. And thanks to women activists, there are more opportunities for women. In the past, society expected all women to get married and have children. And thankfully now, we have a choice. Some women choose to become mothers, and some choose to become mentors. There are married mothers, single mothers, adoptive mothers, surrogate mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, teachers, and coaches to help raise the children in our world. It truly takes a village to raise children and teach them to feel secure and be confident and resilient.

I chose to become a mother and have two beautiful daughters. Being a mother hasn’t always been easy. I think mothers do what they feel is right with the knowledge they have. I cherish the experiences and memories and am fortunate to have close relationships with my daughters. I am humbled by their graciousness in forgiving my mistakes. I’m so proud of them both.

“There’s no way to be a perfect mother, but there are a million ways to be a good one.”
– Jill Churchill

While we were all raised in different circumstances, we can think back and appreciate the influential women in our lives. Whether they were our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, or teachers, they have shaped us into the people we are today.

“We are living in an interdependent world where what our children hear, see, feel, and learn will affect how they grow up and who they turn out to be.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton

Thank you to my mother, who has always showered me with her love and support. Thank you, my sister, Cindy, for encouraging me and believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you, my beautiful daughters, for teaching me to be the best mother I can be and forgiving me for my mistakes. I feel so blessed to have these influential women in my life. Thank you, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, teachers, and mentors. After all – it takes a village! Happy Mother’s Day!

Freedom is possible!                                   


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