The joys of motherhood were front and center this past week as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aka Meghan and Harry, welcomed their own bundle of joy into the world. Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor made his entrance into the royal family on Monday amid much fanfare as his arrival lit up the Twitter-verse. But come tomorrow it won’t just be the royals celebrating motherhood as millions of Americans plan to pay homage to their moms on Mother’s Day.
Here’s a little history about the origins of Mother’s Day, from Wikipedia. “The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St. Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Her campaign to make Mother's Day a recognized holiday in the U.S. began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died.
“Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother's Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is ‘the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.’
“Due to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday, with some of them officially recognizing Mother's Day as a local holiday. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.”
In the 1920s, Jarvis became somewhat disillusioned with the holiday as companies like Hallmark started selling Mother’s Day cards. According to Wikipedia, “Jarvis believed that the companies had misinterpreted and exploited the idea of Mother's Day, and that the emphasis of the holiday was on sentiment, not profit. As a result, she organized boycotts of Mother's Day, and threatened to issue lawsuits against the companies involved.”
It seems Anna Jarvis may have been on to something—the holiday has indeed turned into a bit of a money-making machine. Many Americans will be opening up their wallets tomorrow with spending projected to hit a record $25 billion this year. This is an increase from $23.1 billion in 2018, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Some 84 percent of U.S. adults are expected to celebrate in honor of their mothers and other women in their lives, according to NRF.
Seventy-five percent of Americans plan to buy Mother’s Day cards for their moms generating $843 million for the greeting card industry. But the biggest money-maker of all for the holiday is jewelry with 35 percent of Americans expected to spend $5.2 billion. Anna Jarvis would be mortified, I am sure.
So it seems the popularity of the holiday and the revenue it generates for retailers is going strong. Truth be told, most moms don’t need expensive gifts of jewelry or extravagant displays of flowers. What they really want is a relaxing day with their children and some token or gesture from their family that says “thanks for all you do.”
In honor of Mother’s Day, we thought it would be nice for you to hear from some of the mothers who work at Jobson. Here, they share their experiences as “working moms” as they balance their dual roles of being on the job with being a Mom.
Senior Meeting Manager
Retail Optical Group
When my kids were younger, I chose to work close by their school so I could be around to deliver forgotten lunches or soccer cleats and to attend their after-school events. Now that they are grown I am able to work on my own schedule, but it presents a new issue. When do I get to see them? Two of my three sons work in New York City, so we meet up once a month after work for dinner and catch up. This Sunday we will focus on spending time together and doing something fun—with three boys that usually involves a sport and craft beer!
Iris Johnson Sometimes I am mom first and art director second, sometimes art director first and mom second, but I am always a combination of both. My calendar melds Ivy’s school schedule and my work schedule, as my mind jumps between my work goals and how my daughter is doing—the pendulum is always swinging back and forth. For Mother’s Day I'm keeping it simple. I plan to enjoy coffee and pastry while watching the F1 Spanish Grand Prix (I’m a Formula 1 fan).
VP, Creative Services and Production
Jobson Optical Group
I used to wake up to the sound of “Lovely Day” playing in my alarm clock, the smell of fresh coffee brewing in my kitchen and an “it’s time to go to work baby” from my husband. Twelve years later I wake up to the sound of a metal spoon repeatedly banging on a bowl of Fruit Loops (almost on purpose), my 7 year-old announcing that, once again, I purchased the wrong kind of toothpaste (bubble fruit not bubble gum!) and my husband asking why the dry cleaning was never delivered.
Yes, life has changed. Balancing family and work is a gargantuan challenge that many of us live through every day, and at times, is anything but glamorous. You quickly learn to value what is important and what you can live without, what merits your time and what does not. Going out of your way to buy bubble fruit toothpaste, not important. Carving out 20 minutes before bedtime to discuss why Jimmy did not really mean your drawing was the ugliest in the class, important.
Being a working mom is demanding, challenging and at times discouraging. But I would not change one single thing. I love my imperfectly perfect life. The unconditional love my children give me after a hard day at work. The way my boys look at me like I am some extraterrestrial superhero because I baked cookies shaped like Darth Vader and the way they still crave my love and affection after I have been less than an exemplary mom.
My mother told me once “have no fear of perfection—you will never reach it.” I am ok with that and so are my children. So this year, I have no doubt we will have another imperfectly perfect Mother’s Day.
I am mom to Ryder, 3 and Summer, 10 months old. Working full time as a mom of two little kids can be challenging. Luckily my team at Jobson is filled with caring, lovely, supportive folks. I am grateful to have the ability to work from home a few days a week which saves me commuting time, giving me a few extra hours with the kids during the week. This Mother's Day we will be spending the weekend at Woodloch Pines Family Resort and then meeting my mom and sister for dinner Sunday evening.
Editor’s Note: I am lucky to still have my mom, Gloria, who, despite some health issues, is going strong at 91. So on Sunday we will be lunching in the quaint town of Newport, R.I. at a gem of a restaurant called 22 Bowen. We’ll be the family sitting by the window sharing some fabulous seafood and a cold bottle of wine, thankful that we can all still be together.