Celebrating mothers as the ultimate caregivers
Women around the world know what it is to juggle. Especially in these modern days, many are balancing their livelihoods along with raising a family, and some are also caring for their parents. Their work never ends, even in partnerships with a balanced division of household labor.Mother figures oftentimes go unrecognized for the emotional energy they put into their relationships and the effort it takes to make a family tick. Thankfully, there’s at least one day a year that’s dedicated to appreciating their personal sacrifices as the ultimate caregivers.
Mother’s Day is celebrated around the globe and especially in the western world. Centuries ago, there was a different sort of celebration called “Mothering Sunday.” Faithful Christians celebrated the holiday in Europe as a day to return to their “mother church” on the fourth Sunday during Lent. It allowed for everyone who left home at a young age (which was a lot of people then), to return home to their families.
Mother’s day as we know it has been around for 100 plus years. The woman behind turning it into a holiday is Anna Jarvis who, funnily enough, never had children herself. In 1914, the second Sunday in May was established as Mother’s Day, a measure signed by Woodrow Wilson. The holiday soon became widely celebrated and in turn commercialized. Ironically, Jarvis spent the rest of her life and money filing for lawsuits to remove the holiday from the calendar because of what she witnessed in her eyes as the devolution into a consumerist-based holiday.
Since the inception of Mother’s Day, gender roles have evolved in many countries along with the emergence of non-traditional relationships, lifting some of the burden of childcare. Yet, studies show women remain as the primary caregivers in families, which often include their parents.
According to the National Partnership, a nonprofit organization, women make up 60 percent of caregivers in the nation, and “the average family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman caring for her mother. She typically works full-time as well as providing caregiving support.” The economic impact of informal care provided by this group is at least 148 billions dollars a year, and can mean hundreds of thousands of total lost income for these female caregivers.
We could go on and on about the sacrifices that mother’s make, many of them unknown to their children and those they care for. But for now, give your mom or mother figure(s) a call, and take a moment to appreciate all that they have done.
And if you’re a caregiver and/or mother yourself, put your feet up and treat yourself to a day that's all about you. You know you deserve it.