Remember when the Peace Corps adopted the slogan “The toughest job you’ll ever love”? No offense, Peace Corps, but that adage is more appropriate for motherhood — a job that is ever-changing and frequently exasperating. Moms don’t get days off, nor do they receive handsome salaries or generous pensions. Instead, their rewards come in the form of sticky kisses, necklaces made of elbow macaroni, and the satisfaction of seeing their children grow up to be happy, healthy adults. That’s probably not adequate compensation — so give Mom an extra hug on Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May, just in case, and follow our guide to giving back.
10 Quotes From Famous Mothers – “I want to thank my parents for somehow raising me to have confidence disproportionate with my looks and abilities.” —Tina Fey
“I cannot stress enough that the answer to life’s questions is often in people’s faces. Try putting your iPhones down once in a while and look in people’s faces. People’s faces will tell you amazing things. Like if they are angry, or nauseous or asleep.” —Amy Poehler
“I love being a mom and having two kids. But I’ve had two C-sections, and I have suffered enough. That’s my favourite mantra when it comes to motherhood.” —Ali Wong
“They say that when a woman wants to end a relationship, she cuts off all of her hair. I’ve done that twice in my marriage but am still married.” —Leslie Mann
“I always tell young people when I’m trying to encourage them, ‘You have certain windows in your life, and you have to take advantage of it. You gotta jump through because they will shut on you.’” —Pamela Adlon
“I guess if I wrote a book one day, it would be about hair.” —Julia Louis-Dreyfus
“I’m capable of living in the moment. And I’m especially capable of living in the moment of sitting on my sofa and watching other people’s moments.” —Samantha Bee
“I’ve never felt like I needed to change. I’ve always thought, ‘If you want somebody different, pick somebody else.’ But sure, criticism can sometimes still get to me. Some things are so malicious, they knock the wind out of you.” —Melissa McCarthy
“Right now, I’m hankering for new adventures… Ninety percent of the time I’m having romantic-comedy fantasies in which I’m wearing little pencil skirts and hurrying down to the subway.” —Mindy Kaling
“I’m not that good looking… nobody is that good looking. I have seen a lot of movie stars, and maybe four are amazing looking. The rest have a team of gay guys who make it happen.”—Tina Fey
Celebrations go back to ancient times when Greeks and Romans held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. However, the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday stands as the modern precursor. This European tradition fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Many believed the faithful would return on this day to their “mother church”— the main church near their home — for a special service. The Mothering Sunday tradition shifted over time into a more secular holiday where children would give their mothers flowers and other gifts. This custom would blend into the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.
American author and poet Julia Ward Howe, who wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,”became the editor of , a widely-read suffragist magazine, in 1872. During that time, she wrote an “Appeal to womanhood throughout the world,” which would become known as the Mother’s Day Proclamation. The document asked women to fight for world peace following both the Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. Howe then launched a failed attempted to start a “Mother’s Day” celebration on June 2. Two decades later Howe suggested a Mother’s Day celebration every July 4. This also failed to take hold, but set the stage for a future attempt.
Anna Jarvis successfully initiated Mother’s Day after her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died in 1905. Jarvis noted that Mother’s Day should contain a “singular possessive,” (hence the apostrophe) so each family might honor its own mother — as opposed to all mothers. Jarvis, who neither married nor had children, organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration in May 1908. A Philadelphia department store owner named John Wanamaker lent his financial support to the cause. That same month thousands of people attended a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s stores.
Jarvis soon lobbied to make Mother’s Day a national holiday — urging prominent Americans to join the effort. By 1912 many states, towns, and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual event. Jarvis also started the Mother’s Day International Association. President Wilson would soon establish the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day in 1914. Hallmark began selling Mother’s Day cards in the early 1920s.
Jarvis’ love affair with the holiday she worked so hard to start did not last, and she eventually grew to resent its commercial appeal. As florists and greeting card companies began to cash in, she soured on the idea of a national day — urging people to stop buying flowers, cards and candies. Jarvis spent most of her personal wealth hiring attorneys to file lawsuits against groups using the term “Mother’s Day.” She even tried to persuade the federal government to remove it from the calendar.