Today, the world honors the gift of mothers – the billions of women worldwide who sacrificed personal comfort and endured hardships carrying life in their wombs and even risking losing their life at childbirth. To Filipinos, they are the ilaw ng tahanan (light of the home), the first teachers of time-tested values, the first shapers of young minds, their children’s first heroes who would do anything and everything within their means to shield them from all dangers.
Mothers are well-known for multi-tasking. They are managers of their households and caregivers to their children and elderly members of the family. They shuttle between career and domestic chores, with some even actively serving as community or church leaders. In agricultural communities, they help augment the income of their households by tilling the soil with their spouses while, at the same time, caring for their children, and their extended families.
There are several accounts as to the origin of the celebration of Mother’s Day. One states that its earliest observance dates to the annual spring festival held by the Greeks to honor Rhea, the mother of many deities, and to the offerings made by ancient Romans to Cybele, their Great Mother of Gods. Early Christians celebrated Mother’s Day during the fourth Sunday of Lent to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ.
The modern-day concept of Mother’s Day started in 1905, in the United States when Anna Jarvis campaigned and lobbied the officials of that time to designate a day to memorialize the life work of all mothers. On May 8, 1914, her efforts paid off when President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day has gained global popularity. It has become a day of giving recognition to the invaluable contribution of mothers in society.
The recent decades and the digital age have introduced a lot of highly commercialized and innovative ways of conveying Mother’s Day greetings and gifts. Warm hugs and appreciative and affectionate words that emanate from the heart add value to material gifts to mothers. Ideally, Mother’s Day should be an everyday event as mothers would greatly appreciate extra hands in the kitchen, in watering the plants, or in doing the laundry, so they can take a respite from the monotony of their daily routine and perhaps have time to pamper themselves a bit in a spa or a parlor, or by simply watching their favorite telenovelas undistracted by routine domestic concerns.
Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms!