Sunday, May 8, 2011

Arise, then, women of this day!

One of the early calls to celebrate a Mother's Day in the United States was the "Mother's Day Proclamation" by Julia Ward Howe. Written in 1870, it was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe's feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.

In the years after the Mother's Day Proclamation, Ann Jarvis founded five Mothers' Day Work Clubs to improve sanitary and health conditions for working women. In 1907, two years after Ann Jarvis' death, her daughter Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother and began a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the US. Although she was successful in 1914, she was already disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s. In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day", and created the Mother's Day International Association. She was specific about the location of the apostrophe; it was to be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.*

This year, my family honoured me with breakfast in bed, a necklace hand-picked by my daughter accompanied by, not one, but two Mother's Day cards of her creation. To my surprise, I also received a card from my husband (being that I am not his mother...) in which the card so much as said this and "thanks for taking care of (him) anyway."

From my friends, and supporters of GROVE STREET kids, received the honour of becoming a winner in the StartupNation Leading Moms in Business Competition. I joined the competition late, and so I had no idea where I would fall amongst the ranks of thousands of mom-owned businesses across the country. My only hope was to finish in the top 200... and I did... at 134! In hindsight, it seems a little silly, really. But as most of us moms know, we do and we give and we work hard for ourselves and our families, so when a little recognition comes along for being, not just a great mom, but a great mom in business then, well, I'll take it! It seems only fitting considering what Ms. Howe had in mind...