By Tanya Tarr
Mother’s Day in the United States has a curious origin. In 1914, Anna Jarvis petitioned President Woodrow Wilson for a national day to honor mothers. Jarvis wanted to honor her own mother, a peace activist, while also encouraging Americans to connect with their families. The victory was short lived. By 1920, Jarvis was disgusted with over-commercialization of the day and filed lawsuits to prevent businesses from profiting from the holiday. She even lobbied to have the day removed from calendars. Despite Jarvis’s frustrated legacy, the holiday endures. In fact, 83% of Americans plan to celebrate Mother’s Day and will spend an average $220.48 per mom on gifts today, according to the National Retail Federation.
But do moms really want greeting cards, flowers or chocolate for Mother’s Day? “Working mothers and caregivers had a difficult time during the pandemic, juggling childcare and full-time work,” said Institute for Women’s Policy Research president and CEO Dr. C. Nicole Mason. “This year, breakfast in bed won’t cut it.”
In fact, the two best gifts a working mother could get this year would be better funded child care and more paid time off.