Mother's Day is a time to celebrate the women in our lives who have nurtured and loved us, guided us through difficult times, taught us how to believe in ourselves, and had the courage to let us find our own way in the world. It's also a time to offer love, support and appreciation of all the new mother's feeling their way into motherhood through sleepless nights, milestones, first days of school and all the highs, lows, laughter and exhaustion that parenting brings. Whether you are a mother, step-mother, foster mother, fur-baby mother, angel baby mother, or mother-to-be, we salute you and say HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
MOTHER'S DAY IN AUSTRALIA
In Australia, like America, we celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. In 2023 that's Sunday May 14. Other cultures around the world celebrate at different times of the year. In much of Europe Mother's Day is celebrated in Spring (usually the fourth Sunday of Lent) as this aligns with the Christian celebration of Mothering Sunday, which honoured 'Mother Church' and the mother of Christ rather than familial mothers.
March is also a time in the northern hemisphere when lots of Spring babies are born – lambs, chicks, calves etc ... so very apt!
In other countries mothers may be recognised in different celebrations based on traditional religious days. In Bolivia, Mother's Day honours The Bolivian War Of Independence when women famously went into battle alongside their men! The tradition of giving gifts to mothers on Mother's Day is said to have been started by an Australian woman, Janet Heyden, from Sydney. In 1924 Janet started an annual newspaper campaign to collect gifts for lonely aged mothers and those who had lost their husbands and children in the Great War of 1914 to 1918. Gifts poured in from the local community, and every year for the next seven years the Mayor of Leichhardt would drive Mrs Heyden around the district with her parcels of gifts for the lonely forgotten mothers. A beautiful gesture. HOW MOTHER'S DAY BEGAN Although no-one can be 100% sure how the original idea behind Mother's Day began, it's believed that the modern Mother's Day as we know it began as a peaceful movement to end all wars following the American Civil War of 1861-1865. As a mother, your aim is to nurture your child and have them outlive you, and wars are very much contrary to that natural instinct, so in 1870 American writer Julia Ward Howe called for women all over the world to unite and bring peace. This call later became known as the Mother's Day Proclamation, and a proposal was put forward for a 'Mothers Day For Peace' to be held every year in June. (Ahhhh peace! What every mother yearns for!).
The idea didn't really take hold until 1908 when Anna Marie Jarvis (again in America) held a church service in honour of her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis. Ann had nursed soldiers during the Civil War and organised groups of mothers to work together in addressing public health issues. Anna campaigned for an annual day in celebration of all mothers, and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson obliged by officially declaring the second Sunday in May to be Mother's Day.
In Australia, Mother's Day was not officially taken up until the 1924 campaign by Janet Heyden, and it was decided for convenience that Australia would share the same day as America; the second Sunday of May. HOW YOU CAN CELEBRATE MOTHER'S DAY
It's amazing to think that what began as a campaign for peace, and a means to remember the forgotten mothers of war, is now one of the most popular dates in the calendar for family gatherings. Mother's Day is a time for families all over Australia to get together for big family dinners in honour of their mothers, with the giving of gifts and cards to show their love.
WHAT MOTHERS WANT ON MOTHERS DAY Well, a day of rest is obvious! Mothers work so hard for their families, so anything that will give them a break is most welcome. Give mum a day off cooking and cleaning (that doesn't mean saving it for Mum to do on Monday instead!), and show your appreciation with a well chosen (hand-made is great!) card or gift. Here are some ideas of what Australian mothers would like for their Mother's Day gifts... 1 - Pampering Help mum relax with a pampering gift; hair styling, massage, aromatherapy bath products etc. 2 - Something Hand-Made
Show Mum how much time and effort you're willing to put in on her behalf. It doesn't have to be expensive; decorate a plant pot and fill it with her favourite flowering plant; make a collage of her favourite photographs and frame it; buy a plain mug and write a loving verse on it (and fill it with something yummy!); create artwork with her children's – or grandchildren's – handprints and footprints... if you're stuck for inspiration you'll find many wonderful ideas on Pinterest, and it's a great opportunity to get crafty. 3 - An Experience As soothing as a night out, or as thrilling as a sky dive! Is there something Mum has always wanted to do or experience? Now is the time to show you've been paying attention to her hints!
4 - Something Personal Something to wear that Mum has had her eye on, an accessory, or item of jewellery is always welcome, as is something that aligns with Mum's hobbies. If Mum loves to paint, garden, knit, sew or scrapbook, she will probably love something that will help with a current project, or inspire the next.
5 - Something Yummy
Mmmm chocolates! Most mums will appreciate quality chocolates – especially if they're not obliged to share them! You could also look at gourmet gift hampers, wine, fruit baskets or pastries. Combine it with an experience and choose a winery tour, dinner with a show, or a meal at rooftop/beachside restaurant. If you have time, bake Mum some biscuits or her favourite cake to show her just how much you appreciate her!
6 - Something For The Home
Choose a gift for Mum that will complement her home and create the relaxing atmosphere she deserves. An ornament, vase, scented oil burner, piece of artwork, rug or throw, antique etc. You know what Mum is into ;) 7 - NOT Cleaning Products No Mum wants to be reminded of chores on Mother's Day! Unless Mum has specifically requested something that will make the housework easier, it's best to avoid that chrome plated toilet brush holder, cleaning product caddy, or pot scrubber. Instead, if it must be cleaning related, hire a cleaner, or send Mum off for a relaxing day out and clean the house yourself!
If your Mum loves jewellery you might find the ideal gift right here on our site. Until April 30, 2021 you can save an additional 25% off a select range of already reduced items in our monthly special, but if you're reading this after April 30, 2021 click the link anyway – you never know what our latest special offer might be!
Next week: "Gemology: Gemstones Beginning with M..."