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Mother's Day or Mothering Sunday?

In case it has escaped your attention there is a very important date this month: Sunday 15th March. Today we use the terms Mother's Day and Mothering Sunday as if they are interchangeable but did you know that their origins are very different? Now for a short history lesson!

"Mother's Day" originates from North America. In 1908 a young woman vowed to celebrate and continue the work of her own mother who had cared for soldiers during the Civil War as well as run Mother's Day Work Clubs to raise the awareness of public health issues.  In North America the second Sunday of May is Mother's Day which is when Anna Jarvis held the memorial service in recognition of the wonderful work by her own mother. Once Mother's Day was established in North America many other countries then also adopted this idea of celebrating all things maternal including the influence of mothers on society. Anna Jarvis the founder of Mother's Day, however, soon grew to dislike the commercialisation of Mother's Day. Her original intention was for children to write a letter to their mother by hand expressing their appreciation for their mother. A simple gesture from the heart. Has today's society lost the essence of Mother's Day?

The Christian celebration of "Mothering Sunday" takes place on the fourth Sunday of Lent. It dates back to the sixteenth century when people would return to their "Mother Church" and  flowers would often be picked to place in Church or to give to mother. As time passed the religious tradition blended with that of the celebration of Mother's Day and gifts would be given to mother as tokens of thanks and appreciation. Although the UK has adopted the sentiment of Mother's Day, the date of celebration remains fixed in the roots of Mothering Sunday.

Either way there is no denying that the bond between mother and child is unique. Writing as a mother of two teenage sons it is clear that as a mother we have (need?) the capacity for unconditional love. We give our bodies to the child that grows inside us for 9 months, sacrificing our own needs and wants for that period of time to ensure that we are doing the best for baby (and having to listen/read the vast amounts of information to help us with that task!). We then support our child by nurturing and teaching them the life skills to prepare them for the outside world. Based on personal  experience to date that is no mean feat (many battles lost and won on the frontline here) as children seem to be born knowing it all already! The adventure continues and the bond remains, even if a little fragile at times, but there is no retirement from motherhood and certainly no responsibility like it.

As I write this blog it also strikes me that we should also acknowledge that in today's diverse society motherhood comes in many forms: natural mother, mother by adoption, step-mother, foster mother and sometimes we just find ourselves acting in the role of mother without any formal title. Whilst Anna Jarvis was unlikely to have foreseen this variety of forms of motherhood when she started her campaign in 1908 we should embrace all those who step into this special role and celebrate all the fabulous things they do for us. 

The Jones and Jones of Berwick-upon-Tweed  Mother's Day collection is one way of showing your gratitude and we hope that you find a gift that is perfect for your mum. Many of our collections include artisan handmade treats made with love. Whether you choose to create (as was the original intention behind the celebration) or buy your gift  remember that it is simply the sentiment that matters.Thanks Mum!

Mother's Day 2015





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