Happy Mother's Day! As a mother myself what I've come to enjoy on my special Sunday is breakfast in bed and one stem each of my favorite flowers--a tulip and a tiger lily.
What makes the day meaningful is having those you take care of day in and day out express gratitude for the task.
Nothing is better than your child or significant other telling you that you did a good job.
So how did the holiday come about? Here's a few facts you may or may not have known about Mother's Day in America and being a mom.
- Women's Suffrage Movement: The first American Mother's Day was in 1870, created by suffragist and abolitionist Julia Ward Howe.
- Official Holiday: Mother's Day became a nationally recognized holiday through the work of Anna Marie Jarvis. Her mother, Ann Jarvis, had also called for mothers to come together during the Civil War. Following her mother's death in 1905, Anna continued her mother's work and set aside a day to honor her and all mothers. The holiday took hold and by 1914 it was an official U.S. holiday, but it had also been commercialized. Anna was not pleased and denounced selling of flowers and also the use of greeting cards: "A poor excuse for the letter you are too lazy to write," she said.
- Mom Stamp: In 1934, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved a stamp commemorating the holiday.
- Fatal Deliveries: According to the World Health Organization 1,000 women die every day because of complications due to pregnancy and birth. Maternal and infant deaths, or debilitating lifelong ailments, often happen because of a lack of basic medical supplies.
- Flower of Choice: Carnations have come to represent Mother's Day, since Anna Jarvis delivered 500 of them at its first celebration in 1908.
- Cash Cow: Americans spend approximately $2.6 billion on flowers, $1.53 billion on pampering gifts—like spa treatments—and another $68 million on greeting cards in honor of mothers on Mother's Day.
- Independent Moms: From 1990 to 2008, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center report, moms became more educated, more likely to be single, and older.
- Older Moms: Births to moms ages 35 to 39 increased by 47 percent, and births to moms ages 40 to 44 increased by 80 percent from 1990 to 2008, though the total number of babies born in a year (about 4.3 million) stayed stable, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center report.
- Preggo Brain: Pregnancy may cause permanent brain changes in women, according to research published in 2011 in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science. A brain imaging study has found that new moms have more gray matter four months after birth.
- Second Chance: Elizabeth Ann Buttle is the mother who holds the record for the longest interval between the birth of two children. She gave birth to Belinda on May 19,1956 and Joseph on November 20, 1997. The babies were born 41 years 185 days apart. The mother was 60 years old when her son Joseph was born.