The real American meaning of Mother’s Day

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I recently discovered through joining an online support group called the Tigerlily Trust that, whilst Mothering Sunday as a concept in UK came from an 16th century English tradition of annually honouring your mother in church the more widely known Mother’s Day was founded in America. In 1907 a lady called Anna Jarvis, wanted to do something to honour her mother who had lost 7 babies.  This original version of Mother’s Day was created to remember and honour her grieving mother.


The original Mother’s Day

Anna wanted to create a day where people could honour and treat grieving mothers. To actually recognise their pain and suffering in a day of remembrance. It took only a few years before this day that was associated with deep emotions and grieving mothers was hijacked by commercial organisations in the US. They saw it as an opportunity to sell gifts and greetings cards to all mothers. It was then that the Mother’s Day as we currently know it was born.


Now it is with deep irony that those women who are suffering the grief of losing a child or perhaps not being able to conceive one are no longer recognised by this day. Instead they often feel even more isolated and upset by the commercialisation and celebration of motherhood. A motherhood they are grieving the loss of and maybe struggling to come to terms with not having.

Once a mother always a mother

Someone said to me, the first Mother’s Day, after Violet died that I wasn’t to let the day upset me. She was sure I would no doubt become a mum again in the future. I was devastated and not strong enough to reply that I will always be a mother, however it’s just my child is no longer here with us. I still think like a mother, feel like a mother and to a certain extent act like a mother because deep down I am one!

Me & Violet in Cyprus
Me & Violet on holiday in Cyprus she was 10 months old

Grieving mums

Anyway to all those grieving mums out there please remember this day was created exactly for women like us. Who have to deal with the pain of losing or not having their babies with them every day. So don’t let other people make that pain worse. Or commercial organisations make you feel bad as they’re just doing it to make money.

Message for all

To all the mother’s out there who have their babies please remember that this day was created for grieving mothers. Mothers who are exactly like you, who through no fault of their own unfortunately lost their children. Please do us grieving mothers or “wish we were mothers” all a favour. Celebrate Mother’s Day and your wonderful children. Hug them close, love them and appreciate all the little moments. Remember that some of us aren’t as lucky. You are blessed not because of the gifts of flowers, chocolates and handmade cards but because of the little people you have in your lives that others would happily give anything to have.

Big love, Sarah x