I don’t know what they’re going to do the day I’m gone…Phrase attributed to Mexican mothers
The women of ancient times in the Americas, before the arrival of the Europeans, performed various functions in society; they were shamans, cooks, writers, rulers, and midwives. They considered marriage as an essential ritual activity, where they shared with their husband all social and religious functions, especially those related to agricultural fertility rites. Being mothers were part of all the important activities to preserve the divine environment of which they were a part until the end of their lives.
Over the years, the consolidation of the patriarchal system separated women from the various workspaces and motherhood became their most important role. Although it is true that conception is typical of the female sex, it is not its only purpose either, but it has imposed on women a superior and incomparable recognition to other activities in their lives.
The origin of celebrations for the mother dates back to the festivities that various ancient societies dedicated to fertility and spring harvests, which in most calendars coincide with the month of May. In Europe, Mother Earth was celebrated, for her meals were made with the products of the harvest obtained and the entire agricultural community gathered. They thus honored the powers of fertility that had brought abundance, after the long and deadly European winters. The records of these ritual festivals that favored fertility are located between the first and second Sunday of May.
Of course, these stories transcended the American continent and perhaps reached the ears of Anna Jarvis in the United States. In 1906, Jarvis had the idea of gathering his friends to commemorate the death of his mother on May 9 of the previous year. Her name was Anna Reeves Jarvis, a pacifist woman who worked as a volunteer nurse in the Civil War and treated wounded from both sides.
Anna, the daughter, invited her neighbors from the religious service whose mothers had died and asked them to bring a white carnation to the commemoration; He also asked those who had their mothers alive, for a red carnation, so it became an event that honored all mothers. The celebration continued every year and became popular with the emotional phrase: dedicated to the people who have done more for you than anyone else.
By 1908, the celebration was adopted throughout the country. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day and Congress officially placed it on the second Sunday in May. It soon became a commercial event, because the prices of flowers increased every year, something that greatly disappointed Anna Jarvis, as she considered that it detracted from the original purpose of the celebration; but it was too late because it had already spread to the whole world.
It arrived in Mexico in 1922, at the initiative of Rafael Alducín, director of the Excelsior newspaper, based on the proposal of the then Minister of Education José Vasconcelos. The journalist launched a call to his readers to choose a date to celebrate Mother’s Day in that country. Thus it was decided that it would be on May 10, 1922, the first time that it would be celebrated, as it was the day of salary payment. That newspaper created a contest each year to choose the most exemplary, heroic, and selfless mother. One of his most famous advertising phrases was: for the woman who loved us before we met.
There is another story about the creation of Mother’s Day in Mexico and it refers to the fact that it arose to suppress the advances of the feminist movement at the beginning of the 20th century. The ideas of women’s liberation spread at the First Feminist Congress in Yucatan, led by the socialist Elvia Carrillo Puerto and held on May 10, 1916. For the first time, the personal decision to avoid unwanted pregnancies was discussed and she advised women on the use of contraceptive methods.
By the way, the contraceptive method promoted by Yucatecan feminists was that of the American activist nurse, Margaret Sanger. A woman who grew up in a poor family of 11 siblings and at the same time, her mother had several spontaneous abortions that damaged her health, later she became ill with tuberculosis, and cervical cancer and died leaving her children orphans.
This marked the life of Margaret who dedicated her life to avoid the suffering of women affected by the many children they conceived and that it was impossible for them to care for. At her birth control clinic, she promoted the use of condoms, spermicides, and rubber diaphragms, among others. He talked about sexually transmitted diseases and their prevention. Over the years she dedicated herself to working on the creation of the contraceptive pill that was promoted in the 50s. She published an informative newspaper on women’s health, their sexual rights, and contraception called: Rebel Woman. She was persecuted, imprisoned, and persevered in her activism until her death in 1966.
In recent years, women continue to fight for rights that allow them to carry out professional, work, and recreational activities, be mothers or not, and be fulfilled with this decision. Today, many women enjoy motherhood, because they have found personal balance and developed a deep love for their children. To learn more about Mother’s Day around the world visit.
Mother’s Day is a date on which many emotions and thoughts arise. Since 2020, due to the pandemic, we have lost so many mothers who have died from this disease and new mother figures have been created, those who take care of the little ones who are being orphaned, for those people we also offer our recognition.
Today at Del Pueblo Funeral Home, we want to honor those women who became mothers with all their flaws and human virtues by giving the best they could offer us. To those who looked at us, hugged us, guided us… and just like them, we make the most difficult moments easy.