Mother’s Day

Η Γιορτή της Μητέρας

Mother’s Day is a special time to honor the women who brought us into the world. It is an opportunity to express our gratitude for their love, care and dedication. So, with the holiday approaching, conversations around motherhood are becoming more frequent and timelier.

How Mother's Day came to be

The first references to Mother’s Day have their roots in ancient Greece, however, in Greece it was established in 1929.

Anna Jarvis, first organized a movement called Mothers Friendships Day in 1865.She also organized meetings called Mother’s Day Meetings, during which mothers exchanged views and experiences. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe organized a peace gathering of mothers with the slogan peace and motherhood with the aim that children should not be sent to war.

Mother’s Day was officially celebrated for the first time in America in 1908, three years after the death of Anna Jarvis, by her daughter, who wanted to honor her mother’s work. It was US President Woodrow Wilson who established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day in 1914.Originally, the holiday was intended as a day of honor, symbolized by the use of a white carnation. The reason was that when the carnation dies, it does not drop its petals but closes inwards, towards the center of the flower, just as a mother’s love never dies, just as a mother’s love never dies.

The evolution of Mother's Day

Over time, it has evolved into a more commercial celebration, after all, we live in a capitalist reality. Despite its commercialization, the holiday remains an important opportunity to honor mothers, grandmothers and all mother figures in general. Shops prepare gifts, florists take orders, children write greeting cards to express gratitude for all that mothers have done.

Το άγαλμα της Μικρασιάτισσας Μάνας στη Μυτιλήνη
The statue of the Asia Minor Mother in Mytilene by sculptor Aikaterini Halepa-Katsatou
Ben-Hammond-Mothers-Undivided-Love-
Ben Hammond Mothers Undivided Love

Pressures and taboos surrounding motherhood

However, as we celebrate this day, it is important to recognize the direct and indirect pressures and taboos surrounding motherhood.

  1. Criticism of mothers:Mothers are often criticized for their decisions as parents. Criticism about how to give birth, breastfeeding, whether to continue working etc. from family members, friends and society. This creates pressure, anxiety, insecurity and an inability to meet socially unrealistic standards of motherhood.
  2. Expectations of the perfect mother:We often ask mothers to be perfect, have all the answers and never make mistakes. To be the perfect wife, mother and homemaker. To be right towards social and work life but also not to let herself down.
  3. Criticize the choice to choose a woman to devote herself to motherhood. motherhood. In trying to escape the stereotypical traditional roles that society has assigned to us, we reach the other extreme. Not all women necessarily want to pursue a career. Nor because a woman decides to focus on raising her children that she remains attached to patriarchal structures. It must be accepted that everything is a choice and motherhood is a need and a desire, or the opposite for each individual woman.
  4. Pressure of having to become a mother:The norm that all women are destined to become mothers and have a family is often a pressuring factor. Those who choose not to pursue motherhood often feel they must justify their decision and often face intrusive questions. So, whether a woman chooses to become a mum is purely her decision. It is a decision that can be changed and that is okay.
mother and child

Motherhood is not an easy condition and all those who have chosen it should be aware that

  1. Fatigue is part of the game. It is normal to feel tired and need a break (or more).
  2. It’s okay to want to do things for yourself. Mothers often put their own needs last, but it’s important to take care of themselves too. And when they put themselves first they feel guilty for taking time. But it’s important and healthy to prioritize self-care. Taking care of yourself is not selfish and it’s important to make time for the things that make you happy and fulfilled. You owe it to yourself to prioritize your own wellbeing and make time for yourself, even if it means taking a break from your children.
  3. There is tension and panic. Motherhood is intense and it’s okay to feel like you can’t cope sometimes. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it and it’s okay to admit that you can’t do it all on your own.
  4. It’s normal to feel frustrated sometimes: children can be a pain sometimes and it’s okay to feel frustrated with them. It’s important to remember that it’s normal and that doesn’t make you a bad mother.
  5. Finally, it’s normal to not enjoy the whole process and all the stages of motherhood.

Support, embrace, affection, love, selflessness, sacrifice, security, port are the words we think of when we hear the word mother. Fear, panic, late nights, hardship, fatigue, responsibilities are also words that come to mind. Like everything in life, motherhood embraces both beautiful and negative emotions.

To My Mum.......

It’s not easy being a mother. In fact, it’s the hardest thing! We respect each person’s decision on whether to choose it and how to manage it.

So happy Mothers’ Day to all the mommies of the world! To the mommies who have always wanted to have children, to the mommies who had a hard time having children, to the mommies who didn’t want to be mommies, to the foster mommies, to the mother figures, to the mommies who by chance became mommies. To the mums who raised their children alone, to the mums who may no longer be with us, and to the mums who became grandmothers.
Happy Mother’s Day to my own mum too, as without her I would not be all that I am today. Mums we love you even if we don’t show it, even if we grumble, even if we are far away.

Article writer: Katerina Faili

Translated by: Nectaria Lambropoulou

Article Editor: Sofia Dialiatsi

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