Here’s to the mothers.

May 8th is Mother’s Day this year. Before you buy your cards and flowers, let’s take a moment to look at the history of this day. Why is this interesting? It’s rooted in activism.

In the mid 1800’s Ann Reeves Jarvis, a community organizer and social activist,  founded the Mothers’ Day Work Clubs, which called women into action for disease control and hygiene education for families in order to combat infant mortality. With the American Civil War, the mission shifted to become a way for women to come together to create non-violent means of solving conflict and provide aid to soldiers on both sides of the war.

During this same time period, Julia Ward Howe wrote the original Mother’s Day Proclamation. This was later recognized by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917 as a national holiday. Howe’s resume is impressive: editor of the Women’s Journal, writer of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, president of the Association for the Advancement of Women. She was a leader in women’s suffrage and educational advancement.

Meanwhile, Anna Maria Jarvis, Ann’s daughter and the ninth of her 11 children, maintained a close connection to her mother. After her mother’s death, she held a memorial ceremony, marking the first official observance of Mother’s Day. Much to her dismay, the occasion was commercialized in short order.

In the spirit of the original founders, let us shout our acknowledgement to the mothers who are out in the world advocating for their children, working to make things better to ensure their children thrive in a complex, uncertain world. 

For Mother’s Day, we honor the diversity of work that is done by mothers, both tangible and invisible, that keeps our world running. Our mission is to support all mothers and caregivers by providing the very best in care for children. If we can support you, please reach out to Tami Delaney, Clinical Director at:

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