Friday, May 8, 2009

Health Care and Mothers

Americans celebrate lots of holidays, but high on the list of most important days of the year is the second Sunday in May every year, celebrated as Mother's Day. There are some amazing statistics that show how important this day is to be everyone, especially mothers, according to WomensHistory.About.com:
--In the United States, there are about 82.5 million mothers. (source: US Census Bureau)
--About 96% of American consumers take part in some way in Mother's Day (source: Hallmark).
--Mother's Day is widely reported as the peak day of the year for long distance telephone calls
--There are more than 23,000 florists in the United States with a total of more than 125,000 employees. Colombia is the leading foreign supplier of cut flowers and fresh flower buds to the US. California produces two-thirds of domestic production of cut flowers. (source: US Census Bureau)
--Mother's Day is the busiest day of the year for many restaurants.
--Retailers report that Mother's Day is the second highest gift-giving holiday in the United States (Christmas is the highest).
--Most popular month for having babies in the US is August, and most popular weekday is Tuesday. (source: US Census Bureau)
--About twice as many young women were childfree in the year 2000 as in the 1950s (source: Ralph Fevre, The Guardian, Manchester, March 26, 2001).
--In the US, 82% of women ages 40-44 are mothers. This compares to 90% in 1976. (source: US Census Bureau)
--In Utah and Alaska, women on the average will have three children before the end of their childbearing years. Overall, the average in the United States is two. (source: US Census Bureau)

Most Americans tend to get all syrupy sentimental about this day. Mother's Day ranks as one of the all time most favorite excuses to celebrate your Mom and Motherhood in general. According to DayforMothers.com, the history of Mother's Day is centuries old and goes back to the times of ancient Greeks, who held festivities to honor Rhea, the mother of the gods. The early Christians celebrated the Mother's festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent to honor Mary, the mother of Christ. Interestingly, later on a religious order stretched the holiday to include all mothers, and named it as the Mothering Sunday. The English colonists settled in America discontinued the tradition of Mothering Sunday because of lack of time. In 1872 Julia Ward Howe organized a day for mothers dedicated to peace. It is a landmark in the history of Mother's Day. In 1907, Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948), a Philadelphia schoolteacher, began a movement to set up a national Mother's Day in honor of her mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. She solicited the help of hundreds of legislators and prominent businessmen to create a special day to honor mothers.

The first Mother's Day observance was a church service honoring Anna's mother. Anna handed out her mother's favorite flowers, the white incarnations, on the occasion as they represent sweetness, purity, and patience. Anna's hard work finally paid off in the year 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as a national holiday in honor of mothers. Slowly and gradually the Mother's day became very popular and gift giving activity increased. All this commercialization of the Mother's day infuriated Anna as she believed that the day's sentiment was being sacrificed at the expense of greed and profit. Regardless of Jarvis's worries, Mother's Day has flourished in the United States. Actually, the second Sunday of May has become the most popular day of the year. Although Anna may not be with us but the Mother's day lives on and has spread to various countries of the world. Many countries throughout the world celebrate Mother's Day at various times during the year, but some such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May, according to DayforMothers.com.

The folks at WilStar.com provide some great advice from Mothers:
1.) Always change your underwear; you never know when you'll have an accident.
2.) Don't make that face or it'll freeze in that position.
3.) Be careful or you'll put your eye out.
4.) What if everyone jumped off a cliff? Would you do it, too?
5.) You have enough dirt behind those ears to grow potatoes!
6.) Close that door! Were you born in a barn?
7.) If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
8.) Don't put that in your mouth; you don't know where it's been!

Mother's Day also has a spiritual element. According to BeliefNet.com, Mothers nurture and love their children from infancy, providing them with wisdom and guidance toward happiness. Whether you're a mother or an expectant mother, celebrate motherhood with prayers and blessings. Find comfort in words that will encourage a mother through birth, difficult pregnancies, nursing, welcoming children into the world, and the struggles of day-to-day child rearing. Although this day, along with Father’s Day, was established to create more business for our merchants as noted by Michaelskok.com. But there’s a spiritual side to this holiday—God commands that we honor our fathers and mothers. And God gives us a promise when this commandment is obeyed--that you will live long in the land. Aside from our religious duty to honor our parents is the awesome responsibility that parenthood plays in our society. When I was in grammar school, we were taught that the education of a daughter in the family begins with the education of the mother—when she was a child. We need to be very careful how we train our young daughters, and we want them to grow in the knowledge of God laws, and have respect for others. The spiritual health of mothers is equally as important as their physical health.

According to WilStar.com, here is what the Bible says about Mothers...
--Genesis 3:20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
--Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
--Leviticus 19:3 "'Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.
--Deuteronomy 5:16 "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
--2 Kings 4:30 But the child's mother said, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So he got up and followed her.
--Proverbs 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother.
--Isaiah 66:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."
--Ezekial 16:44 "'Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: "Like mother, like daughter."
--Luke 1:43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
--Luke 2:51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.
--John 19:26-27 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Sharing time with your mother may be the best gift of all. If you are apart from your mother due to circumstances that do not allow a time of personal face-to-face interaction, send a card or call her on Mother's Day. Let her know she is loved and thought about all the time, and how important she has been in your life. If your relationship is strained with her, make amends. Life is too short to not have a close personal loving relationship with your mother. If your mother has passed on, honor her and remember her with a memorial that pays just tribute. Make Mother's Day an important event in your life and the life of your Mother.

Until next time. Let me know what you think.

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