Every year the war begins anew; Mother’s Day and Father’s Day inspires a slew of people telling other people how one should or should not acknowledge the day set aside to show praise the people raising us. Men get angry at women for being acknowledged on Father’s Day; woman are degraded on Mother’s Day for not being perfect mothers.
Let’s look at the origin of Father’s Day:
Grace Golden Clayton may have been inspired by Anna Jarvis’ crusade to establish Mother’s Day; two months prior, Jarvis had held a celebration for her dead mother in Grafton, West Virginia, a town about 15 miles (24 km) away from Fairmont.
After the success obtained by Anna Jarvis with the promotion of Mother’s Day in Grafton, West Virginia, the first observance of a “Father’s Day” was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as Central United Methodist Church. Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the loss of her father when, on December 1907, the Monongah Mining Disaster in nearby Monongah killed 361 men, 250 of them fathers, leaving around a thousand fatherless children. Clayton suggested her pastor Robert Thomas Webb to honor all those fathers.
Somehow this was turned into recognizing all Fathers.
Lets look at the origin of Mother’s Day:
The first attempts to establish a “Mother’s Day” in the United States came from women’s peace groups. A common early activity was the meeting of groups of mothers whose sons had fought or died on opposite sides of the American Civil War.
In 1868, Ann Jarvis, mother of Anna Jarvis, created a committee to establish a “Mother’s Friendship Day”, the purpose of which was “to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War.” Jarvis – who had previously organized “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to improve sanitation and health for both Union and Confederate encampments undergoing a typhoid outbreak – wanted to expand this into an annual memorial for mothers, but she died in 1905 before the celebration became popular. Her daughter would continue her mother’s efforts.
Eventually this was also turned into a celebration of all Mothers.
Both origins come from loss and unity needed to support one another after said loss. I am sure the division created after the “popular” version of the celebration was brought into existence is not the intent for this holiday. These holidays are to encourage bonds. Ripping others apart because their bond is not the same as your own is not only cruel, but selfish.
If I acknowledge a “Happy Father’s Day” wish because I am filling the roles of both mother and father; that does not make me a man hater or make me think men are obsolete. Being a single parent is not something someone aspires to be. The same way people are celebrating these holidays outside of their original intend we are entitled to do so. If my sons decide to acknowledge me on both days, that is their choice the same why if a parent walks out on a family it is their choice.
Being a father and a mother are simple matters of sex/DNA. Being a mom or dad is something entirely different. Being BOTH mom and dad on any level is simply amazing. Single parent lead home is the number one family demographic for a number of cultures; maybe if more attention was paid as to why families cannot stay together as well as why as many men opt out instead of the realities of other families, this discussion would not exist.
On Mother’s Day I wish everyone playing the role of mom a happy mother’s day, I do the same on Father’s Day. One doing their job well does not have to diminish the works of others.
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Originally posted. June 6, 2015