We pause as winter turns to spring to honor our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and those women who have served in a mother-like role in our lives. Traditions vary, but, versions of Mother’s Day are celebrated throughout the world.
Mother’s Day will be observed on May 8, 2016, the
second Sunday in the month. The holiday was first promoted
by Julia Ward Howe (a prominent American abolitionist,
social activist, poet, and the author of "The Battle Hymn of the
Republic") and Anna Jarvis (whose mother, Ann Jarvis, had attempted to establish a version of Mother's Day during the Civil
War as a time for remembrance). Julia Ward sponsored the
first Mother's Day commemoration in Boston 1872 to promote
pacifism and disarmament with women. Two years after her
mother’s death, Anna Jarvis organized the first Mother's Day
in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia at St. Andrew's Methodist Church. She intended the celebration as a memorial to her
mother and her good deeds.
In 1910, West Virginia became the first state to adopt
Mother’s Day as a recognized holiday. Anna Jarvis worked for
Mother’s Day awareness and support, and, in 1914, President
Woodrow Wilson declared that annually the second Sunday
in May would mark “Mother’s Day,” saying it was a day for
American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers
whose sons had died in war. Eventually, the celebration of the
day spread around the world. In the 1920’s, the holiday began
to see considerable commercialization from the promotion
of flowers, cards, and gifts, and, because of it, Anna Jarvis
worked the rest of her life to try to abolish the holiday.
The Mother’s Day statistics are somewhat amazing. There
are 85.4 million Moms in the United States. We spend $671
million on Mother’s Day cards annually, and the total amount
spent to show appreciation for our Moms is $20.7 billion!
Flowers account for $1.9 billion, and the average amount
consumers spend is $168.94. Mother’s Day typically sees the
highest direct phone call volumes of the year. Father’s Day
ranks highest in collect calls!
What does Mom want? It seems Mom is looking for a
respite from the kitchen and expressions of our love and gratitude. The top three gifts moms said they would like to receive
for Mother’s Day are: 1) Something homemade (36%); 2)
Dinner ( 34.8%); and 3) A greeting card ( 31.5%). Speaking of Mother’s Day cards, they are the third most popular
greeting card in the U.S., bested only by Valentine’s Day
and Christmas. We send about 141 million Mother’s
Day greetings each year, outpacing Father’s Day
cards by more than 30 million!
We’re not surprised that moms savor a call,
card, or other expression from loved ones.
Statistics about working mothers, show us that
many moms are probably needing work/life balance. Accord-
ing to a study conducted in September 2015 by the Pew Re-
search Center, 61% of mothers work outside the home; 85% of
working mothers say they are “very happy” or “pretty happy”;
and 66% of mothers who work part- or full-time jobs are age
17 or younger.
Financial services, it turns out, is one of the best fields for
working women. Financial services jobs have higher average
pay than other occupational fields. A recent survey shows that
the median income for women in the financial services industry is $47,410, and is ahead of jobs in professional services,
management consulting, and accounting.
In financial services, women (and many are moms) in
credit-related roles are a significant population. In February
2016, U.S. women in financial activities in non-depository real
estate credit roles numbered 1,288,000 and represented 59.1%
of the field; women mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers
totaled 432,000 and 53.5%; and women in depository credit
intermediation were 11,272,000 and 63.9%.
Here’s to all of our mothers and mother figures – for their
traditional roles nurturing the home and family, and for their
roles as models outside the home. The phone lines will be busy
on May 8th and reservations at the best restaurants will be tight, but there is still be
time to arrange a special
something to remember, celebrate, and