Mothers Day – Now and Then

At the turn of the century, on May 12, 1907, Anna Jarvis held a memorial service to honour her late mother, Ann ReevesJarvis. Ann was the devoted mother of 13 children, only four of whom lived to adulthood, most succumbing to disease or war. In the late 1800’s, Mrs. Jarvis became instrumental in educating and mobilising mothers to better care for their children during a time when high infant and child mortality due to tuberculosis and inadequate hygiene practice was rampant. Throughout her community, Ann brought women together in work clubs, church groups, even in homes, to teach them the practice of boiling drinking water, administering medication, and quarantining households in an effort to prevent spread of epidemics. When she died in 1905, Anna made the decision to continue her mother’s dream, and celebrate the passion and never ending service mothers dedicate to their children and their communities worldwide. Hmmmm… does this sound familiar? A time of war, pandemic, changing hygiene practices, quarantines, isolation? Sounds like it could be this century, this year, this day. Yet, there is one very important difference to that first sentimental Mother’s Day in 1907, and our current Mother’s Day traditions–commercialisation.

Within three years, Mother’s Day became a state holiday and within seven, became a national holiday in the United States, and rapidly gained commercial appeal. From flowers (originally carnations), to confections, to greeting cards, soon it was a day (not unlike many other annually celebrated holidays) whose authentic meaning and attention was lost in the fray of capitalism–not at all what Anna intended, and sadly, caused her to advocate for the holiday to be rescinded to her last dying days.Mother’s Day was born out of the love of one devoted daughter, with her motto “For the Best Mother who Ever Lived –Your Mother.” At SheShed, we’ve found a way to both honour our mothers and honour the original intention envisioned by Anna so many years ago–as a “home-coming” and a dedication from our hearts to the one woman who has dedicated her life to you.

At SheShed, we’ve found a way to both honour our mothers and honour the original intention envisioned by Anna Jarvis

Women and their mothers, aunts, sisters, or friends came together to create original floral art to gift to the special women in their lives, to show off proudly in their home as a reminder of the love and gratitude we have for that very special woman in our life. Rather than purchase a pre-made bouquet, we came together to share special moments and create our own beautiful floral masterpieces bursting with seasonal blooms, especially hand made with love for mum.

Reminiscent of days long gone when everything was home-made, we came together to learn the art of being together and making something from scratch for our mums and families. By bringing women together at the SheShed, we hoped we honoured our mothers and Anna in the way she originally intended over 100 years ago on that first Mother’s Day.

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