Over the course of history, there have been many famous mothers. They were all famous for one reason or another. Some are legendary for their careers, some for their abilities as nurturers, as women, and as mothers.
Being a mother has been romanticized, elevated and throughout history in writings, movies and TV, the title ‘mother’ has been elevated and rightly so as mothers represent a role so important for to the home, society and the future of its people in it. There is along side this awesome responsibility, an enormous joy that comes along with motherhood. Those of you with children will know what I mean when I say that having a child changes you. Not just in the fact that you now have this living being to care for aide from yourself, but there is something that alters in your thinking. How you perceive your place in the world changes and it alters your sense of purpose overall. It is a powerful role. Being the one with the power to shape a home and the course of other’s lives is awesome when you think of it. Where else in life are there people so influential so as to have that kind of effect?
Women are amazing creatures and will always surprise you to learn more about them and the passions within them. Like these famous women, both mothers, both vastly different.
History of Mother’s Day
While modern Mother’s Day is largely a commercial holiday in many countries, related to the 1914 campaign by Anna Jarvis while in some countries the holiday is more representative of the old traditions of ‘ Mothering Sunday’, a long standing tradition of honoring mothers. There is mention that this day was once a custom in ancient Greece that held a festival in honor of Cybele, a mother to Greek gods. The ancient Romans had a festival to honor Juno called Matronalia and gifts were typically given. In Europe, a specific Sunday was set aside to honor mothers such as ‘Mothering Sunday’, a celebration tied to the liturgical calendar that was meant to honor the Virgin Mary, and the ‘mother church’ (the main church to an area). It is thought by historians that the children who served in houses were given that day off to visit with their families, bringing their mothers flowers they picked by the side of the road on they way and would lay some either outside their church or give them to their mothers. Back in 1870 there was, made by Julia Ward Howe, the ‘Mother’s Day Proclamation’, a call to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States. This Proclamation, linked to Howe’s feminist belief centered around a women’s responsibilities in shaping their society at a political level. Either way, there is much to celebrate with it comes to honoring the role of women, nurturers of all kinds and mothers.
Here are some tidbits you may not know about Josephine Baker, a mother of 12 and The Queen Mum, mother of the Queen of England:
June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975
This African-American singer/dancer was influential in her day, breaking the color barrier, bringing people together with her provocative dance, dress and music. She was at a young age when the St. Louis Riots broke out; she survived and escaped. She was also the mother of 12 adopted children from around the world; wanting to transform her French chateau into a World Village. Met with struggles from racial through debts, forcing her from her chateau, and after losing her home, Princess Grace of Monaco gave her a villa. Persevering the challenges, in 1975, she staged a comeback at Carnagie Hall.
August 4, 1900 – March 30, 2002
The Mother of the current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II her mother, known as The Queen Mum was a commoner who married (Prince Albert) George IV. She was the first British commoner to become a partner of a ruler of Great Britain since the 1600. Her husband’s brother was, King Edward VIII in line for the throne, who abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson thus making Albert, King and she Queen, a role neither expected but carried out dutifully. In one brave and legendary move, during the London Blitz of World War II, Elizabeth refused to leave England and even endured the bombing of Buckingham Palace. This spirit inspired many and this memory held her in high regard right through to her death.