A President, A Mama’s Boy and Why The World Celebrates Mothers

mother's day vintage card

Is it easy being loving and kind to your Mother 24/7/365?  This depends in which age category you are: child, tween, teen, twenty-thirty, or middle age.

At 6, the battles are often about eating and bathing habits.  Tweeners fight mom over homework and clothes.  Teen category: No comment.

In my twenties, I really loved my mom.  From 2000 miles away.  Funny thing, though, when she was on my turf, or I on hers, my brain reverted right back to the, “Oh, that’s mom.  You have to realize she’s old-fashioned…”

This attitude changed dramatically when I had my first baby, and I was clueless.  Mom to the rescue, and her old-fashioned baby-care methods were the best ever.

This began a turnaround in our relationship.  Not that my love increased, because the love was always there.  In masses.  What did change was my respect and appreciation.

No more condescending inner convo of “Yeah, but you are so… mom.”  Baby care bonded us like never before, and the bonding remained.  It hit me that what I gave my mother would likely come back from my own children, and if I was really nice to Mom when my children were little, they would only see the best way to treat a mother.  (I wish.)

I began to hand-make Mother’s Day Cards, spending hours and hours getting them just right.  Not only was this an expression of my love to her, I was proving to my brothers and sisters that the old ungrateful me was nowhere to be found anymore.  (We all got nicer as we got older.)

The only “moments” now come when she just. cannot. hear. when I try to tell her I love her.  Hearing aides in?  Check.  Hearing aide turned up?  Check.  New battery?  Check.  Well, hugs and kisses, then. No words necessary.

Why Mother’s Day?

presidential family wilson, wife, daughters
President Woodrow Wilson posing with his wife and daughters.

What kind of mother did President Woodrow Wilson have that made him think the whole country needed to celebrate mothers?  Jessie Woodrow Wilson was a quiet, loving mother.  The president said he was a mama’s boy, but when I read biographical statements, it doesn’t seem that he was in need of apron strings.  He enjoyed sports as much as he enjoyed rhetoric, and his father took him fishing as well as taught him to analyze the world.  When the Democrats asked him to be a presidential nominee, it was assumed that a minister’s son would be easy to manipulate.  He was, in fact, the opposite.  As soon as he came to power he began pushing his own agenda, which he had been honing for years.

Wilson had great respect for women.  He wrote in a letter to his future wife that “his love of the best of womanhood” came from his mother.  Wilson was devastated when he lost his beloved first wife soon after he became president, supposedly wandering the halls of the White House, wringing his hands and asking, “What will I do?  What will I do?”  Just over a year later he married another strong woman who was a great asset to him.  He held his wives in high esteem, and considered their opinions, both in the home and in presidential decisions.  Just as he respected and honored his mother and set a special day aside for her.

No doubt some of his respect for women came from their ability to keep him humble.  He had an old deaf aunt whom he tried to tell about his election win.  “I’m the president,” he hollered into her ear.  She squinted up at him and asked, “President of what?”

Are You President Material?

vintage style mother's day card
Handpainted Roses on Vintage Style Card by Kimenink.com

According to statistics, men need to be more like Tommy (as Wilson’s mother called him).  A poll found that only 6% of the male population thought they needed to honor their wives on Mother’s Day.  The wives don’t agree.  Almost half of all mothers want their husbands to at least give them a card.

Come on, guys, be more presidential.

And three-fourths of the Moms want flowers on Mother’s Day.  That’s not so hard, is it?  Just flowers and a card.  Any grocery store has a pretty good selection of flowers these days.

And great cards?  That’s easy, too.

It’s paper love.  But it’s in the heart forever.

When it comes to spending money on their mothers, though, men outdo women.  Men spend at least $20.00 more on Mother’s Day than women do.  Women average out at $150, so that’s not ultra cheap, but men do it better.

Big yes on this for the men.  Even if they don’t spend on their wives, they are presidential when it comes to their mothers.

Disclaimer

ana jarvis photo mother of mother's day
Ana Jarvis, the Mother of Mother’s Day

Most of you probably know it was a woman who pushed for honoring mothers, and finally got Wilson’s cabinet to approve it.  This woman was Ana Jarvis, but that’s a story for another day.

My disclaimer:  It wasn’t actually Wilson who wanted everyone to buy cards, or rather, set the day aside.  But even though Ana Jarvis was the pusher, history does prove that this President truly honored his mother, wife and daughters.

On May 8, 1914, both houses of the United States Congress passed resolutions establishing a Mother’s Day observance. Acting on the authority of that resolution, President Wilson on this day, May 9, 1914, issued a proclamation regarding Mothers’ Day:

“Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”    source