It’s Mothering Sunday or Mothers’ Day this weekend in case you’d forgotten! (March 22)
In the UK, Mothering Sunday or Mothers’ Day is on the 4th Sunday of Lent. Exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday, and therefore like Easter, it is a moveable feast. However, it usually falls in the second half of March or early April.
Interrestingly Mother’s Day in the US falls at a different time of the year to the UK, and is always on May 12th. This celebration began in the 20th century when Anna Jarvis, established the event to commemorate her own mother. She chose the date of her mother’s memorial for the first celebratory event. Anna Jarvis campaigned to make the day a national holiday, and was successful in 1914 when Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation for the date.
The UK celebration goes as far back historically, as around the 17th century and does have religious origins; hence why some people still call it Mothering Sunday. It was linked to the Laetare Sunday (4th Sunday of Lent) festival in the Christian calendar.
Traditionally this was when children, mainly daughters who had gone to work as domestic servants, and were given time off to visit their mothers and families. They would usually visit their ‘mother’ church too. This relates to the church of your childhood home. In those days everyone went to church, it was really the social and religious hub of a community so was central to the lives of most people.
Many of those female servants, as they walked home, picked wild flowers or violets to take to church, or to give their mother as a gift. We do wonder if this custom is still happening today, but some people who are now in their 60s and older still do covet small bunch of violets to mark Mothering Sunday. It reminds them of taking them home from Sunday school to give to her mother on each of her childhood Mothering Sundays. Many schools, pre schools and childminders still also create handmade cards and gifts for young children to take home to mothers, stepmothers and grandmothers to mark the occasion.
Is Mothering Sunday only for mothers?
Mothering Sunday isn’t a religious event for everyone, but has become about celebrating mothers; but does that only mean birth mothers? The word mother defines a person, but it also defines an act.
Why shouldn’t you recognise not only the people who give birth to children, but also people who act as mothers to others. You may have a friend who acts as a mother to your children too, or an aunt who is as much a mother in the way she cares for you. There are many people who embody the spirit of motherhood or a you may have a step mum who is important in your life. Why not send them a card too, thanking them for what they have done for you over the years?
What about other motherly acts ie. Someone who tucks your label into your jacket; shows you where the kettle is on your first day at work; makes you a cake; puts your tie straight before you go into a meeting; your friend who is a little older than you, but is always there for you when no-one else will do for a query; the neighbour who checks on you; people you go to for support or advice: these people are mothers in your life, whether or not they are birth mothers. Remember to thank them for their support if you haven’t thanked them before.
Mothering Sunday is also a time to think about the women who don’t have children and may desperately want them. When everyone around you is celebrating Mothers’ Day and you are childless (rather than childfree), it’s a day which can be difficult. Spare a thought for these women.
On this day when people are sharing the gifts their children have bought them on social media, some of these women may feel particularly isolated. If you have a friend who you know is in that situation, let them know that you are there for them, if they need you.
Mothering Sunday gifts today
Today, we often give small gifts to the ‘mothers’ in our lives. Often we will give flowers or chocolates or even perfume. Children are often encouraged to make their own, personalised cards for their mothers during the previous week at school. Yet what if you are mum, or grandmother, or step mum has food or pollen allergies? What’s the point of giving a gift someone cannot enjoy or which could actually be life-threatening for them?
This is the perfect time to support those mums who have food allergies by ensuring the food gifts you give are allergen free, and food that they can safely enjoy.
Why not consider one of our baking mixes – luxury chocolate cake for example or our muffin mix? Children can make cupcake gifts using the Creative Nature muffin mixes, and decorate with for their mum’s initials in icing or create other designs in chopped fruit.
Have a look to see how we can support you in helping your mum, grandmum or step mum enjoy Mothers’ Day too – without any fear over what’s in the food?
- Bake them a cake!
- Buy them something that can support their nutritional well-being in the long term
- Or treat them to tasty and better for you snacks bars, protein bars and gnawbles!
Have a wonderful Mothering Sunday.