By Mary Beth Topczynski, Board Member
Mother’s Day was proclaimed as a national holiday on May 9, 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson following a campaign launched by West Virginia native, Anna Jarvis to honor her mother who passed on May 9, 1905. She wanted to recognize the role of mothers and celebrate their powerful force to their family, church and community. Americans were asked to publicly express their gratitude, and carnations came to represent the day honoring mothers living and deceased.
Although the meaning is the same today, motherhood looks very different. According to a 2012 U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 85 million mothers in America, but their lives have seen dramatic changes even since the 1960 census.
In 2012, only 69% of mothers were married compared to 92%; 15% were divorced, separated or widowed and 15% were unmarried compared to 7% to .3% respectively. The number of children they have has also decreased to 1.9 down from 3.7, but 41% of births are to unmarried women, up from 5% in 1960.
A more noticeable lifestyle difference, more mothers are now in the workforce. In households with children under the age of 18, 40% have mothers who are either the sole or primary income provider for the family — up 11% from 1960, and single mothers make up two-thirds of these “breadwinner moms.”
Regardless of the statistics, we at Bridge agree with Ms. Jarvis in recognizing mothers and ALL women as powerful. They are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to helping others in need within the family and community.
We thank the women who assist our mothers in need to have a better life and provide for their children. You are a blessing to Bridge because of your care and concern for others.
Happy Mother’s Day!