The Best Mother in the World, Your Mother 

The phrase above was penned in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson when he signed a bill designating the second Sunday in May as a legal holiday to be called ‘Mother’s Day’. Here’s a quick history lesson on how this came to be. 

How and when did Mother’s Day begin? 

In 1908, Anna Jarvis, a West Virginia activist, campaigned for a national observance in honor of her mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, who was a community health advocate. Anna’s mother organized several Mother’s Day Work Clubs where she would address the topics of child rearing and public health issues. She was concerned about the high infant mortality rate, especially in Appalachia, and wanted to educate mothers who needed it most. Anna wanted to commemorate her and the work of all mothers! Mother’s Day became an official United States holiday in 1914. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as a day of “public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” 

For the first few years, the day was celebrated in absolute simplicity and reverence with church services and writing letters to mothers. Anna’s original intent of honoring mothers in simple and thoughtful ways for the many ways they show love and sacrifice for their children and families has morphed into a very commercialized holiday. 

Getting back to basics: 

In 2023, how can we simply and reverently celebrate the moms and special women in our lives? Here’s a few ideas that would make Anna Jarvis proud. 

Farmers’ markets are starting up in the area again. While there is always wonderful produce to choose from, farmers’ markets are also great places to find:

  • Crafts from local artisans, such as pottery, paintings, or photography 
  • Baked goods, jams, and local honey 
  • Perennial and annual flowers or plants 

If you can’t make it to a farmers’ market, explore the many Amish farms about 30 miles southeast of La Crosse in the beautiful countryside outside the town of Cashton, WI. The Amish farmers pride themselves on greenhouses packed with gorgeous hanging baskets, and a huge variety of annual and perennial flowers. You can also find herbs and healthy starter vegetable plants. Take your mom on an outing and let her pick out her favorite flowers or ingredients for a homemade meal made especially for her.  

Thank you to all the mothers out there! Their job is arguably the hardest and yet most rewarding, and moms deserve a special day of recognition and celebration. Regardless of how you spend the day, keep in mind the best mother in the world is your mother! 


History of Mother’s Day: How Mother’s Day Came to Be | The Old Farmer’s Almanac 

Mother’s Day history: How the observance was born | CNN 

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ViaroHealth has locations in the La Crosse area ready to service corporate and individual care-seekers alike.

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333 Front St. N
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 668-2111

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