Mothering Sunday, or Mother’s Day?

Whatever you call it, it’s a day to celebrate our mums and show them just how much they’re appreciated. Traditionally known as Mothering Sunday, it’s a day to pamper and spoil the mums in your family – whether that maternal figure is your own mum, a stepmother, grandmother or in-law – but how much do you actually know about the origins of what, these days, we more commonly refer to as Mother’s Day? It may surprise you to know that it hasn’t always been about cards and flowers…

Falling around the end of March or early April in the UK, Mum’s special day is always held on the fourth Sunday of Lent – exactly three weeks before Easter. Its origins are religious, and the name ‘Mothering Sunday’ harks back to the days when people would, on this Sunday, visit their ‘mother’ church – or go ‘a-mothering’. The day was an opportunity for people to be with their families and for children who lived or worked away from home – perhaps in domestic service – to spend precious time with their mothers.

Nowadays, we associate the day with treating Mum. In America in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson established the first national ‘Mother’s Day’, proclaiming it an official holiday to honour mothers after a campaign by Anna Jarvis, who lobbied for the day after the death of her own mother. Anna Jarvis had intended it to be a day dedicated to sentiment though, and is known to have disapproved of giving flowers and pre-printed cards! In the US, Mother’s Day actually falls in early May, and the very first one was on Sunday 9th May.

In the UK, the more modern tradition made its way across the pond when a vicar’s daughter, Constance Smith, read a newspaper report about Anna Jarvis’s campaign. Constance pushed for the day to be marked in England, even penning a booklet called ‘The Revival of Mothering Sunday’. She revived some of the more religious traditions – like the gifting of simnel cakes – and by the late 1930s Mothering Sunday had become a popular celebration with Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and many parishes in Britain marking the day. By the 50s, it was being celebrated throughout the country and became much more commercial.

Today, lots of us know it by the adopted American term ‘Mother’s Day’ – although those true to tradition prefer Mothering Sunday. Everyone agrees though, it should be a peaceful day to show the mother-figures in our family just how much we love and appreciate them. A carefully chosen card, gift or bunch of bright, fresh flowers is sure to make mum’s day, but a little sentiment goes a long way, too. A card made by a toddler will be treasured forever, and the time and effort that goes into making a home-baked cake is sure to be appreciated – it’s one tradition we fully approve of!

Whatever you do for Mother’s Day, make it really special. Whether you like to give a luxurious ‘off-the-shelf’ gift to truly spoil your mum, or prefer to treat her to a little ‘me time’, a delicious dinner and a sweet slice of something home-made, you’ll find loads of Mother’s day gifts, recipe ideas and inspiration at Lakeland to help you make Mum’s day.

What does Mother’s Day mean to you?

Having a mum or someone who acts like a mum – whether it’s an auntie, step-mum, granny or even a close family friend – is something that most of us have been fortunate enough to experience and, when it comes to saying thank you, there are so many ways to show just how much we care and to celebrate all that they do or have done for us.

Here at Lakeland HQ, we’ve been sharing our lovely mum stories over a cup of tea or two and, as you can imagine, there have been plenty of smiles as well as a few tears listening to everyone’s touching anecdotes.  For many of us, it’s the little things that matter most – a handmade card, breakfast in bed or having the family all together in one place. You don’t need to be a mum yourself to feel moved by other people’s special mum moments, so we thought we’d share a few of our favourites from the Lakeland team…

Jackie, Customer Services.

“One of my most special memories of Mother’s Day as a mum is of when both my daughter and son – aged 4 and 2 years old at the time – first brought me breakfast in bed with a little help from Dad. They had made their own cards at nursery and, needless to say, there were lots of hugs and kisses, as well as lots of toast crumbs in the bed! My own mum sadly isn’t with us anymore, but she always said it wasn’t about how much you spent on gifts or treats, it always came down to time and love. She instilled this in me and I always say the same to my children now. It’s just a shame she never got to meet and enjoy both my babies but they know how she was. Mum’s perfect Mother’s day was anything that brought me, my two brothers and our families together. She always understood how busy we all were and was happy staying at home or going out – it really didn’t matter where we were as long as we were all there.”

David, Customer Services.

“I’d love to bring all of our extended family together for Mother’s Day, but there’s 37 of us and unfortunately my mum – who is 94 – suffers from Alzheimer’s and lives in a care home so it might all be a bit too much for her now. My favourite memory of Mother’s Day was before mum was ill when my sister and I arranged a surprise trip for her to go and see Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Mum had always said that it was a show that she’d love to see, so my sister brought her up from Preston and the three of us went to The Grand Theatre in Blackpool to see the show together. Mum had no idea where we were going until we got to the theatre and she saw the poster – her face was an absolute treasure to see and we had the most fabulous evening.”

Jacqueline, Customer Services.

“For me, Mother’s Day is a chance to show those you love just how much you appreciate them. One of my most special memories of Mother’s Day is from when I first became a mum and my father-in-law bought me flowers and thanked me for giving him the most precious gift of a grandchild.  It was lovely tradition that he continued over the years with a thoughtful gift every Mother’s Day. The other really special things for me at Mother’s Day have always been the home-made cards from my children, little treats like a papier mâché daffodil and the ‘promise’ cards my daughters made for me telling me what they would do to help me!”

We hope you enjoyed reading our Mother’s Day stories as much as we enjoyed hearing them and, if you’d like to, we’d love you to share your own special memories with us in the comments section below.

We wish all of you – however you chose to spend your day – a very Happy Mother’s Day!