Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children.  Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.  Later Jarvis would denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. Dates and celebrations vary worldwide, but Mother’s Day traditionally involves presenting moms with flowers, cards and other gifts.

While mothers and fathers have always had their hands full, this past year has been especially difficult on working mother’s. Nearly 3 million women have dropped out of the labor force as working women faced a coronavirus- induced exodus that reflects persistent pay inequality, undervalued work and antiquated notions of care giving.

According to a February report by CBS News, before the pandemic, women consisted more than 50% of the country’s workforce, underlining their importance to the economy. But that number has dropped sharply as many women, particularly mothers of young children, have been furloughed or laid off. Many others have had to choose between showing up at front-line jobs or caring for their children who, with daycare centers closed and school underway remotely, would otherwise be left without supervision. The urgent need for childcare at home has also pushed other working mothers, with spouses or partners earning more than they do, to withdraw from the workforce in order to take over childcare responsibilities. Despite such conditions, experts say there are ways to reverse the drain of working women caused by the pandemic. Unfortunately, working mothers are still faced with old problems that need new solutions

On behalf of the working mothers at Sugartown Communications, we are thankful to have remained steadfast throughout this past year with the support of our families and clients. We wish Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, moms, mommies, and grandmothers who continue to inspire and lead their tribes with grace, selflessness, and dignity.  And to my mother, who taught me when faced with challenges fear is not an option.