Mother’s Day – the what and when

by ParentalChoice
in Working Mum, New mum, Mother's Day, Family, Children
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Spring is here, and so Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday has got to be close.

Each year it is a different date, depending on where in the calendar Easter falls.  Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday in Lent, which in 2019 is March 31st.

So, if the date of Mothering Sunday is dependent on Lent and Easter, is it a Christian or religious celebration?

Interestingly, it has a Christian background.  Back in the 16th century most people attended church every Sunday, they tended to visit their local or ‘daughter’ church and on the fourth Sunday of lent, they would attend a celebration at their ‘mother’ church, which would have been their childhood church or the cathedral or main church in their locality.

This pilgrimage became a popular holiday when domestic staff were given the day off to go home to their respective ‘mother’ church for the day.

This however, isn’t really reflective of our modern-day Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day.  This is because the popularity of the celebration was waning at the start of the 20th century.

Around this time a lady named Constance Penswick-Smith made it her mission to reignite the British appreciation of Mothering Sunday.  She worked hard and eventually rekindled the nation’s love of celebrating the day, but with much more of a focus on celebrating motherhood.

This celebration of motherhood comes from the American ‘Mother’s Day’ tradition.  In 1908 Anna Jarvis called for a celebration of her own mother who was a militant peace activist.  This led to her creating a formal ‘Mother’s Day’ which was to be a celebration of all American Mothers, as a thank you to the mothers groups which had been created during the American Civil War.

In 1914 President Wilson formalised the arrangement and all serving personnel were encouraged to celebrate or give thanks for their mothers and the modern day ‘Mother’s Day’ was created.

Mother’s Day in 2019

Now fast forward to 2019 and in the UK many people may go to church to celebrate theirs and other mothers.  It is certainly a day when the uniformed groups such as the Brownies, Cubs, Guides and Scouts attend church in recognition.  However, most families will be celebrating with gifts and material expressions of their love.

For some the commercialisation of Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday has overtaken its real meaning.  The shops will be awash with gifts from the cheap to the expensive with which you can woo your mother, given along with the massive bouquet of flowers and followed by the pub lunch.

Here at Parental Choice we’ve had a think about some gifts we’d like to receive or think our mothers would appreciate this year.  These include:


They maybe a little more expensive at this time of year, but we all love a bouquet.  However, why not give a living gift which will last a little bit longer?  Flowering spring bulbs, an oriental orchid or perhaps a tree or shrub for the garden?

Gift membership

Does the mother in your life enjoy a good walk, have a passion for history, gardens or the movies?  Why not consider giving her the gift of a membership

to  the National Trust or the RHS?  Or look into an Artpass for the culture vulture or the cinema for film buffs.  It’s a great gift which keeps on giving all year long.


Most people love chocolate, so why not indulge in some treat chocolates?  We aren’t talking a bar of dairy milk or bag of buttons we are talking Lindt, Hotel Chocolat and Godiva here.


You can buy vouchers for just about anything these days, so think about an experience, such as fast car driving, hot air balloon ride or a cookery course.  Failing that, a voucher to their favourite shop so they can spoil themselves is always a winner.

Smells and scents

A warm scented bath with fragranced candles would be a real treat for any mother on Mother’s Day, neither need to be expensive, but the time given to indulge would be very welcomed.

Something personal

This is a favourite with the team here at Parental Choice!

Take the kids to a local ceramic café and let them loose on a mug or plate especially for mummy or grandma.  These precious gifts with finger prints and smears and smudges made with love will remain firm favourites in the kitchen cupboard.

You can also create personalised jewellery.  Think necklaces and earrings with fingerprints or pendants featuring your child’s artwork.


However, as a working mother life can be spent juggling home and work life, often without time to rest, relax and recharge batteries.  The everyday tasks can go un-noticed or valued as we all try to keep everyone happy.

Perhaps, this Mother’s Day we should all go back to basics.  Make the phone call to your mother; in your house, get the kids to make cards and gifts, but above all, give her a lie-in and a cup of coffee or tea in bed when she wakes up and make her feel loved, cherished and valued.  But not just on Mothering Sunday, all year.

Parental Choice are experts in childcare and it is our mission to make the lives of all working parents easier by taking the stress away from searching for childcare.  Get in touch to see how we can help you or call 020 8979 6453.


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