by Lori Riddle
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Mom Said Be Safe Because I said soWhen I was a kid, my mom always said the same thing whenever anyone in the family left the house or got dropped off somewhere. Mom said: "Be safe."

She always said that, and she says it to this day. She's almost 1,000 miles away from me, but she still says it every time we talk, and when either of us departs after a visit. And now, I say it to my kids, my husband, my friends and my coworkers. Working in the tank building industry means safety is a part of everyday business, and when we say "be safe," we mean it - at the risk of life & limb, we all must be safe.

Moms tell us to be careful, to be safe, to watch out....they're always trying to protect us from harm. Today on the Think Tank, we want to celebrate Moms, by taking a minute to look at how Mother's Day got started and what Moms want today. Above all, we want to thank Moms for always watching out for us.

It Started With Safety

Mother's Day as we know it began with early grassroots organizations of women who worked and fought for worthy causes - things we'd identify as serious safety issues! In the 1850s, Ann Reeves Jarvis established Mother's Day work clubs in West Virginia to improve sanitation and lower the infant mortality rate - largely by working to reduce contamination in milk. In the next decade, the groups would put their safety efforts to work tending to wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.

Ann Reeves

Photo from ExplorePAHistory.com

A Day Of Recognition And Gratitude

Ann Reeves Jarvis' daughter, Anna Jarvis, took up the Mother's Day banner in the early 1900s. When her mother died in 1905, Anna began organizing a day of remembrance and recognition dedicated to one's own mother. Anna Jarvis' first Mother's Day Observance was held in 1908 in her hometown of Grafton, West Virginia. Observances were also held in Philadelphia, where Anna Jarvis was living at the time. Because of Jarvis' efforts, the practice spread and more and more churches and communities began celebrating Mother's Day. Mother's Day was officially recognized in 1914, when U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as a national day to observe Mother's Day. Wilson called it "a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country."

 

Mothers Day 1914Photo from kbowenmysteries.com

 

Commercial Hype Can't Replace Talking To Mom

With the President's official recognition, Mother's Day took off as a national event and has become a commercial goldmine. According to Hallmark, it's the third-most popular card-buying holiday in the U.S., behind Valentine's Day and Christmas. And the National Restaurant Association says Mother's Day is the most popular day for dining out. But more than going out for brunch or sends cards, we call Mom on Mother's Day. A 2010 VIP Communications study found that "Mother's Day is far and away the most popular day to place phone calls across the world, registering more calling traffic than any other holiday, including New Year's and Valentine's Day." What does this prove? We all still need to talk to and listen to Mom!

 

Mom on the phone

 

Mom Wants You To Be Safe (So She Can Visit With You)

We can lament the hype, but Mother's Day has become a great time to buy stuff for Mom - cards, meals, flowers, chocolates, spa days..... All good stuff that most Moms enjoy. But the biggest thing Moms everywhere want? Time with the family! A recent PriceGrabber study, reported by MarketingProfs, found that 44% of Moms polled said that what they wanted for Mother's Day was TIME. Time with their families.

 

PriceGrabber infographic what Moms want

 

Make Mom Happy - Be Safe

So, Mother's Day started with Ann Reeves Jarvis working tirelessly to keep children and communities healthy and safe, and then her daughter Anna Jarvis' desire to honor and thank her Mom for all that dedication and hard work. It has become a commercial giant, but what Moms want the most is time with their families. So, if you've got a Mom, or someone in your life who loves you like a Mom, the best gift you can give this Mother's Day is to follow my Mom's instructions - BE SAFE, so you can be there for your Mom this Mother's Day and for many, many more.

 

Construction Worker Is Safe

Image from TheStar.com

 

For some more Mother's Day insights:

Huffington Post's Truths About Mother's Day

National Geograhic's Mother's Day Turns 100

MarketingProf's What Do Moms Want For Mother's Day?

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