DVIDS – News – Celebrating Mother’s Day around the world

By Ensign Brianna McLaughlin
Contributing Writer, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

All around the world, mothers are honored for the positive contributions they make to their families and to society. On the second Sunday in May, Mother’s Day celebrates the gift of motherhood and shows appreciation to all the sacrifices mothers endure for their children and spouses.

The holiday was first founded by Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia while honoring her late mother Anna Reeves Jarvis, who organized women’s groups promoting proper childcare.

Other states followed her lead and honored her mother. President Woodrow Wilson recognized the impact she had and named it a national holiday in 1914. Now, the holiday is observed all around the world, although at different times of the year.

“Being a mom is the most rewarding and hardest job in the world. Being a military mom and having to separate from your children adds another layer to this dynamic,” said Cmdr. Aleah McHenry, deputy chief of staff at Navy Region Hawaii.

“I was a single parent for many years and always felt supported by my command and supervisors. The Navy is mission focused, but the biggest part of its mission is people. There is tremendous support from Fleet and Family Services, and the child development centers,” said McHenry.

Culinary Specialist Senior Chief Sarah Brinn of Navy Region Hawaii shares her experience as a new mom.

“I would have to say the hardest part is going to work every day when you want to be home capturing all of those first moments, giggles, challenges, and tears that you share with your little one. Time is so precious,” said Brinn.

“Increasing maternity and primary caregiver leave, providing rooms for pumping/nursing when available, intentional family-friendly events, and taking action, when possible, on feedback provided by the fleet to improve quality of life for mothers and parents have been positive steps moving forward,” she added.

With the demanding lifestyle of an active-duty service member, it can be difficult to balance work and family priorities. Along with the job, the military does wonders in providing support, and McHenry and Brinn’s experiences are few of many examples.

Honoring mothers around the world
USA – Mother’s Day is celebrated by gifting mothers through acts of service and presents. Typically, mothers will take the day off work and children will cook them a delicious meal or will go out to eat at a restaurant. Delivering flowers is a popular Mother’s Day gesture. The official Mother’s Day flower in the USA are carnations.

Peru – Rather than celebrating Mother’s Day in one day, Peruvian families celebrate over the span of one week. During this week, dinners are prepared, music and art festivals entertain through performances, and museums are free for mothers to browse. Children give back by delivering stories and short poems that their mothers will cherish.

Italy – Mother’s Day is referred to as La Festa della Mamma in Italy and is celebrated like traditions found in the USA. Children attempt to spoil them through gifts, cooking meals, writing poetry, and sending flowers. The day typically ends with a cake presented to the mother in the shape of a heart.

Japan – The biggest gesture presented to mothers in Japan is gifting carnations. Symbolizing love, purity, and endurance in Japanese culture, these flowers are a popular present. Children create gifts themselves and some even draw portraits of their mom. Two popular dishes cooked on this day are Chawanmushi (egg custard) and Tamagoyaki (omelet).

Germany – Mother’s Day is observed by children gifting their mothers with cards, presents, flowers, and surprise visits home. Giving mothers plane tickets to travel to their favorite destinations is very common.

Date Taken: 05.06.2022
Date Posted: 05.06.2022 22:34
StoryID: 420216

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