On Sunday, May 11 we will celebrate Mother's Day. We should also celebrate on Monday, May 12. Mother's Day became an official holiday 100 years ago and quickly morphed into a commercialized event celebrated annually on the second Sunday of May. Last year on Mother's Day, Americans spent $20.7 billion on brunch, flowers and jewelry in gestures designed to make mothers everywhere feel appreciated. And that's great; mothers make the world go round.
As the recent American Greetings "World's Toughest Job" video created by Mullen Advertising and making its way around the web points out, motherhood is a 24-hour a day job, 365 days a week. But the Mullen ad leaves out one key part of the job description: the 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 hours that approximately 23 million mothers who work outside the home put in each week in addition to the requirements listed in the ad.
I asked working mothers what they wanted for Mother's Day and I can assure you, it wasn't brunch, flowers or jewelry. The top responses: alone time, a break, time with my children. And you know when they want that? Not on a Sunday. On Sunday many working mothers, certainly the corporate types, salon and some retail workers, only work one job. Research shows they're still likely to cook meals, clean the house, run errands, and chauffer children, but at least on Sundays they're not heading into the paying job too.
Working mothers deserve a Mother's Day on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or any other day that they work two or more shifts: work-at-home-mom and work-outside-the-house mom. Let us nap, join our kids after school for some one-on-one time, read a book, relax.
Hallmark, are you listening? This could be a boon to your bottom line: a Sunday celebration for those who enjoy the tradition, and a modernized Monday celebration. Think of the cards you could sell.
The current labor force participation rate for mothers with children under the age of 18 is 69.9 percent. What worked in 1914, and for the last hundred years, is outdated. It's time to rethink the holiday and make it work for working mothers.