Mother’s Day has diverse origins. In ancient times there were ceremonial rites and traditional celebrations among polytheistic peoples, who drew on the cult of Mother Earth and celebrated the female deities associated with the rebirth of Nature in spring, the female parents, those who represented fertility and life. For the Greeks, it was Rhea, the mother of all gods, the great proprietress, and her figure, and that of all mothers by association, that was celebrated one day a year. Among the Romans, Cybele was the deity symbolizing Nature and all mothers. In England, celebrations associated with Mother’s Day date back to the 17th century. Mother’s Day was originally not intended as an occasion to celebrate one’s mother with flowers or gifts but took on a different meaning. The holiday, Mothering Sunday, coincided with the fourth Sunday of Lent. On that occasion, all children who lived far from their families, some to learn a trade and some because they were forced to be servants to earn a living, were allowed to return home for a day. Gradually, the tradition spread of gathering in the middle of the Lenten season to celebrate one’s family, especially one mother, considered a fundamental element of the union between blood relatives. Boys who visited their families would bring their mothers flowers or other gifts.
MOTHER AND INFANT
In the early stages of a child’s emotional development, a vital part is the environment the child has not yet actually separated from itself. This stage of separation varies with each child and context. The main changes occur in separating from the mother as an objectively perceived environmental figure. The child’s developmental task is infinitely complicated without a particular person acting as a mother. The mother’s voice is essential to the relationship between the mother and the infant. It is crucial during pregnancy and beyond. The mother’s voice is a bridging element between intrauterine and extrauterine life. When the baby is still inside the mother’s belly, it perceives the mother’s voice, both spoken and sung. It smells as if it were a good massage. When the baby is born, it is surrounded by a somewhat chaotic universe of sounds and recognizes its mother’s voice as a reference point. Therefore necessary to talk and sing when the baby is not yet born. It is also helpful to use these songs even when the baby is born. In this way, the baby will feel reassured and experience the same emotions he felt when listening to them inside his mother’s belly.
MOTHER’S DAY IN AFRICA
Mother’s Day is celebrated all over the world. People take the day as an opportunity to pay tribute to their mothers and thank them for all their love, care, and support. In many countries, Mother’s Day sees phone lines reach peak traffic, and the tradition of giving flowers, cards, and other gifts remains. Mother’s Day in Africa falls on the second Sunday in May, as in Italy. People in South Africa celebrate Mother’s Day in its true spirit, recognizing the importance of mothers in their lives and thanking them profusely for all their love and care. People also give flowers and cards to their mothers to express their sincere gratitude and affection. The most commonly used flower for Mother’s Day is the traditional carnation. People wear red or pink carnations for living mothers, while white carnations symbolize dead mothers. The holiday is generally celebrated with emphasis on homemade gifts and cards, especially by younger children. In comparison, older children usually prepare a meal for their mothers and sometimes buy small gifts. As an extension, the holiday also celebrates grandmothers, aunts, and all women who have maternal roles in the family or society.
MOTHERS IN SOCIETY
Promoting early childhood education can increase women’s employment. According to an assessment by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, providing childcare for children under age three would significantly increase mothers’ labor supply. To support the new 2030 Barcelona targets on childcare, the JRC analyzed the impact of policies put in place for childcare on the labor participation of mothers in some EU countries. The estimated effect is higher for countries with lower childcare support and lower labor participation of women. The selected countries (Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Finland) currently see further involvement of women in the labor market (the activity rate of women in Italy and Poland was lower than the EU-27 average in 2021, while Finland and Estonia have the highest rate). The presence of different childcare systems characterizes them. It emerges how a 50 percent increase in early childhood education and care for children under age three would lead to more female job openings ranging from 4 percent (Portugal) to 48 percent (Hungary).
MOTHERS AND LITERATURE
Literature offers actual examples of mothers with their peculiarities: whether they are strengths or weaknesses, they are and always will be strong examples of mothers; 1) Margaret Curtis March, ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott – Mother of four daughters finds herself alone to raise them while her husband, Robert, is at the front. Despite the difficulties, Mrs. March never lets herself be defeated and proves herself a strong and wise woman. She adores her four daughters, listens to them, and gives them much advice. Only with her help can the sisters best cope with complicated situations. 2) Mrs. Bennet, Jane Austen’s ‘Pride, and Prejudice’ – She is a somewhat pushy mother, portrayed by the author as a silly, talkative woman. She marries Mr. Bennet, but their marriage does not afford her much joy, so Mrs. Bennet devotes herself to finding husbands for her daughters. 3) Anna Karenina, ‘Anna Karenina’ by Lev Tolstoy – In the great novel, Anna is portrayed more as an adulterous woman than a mother. But, those who have read it cannot help but remember the morbid attachment the woman had with her first son Serëža: he represents, for the protagonist, the only point of light in the darkness that grips her because of the extramarital affair that drives her to madness. 4) Anna Fierling, Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ – She is a commoner hardened by the war and, in the novel, embodies the dual role of unscrupulous businesswoman and protective mother. In a sense, her attachment to the wagon and the money strains her relationship with her children. Often at the cost of their own lives. A courageous mother who highlights all the problems of an era when money was seen as the only solution to happiness.
TYPOLOGY OF MOTHERS
° THE ANXIOUS MOTHER – insecure, she is always worried that she will make a mistake and afraid that something will happen to the child; she embraces him tensely, always looking at him with inquiring intensity, ready to recognize signs of illness in it; the little one’s response, inevitably, manifests itself in a continuous state of excitement, a constant demand for reassuring why, and in a state of profound instability in his various activities. ° THE DYSPHORIC MOTHER – characterized by rapid changes in mood and, therefore, mode of relationship, alternating between acceptance and rejection, is always ambivalent toward the child; this attitude may lead in early childhood to a delay in the objectification and maturation of the body schema; in this sense, the most common manifestations in children are those of instability, insecurity, indecision, capriciousness, and a certain sadness. ° THE OBSESSIVE MOTHER – and perfectionist, predominantly intellectual, she strives to control her emotionality and impulses and would always like to apply the rules learned from books; the doctor must take into account that her every word will be taken literally and slavishly put into practice; such a mother lacks spontaneity and is very efficient but not very forgiving; she thinks of her child as a duty, stifling him with overly rigid feeding rhythms, strict impositions in sphincter control, early hygienic rules, limitations in play, and later, conflicts in the management of urges; sometimes, all this may even layer into a phobic-obsessive structure. ° THE TOO PASSIVE MOTHER – permissive, abstemious, letting do not engage, not to fight, is seen by the child as absent, unavailable, unparticipating, and self-centered; to this, the little one reacts with anxiety, aggression, instability, boredom, apathy and a desire to be alone; resistance to socialization necessarily ensues; I would add that it is such passive acceptance of family reality often constitutes a disguised form of non-acceptance of the partner.