by Amy Ouzoonian
Today is Mother's Day, a day that brings with it a flurry of affectionate cards, beautifully wrapped gifts, and elaborate brunches, all of which we cherish. However, beneath the layer of commercial glitter, the essence of Mother's Day is rooted in profound history.
The origin of this day can be traced back to the heart of a remarkable woman, a mother, named Julia Ward Howe. She was a visionary, a poet, a reformer, and above all, a mother. In the shadows of the American Civil War and Franco-Prussian War, she drafted a potent plea for peace, known as the Mother's Day Peace Proclamation in 1870. Her words were not just an outcry against the horrors of war, but a call to unite all mothers in the pursuit of peace.
She urged mothers to rise, to leave their sanctuaries, and to engage in the discourse of how to prevent the calamities of war from shattering the lives of their children. Even today, her words echo with striking relevance, "Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears!"
On Mother's Day, as we extend our gratitude and appreciation to all mothers, it's crucial to remember Julia's vision for this day - a day of peace, unity, and love. Today, I find myself not only as a CEO and a mother but also as a woman who carries the spirit of Julia Ward Howe in her heart. I pledge to use my influence to promote peace, unity, and love, and I implore you to do the same.
This Mother's Day, let's make it about more than just flowers and breakfast in bed, though they are indeed wonderful. Let's honor Julia Ward Howe's legacy by standing up for peace, unity, and love. Let's remind ourselves that we are not just mothers to our children, but mothers to all children. And it is our collective responsibility to strive for a world that is peaceful, united, and filled with love.
So here's to celebrating Mother's Day, not just as a day of gifts and affection, but also as a day of remembrance, reflection, and a call to action. To all the mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day. May we honor the spirit of this day and all days to come, just as Julia Ward Howe had envisioned.
Here are a few things that you can do for you if you are a mother on any day:
1. Morning Serenity: Begin each day with a moment of solitude, a sanctuary of peace before the world stirs. It could be a steaming cup of tea, a quiet meditation, or a few pages of a book. This moment is yours, a gentle reminder that you are a human being before you are a human doing.
2. Embrace Imperfection: Acknowledge that the art of balance is a dance with imperfection. There will be days when everything goes according to plan, and there will be days when chaos reigns. Both are okay. Both are part of life. Embrace the ebb and flow with grace and compassion.
3. Nourishment of Body and Soul: Remember that nourishing food is a form of self-love. As a working mom, meals are often rushed or skipped entirely. Make time to sit, savor, and enjoy food that fuels your body and satisfies your soul.
4. Movement as a Celebration: Move your body, not as a punishment or an obligation, but as a celebration. Dance in your living room, take a walk in the park, or try a new yoga pose. Movement is a beautiful dialogue between your body and soul.
5. Create a Joy List: Curate a list of things that bring you joy - a favorite song, a beautiful poem, a memory that makes you smile. Return to this list in moments of stress or overwhelm. Let it be a beacon of joy in the foggy days.
6. Cultivate Mindful Moments: Mindfulness isn't about sitting cross-legged for hours; it's about being fully present in the moment. Whether you're folding laundry or leading a meeting, bring your full attention to the task. Breathe in the now, and let it anchor you amidst the whirlwind of responsibilities.
7. Remember to Rest: Rest is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Whether it's a short nap, a good night's sleep, or a quiet evening with a book, rest is the silent melody that renews and rejuvenates your spirit.
8. Build a Support Network: Create a village of support around you. Seek help when needed, delegate tasks, and remember that it's okay to lean on others. We were never meant to navigate this journey alone.
9. Daily Gratitude Practice: At the end of each day, reflect on three things you are grateful for. They don't have to be grand or profound. Sometimes, it's the smallest things - a child's laugh, a shared joke, a sunset - that carry the most significant weight in our hearts.
10. Carve Out 'Me' Time: Finally, and perhaps most importantly, remember that you are more than a mother, more than a professional. You are a woman with dreams, desires, and passions. Carve out time each week for yourself - to paint, to write, to read, to dance, to dream. This time is your reminder that amidst the chaos, you are a priority too.
Remember, dear mothers, you are the heart that beats at the center of your family and your work. Tend to yourself with the same care, love, and patience that you extend to others. For only when you are filled can you pour into the lives of those around you. For more self-care tips for you and other employees and managers, sign up for a 2-week trial and invest in your companies' wellness.