Our View: Honor mom today, but recognize contributions of working moms, too

May 12, 2019

Mother’s Day is here, and while most of us will treat our mothers to flowers, cards and gifts and other indulgences, it’s important to remember that for many moms, it’s another day to punch the time clock. You won’t have to search very hard to find them – they’ll be working in hotels, restaurants and retail stores, helping others enjoy the holiday that’s meant for them, too.

Contrary to popular opinion, Mother’s Day isn’t exactly a Hallmark holiday. It was founded by an act of Congress 105 years ago, at the request of Anna Jarvis, who campaigned for the national holiday after seeing local observances in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

We’ve spent the last century celebrating moms, and for good reason.

Moms are the ones who wipe away the tears, who doctor the cuts and bruises, who annoyingly impart their wisdom through the growing years. Their wisdom is usually not appreciated until much later in life.

Times have changed since Jarvis’ campaign. Today, working moms are the rule rather than the exception. Women make up nearly half of the country’s workforce, and more than 70 percent of mothers with young children are employed.

And for those women, conditions still aren’t exactly fair. Women earned 85 percent of what men did in 2018, and have far less upward mobility, according to a recent WalletHub study. That same study ranked the best and worst states for working moms, and sadly, Arizona was at the bottom of the list, at number 42.

Of course, what to do about that is another topic, and it’s a hotly debated one. That’s not the point of this editorial. The point is, working moms continue to face challenges as they seek a work-life balance, acting as providers and homemakers in addition to being professionals in the workplace.

Perhaps there ought to be a special holiday just for working moms. They certainly deserve the recognition – not to mention a day to relax.

In any case, as you go about celebrating mom today, keep all mothers in mind.

– Today’s News-Herald