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The Day Moms Were Nearly Tasked With Saving The World

MOM AND DAD SAVE THE WORLD, Teri Garr

All you dads out there remember this one gem of a thought on Mother’s Day. Without Moms you wouldn’t be a dad. You wouldn’t be, period. Obvious, yes, but it’s worth putting credit where it’s due.

While Wilderdad focuses much of its attention to the dad side of parenting, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate the amazing creature known scientifically as Momus awesomeness.

First, have you ever wondered about the origin of Mother’s Day? I’ll admit it. I hadn’t. My mind is usually too focused on tracking down gifts at the last minute to think about why I’m running around (an issue its founder disdained). The idea for it was first hatched in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe. You have probably long forgotten that she was the American poet and author who wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” An advocate for abolitionism and ending women’s suffrage, Howe suggested the idea of creating a day for mothers around the world to work together for world peace. Howe was unsuccessful, most likely because no mother wanted to add that heavy responsibility onto her already gigantic list of to-dos.

Howe’s friend and fellow social activist Anna Jarvis took a different approach. In 1908, three years after the death of Jarvis’ mother, she held a memorial at St. Andrews Methodist Church in West Virginia. Jarvis announced that the memorial was not just to celebrate her mother’s life, but mothers around the world and all that they do.

So, there you have it. Mothers were nearly on the hook for saving the world, and instead got a day where they get to hang out in their pjs and drink Starbucks and read magazines guilt-free. I can see why the latter won out.

And who can argue? Momus awesomeness deserves her own holiday a whole lot more than, say, Sea Monkeys (look it up). Or the Chicken Dance (yes, it’s true). I mean, come on. No contest. My wife amazes me every day with all that she does and all that she is. She’s an artist, a painter, a jeweler, a biologist (no joke), a nurse for my daughter’s bumps and bruises, and the VP of her school’s PTA. She keeps our house clean, cooks dinner, keeps our family calendar up to date, and serves as our daughter’s math tutor and reading specialist. She’s my confidante, my beer-drinking buddy, and my fearless partner always seeking new adventures. She’s my everything.

Now, I know I’m not the only lucky one to have somehow convinced such an amazing person to stick around. There are lots more moms out there who do incredible things every day. So, to all you moms, stop for a minute. Take a break. Know that you’re appreciated and that you don’t need to save the world by yourself. It’s not your job. And to all you dads. Go get her a Starbucks.

Steve Lemig

Steve Lemig is the founder of Wilderdad. He's been a lot of things over the years. Skateboarder. Mountain biker. Climber. Snowboarder. Bike mechanic. Forest firefighter. Woodworker. Creative director. These days he's a runner, writer, husband, and father. He writes stories to empower dads and encourage them to share outdoor adventures with their kids as a tool to strengthen families and build respect for the environment. He has also been the Managing Editor at Road Runner Sports for the last 11 years.