This is an excerpt taken from this site about the origin of Mother's Day. It's not all about cards and getting away from your kids! I encourage you to read the whole story on the site.
"Julia Ward Howe, writer of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, was moved to call upon the dignity of women everywhere to protest the “cruelties of war” and to unite together in a call for peace. “Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters,” she said, “ to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone bear and know the cost?”
She proposed a Mothers’ Day for Peace in 1872, to be held every June 2 in protest of war. In her proclamation she called on women and mothers to “Arise, then women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts… Say firmly: ‘Our husbands shall not come to us to reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Ours sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience… Let them (women) then solemnly take counsel with each other as the means whereby the great human family can live in peace.”
Howe’s Mothers’ Day for Peace was celebrated until the century’s end throughout Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and other states.
Designed as organizations for social and political activities, these celebrations bore little resemblance to modern Mother’s Day celebrations. Their purpose originally focused on the collective efforts of women toward improving and organizing their communities and on women’s suffrage. The emphasis was on Mothers’ Day rather than Mother’s Day.
After Jarvis’s death in on May 9, 1905, her daughter Anna set about to have Mother’s Day established as a national holiday. Along with many supporters, she began a letter writing campaign to convince clergymen, politicians and business leaders to help establish the observance. The first formal Mother’s Day was held in Grafton, West Virginia and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the second Sunday in May, 1908, to commemorate the date of Ann Reeves Jarvis's death. By the following year, a majority of states had established a Mother’s Day holiday, and finally, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed the second Sunday in May as a national holiday."
Happy Mothers' Day, everyone!