With each passing hour, the Mother’s Day card selection at stores not only grows thinner but also less meaningful.
The early birds who know better than to forget or or wait until the last minute have already picked the best of what’s out there and gotten those missives in the mail or set aside with gifts to give to Mom or other special women whom we’ll celebrate on Sunday. Don’t think for a minute that moms out there won’t know that the goofy or stupid cards you hand them aren’t indicative of a last minute desperate run.
Such Mother’s Day stress has been an American tradition since Anna Jarvis organized the first observance in Grafton, W.V., and Philadelphia on May 10, 1908. As Mother’s Day became more popular, Jarvis asked Congress to set aside a day to honor mothers.
That happened in 1914 when Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. And Americans have been running to stores at the last minute for cards and gifts ever since.
In the U.S. there are 43.5 million reasons to make that trek. That’s the number of women age 15 to 50 who have children in the United States, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.
The news media are making a big deal — especially this Mother’s Day — of pop singer Janet Jackson turning 50 years old May 16 and expecting her first baby. The census notes that Jackson could be among the 3.9 million women ages 15 to 50 who have given birth in the last 12 months.
Jackson is married to billionaire Wissam Al Mana. As people approaching the senior discount status, they won’t have any trouble paying a staff to run around taking care of the baby.
The census reports, however, that 35.8 percent of the women age 15 to 50 who have given birth in the last 12 months are not married. In 2015 the U.S. had 9.9 million single mothers living with children younger than age 18. In the past 12 months there were 415,617 women age 15 to 50 who had a baby and were living with a cohabiting partner.
In the U.S. there were 62.9 births per 1,000 women age 15 to 44 in 2014. That was up just shy of 1 percent from 2013.
In the U.S., 22.3 percent of women age 15 to 50 had two children; about 42.4 percent had no children; 17 percent had one child; 11.7 percent had three; and 6.8 percent had four or more.
The latter won’t likely be Janet Jackson.
The number of registered births in the U.S. in 2014 was 3.99 million, up 1 percent from 2013. The majority of the women age 16 to 50 who had a kid in the last 12 months also were in the labor force — 61.8 percent were working women. Nearly a third — 31.3 percent — had a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 86.3 percent had a high school diploma or the equivalent.
It might seem like a throwback because of ongoing trends, but in 2015 the U.S. had 5.2 million stay-at-home moms.
The most popular names in 2014 were Noah for boys and Emma for girls.
Mother’s Day will be a big money maker for florists. In 2014, there were 13,765 florists in the U.S., employing 61,170 people. They will be busy in the lead-up to Sunday.
Kansas City is home to Hallmark Cards, for those who plan to send the very best. In the U.S. 15,687 people worked by greeting card publishers in 2014.
People who know their mom’s tastes, might choose cosmetics. In the U.S. in 2014, there were 15,997 beauty supply and perfume stores.
Jewelry is another gift-giving option, and Mother’s Day is a bonanza for that industry. In 2014, there were 22,655 jewelry stores in the U.S. Necklaces, earrings, rings or other bobbles might do for gifts.
One thing Janet Jackson won’t have to worry about is the expense of day care. People who have kids in day care, know that it is far from cheap. It is an industry with 74,344 child day care businesses, employing 868,975 workers. In 2013 the U.S. had 688,728 child day care services without paid employees.
A word of caution about Mother’s Day for those who plan to call Mom on Sunday — do it early because the phone lines, especially if you are calling long distance, tend to lock up and give only a busy signal to last-minute kids regardless of their age or Mom’s.