May your troubles be short lived, moms

There is no indication as to what, specifically, the “troubles” were or when they started. Perhaps even more distressing was that there was no mention as to their cause. After all, you can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what is creating it.
The little information that could be gleaned from the small news item in the May 9, 1914 edition of The National City News revealed the issue revolved around babies and a specialist was being summoned. The notice read:


A Mother’s Department has been organized at the Baptist Church with a charter membership of fourteen.
The mothers held a very interesting meeting Thursday afternoon at the church with sixteen present. Dr. E.S. Colburn gave an instructive talk on “How to Avoid Baby Troubles”. Following the business session a social hour was enjoyed in the basement room. Refreshments were served.

The first thought that came to mind, of course, was to avoid them. Avoid having them and avoid being near them and surely any baby troubles, whatever they may be, would be avoided. Simple.

The second, more relevant idea was that it was interesting that the newspaper of record would not make mention of a presidential proclamation made the day before. Interesting but not surprising given that in 1914 the notion of 24 hour news and instantaneous messaging was lifetimes away.

Still, you would think that the genial and innocuous presidential act of declaring henceforth the second Sunday of every May as Mother’s Day, would garner some publicity. After all, while people had been observing a Mother’s day of sorts since the civil war, Woodrow Wilson’s action set it in stone nationally.

But no mention of the special day was made then or in the following week’s paper. Mother’s Day, like the women it’s named after, would be taken for granted and expected to always be there.

So here we are 110 years later, about to observe another Mother’s Day with picnics, restaurant visits, flowers and gifts honoring the women in our lives who may or may not still be with us.

Happy Mother’s Day, may all your baby troubles be fleeting.