The first Mother’s Day celebrations were organized by Anna Jarvis on May 10, 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia, and Philadelphia. Jarvis became the leader for the Mother’s Day movement as the annual celebration became popular across the nation. She asked Congress to set aside a day to honor mothers, and she was successful in 1914, when Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day spending is expected to total $31.7 billion this year, up $3.6 billion from 2021’s record spending, according to a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation. About 84 percent of U.S. adults are expected to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Consumers are planning to spend $25 more this year on Mother’s Day purchases and are expected to spend a record average of $245.76.
Jewelry purchases and special outings such as dinner or brunch are responsible for this year’s spending increases, marking a record in the survey’s history for average spending in both categories. The survey has been conducted for the federation since 2003.
There’s also more interest in the number of shoppers seeking gifts that can’t be wrapped. Gifts of experience such as concert or sporting event tickets will be given by 27 percent of Mother’s Day shoppers, up from 23 percent last year and the highest since the federation started tracking this category in 2016.
More than half of consumers, 57 percent, are planning to spend an average of $40.90 on a special outing such as dinner or brunch.
Greeting cards and flowers continue to be popular gifts with 75 percent of shoppers planning to buy greeting cards and 72 percent planning to buy traditional Mother’s Day bouquets.
Shoppers also are looking for meaningful Mother’s Day gifts, with 46 percent of those surveyed interested in finding a gift that’s unique or different and 41 percent looking for a gift that creates a special memory.
Thirty-nine percent of consumers are planning on gifting product subscription services such as Birchbox or Stitch Fix, for an ongoing Mother’s Day gift.
Facts and figures
From the Pew Research Center:
In 2016, 86 percent of women ages 40 to 44 were mothers, compared with 80 percent in 2006.
The median age at which women become mothers in the U.S. is 26, up from 23 in 1994.
In 2016, moms spent around 25 hours a week on paid work, up from nine hours in 1965. At the same time, they spent 14 hours a week on child care, up from 10 hours a week in 1965.
While most U.S. mothers are married, 68 percent, nearly one-quarter, 24percent, are single moms.
In an October 2020 survey reflecting pandemic times, about a quarter, 27 percent, of mothers with children younger than 18 at home said that at that point in their life, the best work arrangement for them personally would be not working for pay at all, up from 19 percent who said so in a summer 2019 survey.
Among working parents with children under age 18 at home, mothers were generally more likely than fathers to say that, since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, they faced a variety of professional challenges.
From the U.S. Census Bureau:
The majority, 70.1 percent, of the nation’s children under age 18 lived with two parents, 21.4 percent lived with their mother, 4.4 percent with their father, and 4 percent didn’t live with a parent in 2019. While most of the children living with two parents lived with married parents, 4.4 percent lived with two unmarried parents, of which half, 51.7 percent, were between the ages of 0 and 5.
When working women have children, they experience a permanent setback in their likelihood of working and a big but temporary drop in earnings.
For women who only have one child, the rate of workforce participation remains at a lower level than before birth, but stabilizes. However, later births decrease workforce participation further.
There are no major differences in earnings between working mothers with just one child and those with multiple children.
Of parents with children under age 21 who had nonresident parents, just over one-quarter, 27.5 percent, received child support payments in 2017.
Median annual child support received was $3,328 for parents receiving any support but was 33.1 percent higher for those who received it regularly, $4,431.
Best states for working moms
Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and nearly 68 percent of moms with children under age 18 were working in 2021.
The best states for working moms are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
The worst states for working moms are Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.