On August 31, 1980, then President Jimmy Carter proclaimed a day of recognition for American mothers taking on important responsibilities outside the home. This was the first official Working Mother's Day.
His successor, President Ronald Reagan, again recognized the Working Mothers of America by proclaiming September 5, 1982 Working Mother's Day. Both Sundays, as the nation prepared to enjoy a Monday off of work for Labor Day, these two presidents asked us to remember the uniquely challenging and important work of mothers working outside the home.
However, subsequent presidents failed to follow suit. Despite the growing number of women reentering the workforce after having children, Working Mother's Day has not been celebrated nationally since 1982. Why are working mothers no longer within the purview of our federal administration? What happened to Working Mother's Day?
In Jimmy Carter's words:
"On the job and in the home, working mothers are making a vital contribution to the national economy and to the strength of the American family. Working mothers do not shed homemaking and parental responsibilities; they merely add the demands of a job to those of wife and mother. As we recognize the hard work and dedication of these women, we also acknowledge the many special problems they confront in meeting their dual responsibilities. We have an obligation to reinforce and support them in their endeavors."
August 31, 2008: Don't forget to recognize the working mothers who make a difference in your life.