May 8 marks Mother’s Day in the U.S. On Sunday sons, daughters, and husbands will be preparing breakfast in bed, a floral bouquet, or taking part in a family brunch as a way to show mom they appreciate all she does.
But what happens globally on Mother’s Day?
During the 20th century, Mother’s Day in Japan fell on the birthday of Empress Kojun. Usually, Japanese men gift their mothers with red roses and carnations. Like the United States, it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May each year.
Since 1922, Germany has observed Mother’s Day. It is usually held on the second Sunday of May, unless it falls on Pentecost. The maternal holiday was first introduced in Western Europe by the Swiss, who dedicated a day to moms in 1917. Germans will show their affection for mom with cards and flowers.
For some countries, Mother’s Day has religious roots. Argentina once celebrated women in conjunction with the liturgical date for the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Oct. 11. It has since been moved to the third Sunday in October, still taking place during Argentina’s spectacular Spring.
What I find even more interesting is how companies worldwide recognize mothers, and not just for Mothers Day. Here are five things companies do to support mothers (and parents):
New moms can take pre- and post-birth paid leave. Companies, such as Amazon and General Electric, extend that policy to new parents (adoptive or biological) and dads. Many countries, including Europe, have adopted legislation that guarantee those incentives for all employees. Some paid leave can be up to a year and the employee’s job is still waiting for them when they return to work.
Offering flexible working time allows parents to schedule doctors appointments for children, and to accommodate their children’s school or sports calendars.
Corporate offices have dedicated pumping rooms for the breast-feeding mom.
Daycare is an increasing cost for parents. Companies are responding by providing onsite child care or benefits to help with the cost of child care.
Management — men and women — are becoming role-models, speaking out about their family and children obligations to normalize the discussion in the workplace.
Offering those types of benefits to employees not only provides relief to the family, it also works as an incentive for companies to attract and keep top talent.
How are you or your company considering celebrating mothers and parents this month?
Image credit: Fotolia/maros_bauer