To all the moms I loved before . . .

By Don Rush

Kinda’ hard to believe that this Sunday we all celebrate Mom. It’s almost Mothers Day already, for crying out loud. That means the year is almost half over already. Yikes.
In years past I have gotten all mushy when talking about the wonderfulness of moms. This will be the first year my sisters and I will celebrate without our own mother. I’m still thankful for her and for Jennie, mother for Shamus and Sean. My sons are lucky they have their mother. She balanced out the goofiness I brought to the parenting table.
That said, I figured 2022 will be a non-sappy year with a non-sappy, emotionless Don’t Rush Me Mothers Day column. Just the cold hard facts, ma’am. So, without further eloquence . . .
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While moms have held a special place in the hearts of all who ever were, there was a time when there was no “Mother’s Day.” According to my sources, the driving force behind Mother’s Day was Anna Jarvis. Anna must have loved her dear old mom, ‘cuz she organized observances in Grafton, W.Va., and Philadelphia on May 10, 1908. That was 114 years ago.
While the annual celebration spread around the country, Jarvis began lobbying politicians to set aside a day to honor mothers. She finally succeeded in 1914, when Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
And, the rest is as they say, history.
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The next bit o’ information I have is from the United States Census Bureau. How many mothers are there across our fruited plains? The latest numbers (2020) estimate there are 85 million moms in the U.S.
According to an article by Pew Research, “Today, about a third (34%) of women ages 18-64 have young children at home; in 1960, 52% did. And women are having children at a later age than they used to. In 2012, the average age of a first-time mother was 25.8 years, up from 21.4 years in 1970.”
The article also said, “The marital status of mothers has also changed dramatically. In 1960, nearly all mothers with young children were married, compared with just seven-in-ten today. About four-in-ten (41%) of all births today are to unmarried women; up from just 5% of births in 1960.”
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In 1976 the percentage of women, between the ages of 40 and 44, who were moms was 90 percent. In 2001, that percentage dropped to 81 percent.
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How many kids are U.S. moms having these days? According the Pew, “in the late 1970s, the average mother at the end of her childbearing years had given birth to more than three children. Since that time, average family size has declined, driven largely by declines in families with four or more children. Now, moms have 2.4 children on average – a number that has been fairly stable for two decades. (Nothing personal, but I’d hate to be the .4 kid.)
According to the research, the two-child family is the most common family type among moms with a high school diploma or more, and it is particularly prevalent among women with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Some 46% of women ages 40 to 44 with a bachelor’s degree have two children, as do half of those with at least a master’s degree. One third (32%) of women who lack a high school diploma have two children, as do 38% of those with a high school diploma or some college experience.
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According to the Center for Disease Control, United States moms had 3,613,647 babies in 2020. 40.5 percent were not married and the mean age for first births was 27.1 years old.
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In 2020 the number of twin births was 112,437; the number of triplet births was 2,738 and the number of quadruplet and other higher order births: 137. The twin birth rate was 31.1 per 1,000 live births; triplet or higher order birth rate: 79.6 per 100,000 live births
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July through October are the busiest birth months, with August typically having the highest number of births.
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According to the US. Social Security folks, over the last 100 years, mom’s named their daughters Mary the most, with 3,196,385 Mary’s being born. Most popular for boy babies was James (4,700,229).
In the last 100 years moms only named their sons Donald, 1,336,753 times. Expectant moms, I think Donalds are going extinct, so help me keep the name alive. Name your sons, Donald. It’s a good strong name of Celtic origins meaning, “ruler of the world.”
So, there you go. Give your mom a hug!
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