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The woman who created Mother's Day would have hated how we celebrate it today.

Mums around the country were spoiled with flowers, gifts and maybe breakfast in bed on Sunday all in the name of Mother’s Day.

It was an opportunity for kids to do what we really should be doing all year round – saying thank you to the woman we love for all she does for us.

And while that sentiment is in the spirit of the inventor of the holiday’s wishes, she really would have hated the Mother’s Day of 2017.

Listen: Andrew Daddo’s daughter Annouk weighs in on a kid-free Mother’s Day.

Anna Jarvis, who invented Mother’s Day, would have scoffed at the jewellery ads that dominate media in the lead-up to the big day and been enraged by the annual spike in greeting card sales.

How do we know this? Well, the so-called commercialisation of the day had already begun when Jarvis was alive, and she did not like it, according to historian Katharine Antolini.

When studying the history of Mother’s Day, Antolini found that in the years that followed her mother Ann Jarvis’ death in May 1905, Anna began the day as a tribute to her mother. (That’s why the day falls on the second Sunday in May).

After the first Mother’s Day service one morning in 1908 at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, Jarvis campaigned for the day to be recognised as a national holiday. And in 1914 it was, though at the time aimed specifically at honouring mother’s whose sons died at war.

Anna Jarvis created the day to honour her mother Ann Jarvis. (Image via Getty.)
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Jarvis wanted the day to remain a rather serious affair, designed to pay tribute to mothers like her own - not an opportunity for chocolatiers and florists to cash in.

So, when she saw Mother's Day salad on a menu of a tearoom owned by her friend, she ordered it and promptly dumped it on the floor.

This was part of ultimately fruitless campaign to keep the day free from advertising gimmicks, which Antolini said saw Jarvis threatening lawsuits and writing letters.

Antolini told The Washington Post Jarvis wrote letters to politicians, issued news releases, organised protests, fought with Eleanor Roosevelt and demanded to speak to presidents, among other actions.

"It became a part of her identity," the historian said, adding that Jarvis would not have liked that she isn't remembered as the founder.

"It was completely tied up in her ego."

Having spent all her money fighting Mother's Day's commercialisation, Jarvis died in alone, blind and penniless in a psychiatric facility aged 84.

But even if the legacy left behind is not the one she had hoped for, there's no doubt that Anna Jarvis' truest intentions for Mother's Day remain intact in all those children who celebrate it.

Even if we do buy our mums a gift too.

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