When It's a "Not So Happy" Mother's Day

Friend: Mother's Day is coming up! Have you guys decided what to do for your moms yet!? You: Uhhh, not really. (Hoping the subject will change) Friend: Well, I'm taking my mom on spa day and then out to dinner. She really is my best friend. I can't wait to see her! Friend 2: Yeah, I'm going to visit mom, I haven't seen her in a while and really miss her. You: Sounds nice... (With a detached smile) Friend: ...Well Mother's Day is a right around the corner, you haven't figure out NOTHING?! You: I'm sure I'll put figure something out... but I'llllll talk to you guys later...

Does this conversation sound familiar?

Here is everyone else excited to celebrate Mother's Day with their mommies...and you are dreading it. Feeling uncomfortable. Embarrassed. Down. Sad. Angry. All that's popping up for you are all the times you two fought and bumped heads. The times she's really disappointed you or the fact that you two have never had a good relationship from the start. Or, that you did have a loving relationship with your mom but she is gone now, and it's hurts. Bad.

If this is you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

For so many people, Mother's Day or holiday's are a reminder that:

  1. You lost your mother and she is no longer with you.

  2. You have a broken/strained/difficult relationship with your mother.

  3. You don't even know your mother or have very few encounters together.

It's tough processing these emotions on a day that floods your social media, email, billboards, shopping specials and TV with happy mother-daughter relationships...and you can't relate.

But, though this is a special day, it's still just a holiday and one day out of 365. Meaning, don't steer off your track of healing and get depressed.


Here are a few ways you can spend this holiday if you are feeling down:

  • When uncomfortable or heavy emotions surface, process them with honesty. Write it out in a journal or just verbally vent out loud to God or a friend what you feel. It's okay to grieve, to feel what you feel. Let those emotions flow out, and then shift to appreciation. Recall happy moments you two have shared together. You can find SOMETHING to be appreciative about as it concerns your mother. Even if its just acknowledging that because of her, you have a life.

  • Gosh, I can only imagine how tough Mother's Day is when your mom isn't around. I'm sorry for your lost and pray comfort surrounds you not just this day but always. While grieving, sometimes it's best not to be alone. Get with your other family members and those who shared love with your mommy so that you all may support each other during bereavement. Do/suggestion something special in her loving memory. But, maybe you do want to be alone on this day and that's okay too. Do what is best for you.

  • If you are a mommy, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! Allow the love and appreciation shown on this day to uplift you. You can even do something nice for yourself instead of or after processing a difficult or grieving relationship with your own mother.

  • Write a letter to your mom. Express to her what you are feeling today and why. You don't even have to send it. Just release those heavy emotions.

  • Celebrate a mommy you admire. It can be a friend, a grandmother, a coworker, a woman that has been a mother figure, a neighbor, it can even be you! Uplifting someone else will automatically uplift you.

  • Call/visit your mom or do something small and meaningful. Even if you aren't on good terms, just say Happy Mother's Day. Maybe you don't feel truthful by going all out with lavish gifts and dinners, but something simple can still be thoughtful.

  • Do something completely not related to Mother's Day. I get it. Some experiences are deeply traumatic and this day is only serving as a trigger. Find something to do that takes you completely away from the holiday all together. (Volunteer for a cause important to you, go to the movies, shopping, rest, walk in the park, have a cleaning day, etc.)

  • Get with another friend who is experiencing the same challenge as you during this holiday. But look, don't get together to have a bashing session of your mothers. Support and encourage each other, and do something fun!

*Happy Mother's Day to the mommies that strive to give unconditional love and support. To mommies who are intentional about breaking the cycle and do their best even when it's difficult. Even those who aren't your children see all that you do, and we thank you mommy!

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