Coping with Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day can be a wonderful time of celebration ….. children coming into your bedroom on that special day, proudly bringing their homemade cards and a cup of tea (if you’re lucky). But for many, the day, and the time leading up to it, can be a reminder of painful times. You might be grieving for your own mum, or child, or coming to terms with not being able to be a mother yourself. You might be painfully aware that your relationship with your mother or child isn’t perfect. Below are some tips on coping with Mother’s Day and getting through the day in the best way for you.
Just like Christmas time, we can’t fail to be aware that it’s coming up to Mother’s Day. The television adverts are full of ways to show your mother how much you love her, and how to spend the day (and your money). They depict the idealised family – all the family sitting around the table together, sharing love and laughter. On Mother’s Day itself, our social media feeds will seem to be a competition about the perfect mother/daughter/son relationship, and who loves who the most. The reality for many, just like Christmas time, isn’t anywhere near that. There can be so many reasons that we struggle to cope with Mother’s Day, and these “perfect” relationships can make us feel even worse.
Mother’s Day can trigger lots of different emotions – sadness about loss of a loved one, anger and disappointment about a relationship that hasn’t provided the love that you wanted. It can also bring about feelings of shame and failure about not being the mother that you expected to be.
If Mother’s Day is difficult for you, here is some advice on getting through this time of year.
Advice on Coping with Mother’s Day
Acknowledge your feelings
Whatever you feel on Mother’s Day, your emotions are real and valid. Don’t try to run away from them (tempting though that is, at times). Recognise and acknowledge your feelings. Talk to someone about them, if it helps. A friend or member of your family might be feeling something similar and it can help to feel that you’re not alone.
If you know that looking at other’s people’s Facebook or Instagram posts are going to make you upset, avoid social media for the day. Similarly, if television adverts or the card aisle in the supermarket makes you feel lousy, avoid them too.
Have a think beforehand about how you would like to spend the day. If your mother has passed away, you might like to think about a special way to remember her on the day – maybe visiting a place that was important to her, or planting a flower in your garden. You might want to get away completely and hike up a mountain or be next to the sea. Do something that works for you.
Put yourself and your feelings first. Choose to do what is best for you, rather than what you think is expected of you. Difficult times need us to look after ourselves, physically and mentally. You might want to treat yourself on the day – watch your favourite film or read the book that you’ve been planning to read for ages. You can buy yourself a little gift for the day, if you feel that you’re missing out – something a little bit indulgent that would make the day special for you.
Write a card
Your mum might not be with you anymore, but you can still write her a card, expressing how you feel. Some people find comfort in planting it with a new flower for the garden.
Sometimes it can be too difficult to talk about how you’re feeling to family and friends. Talking to a professional counsellor can help you make sense of your relationship with your mother or child, and to find a place of acceptance.
If you’d like to find out more about how counselling could help you with coping with Mother’s Day, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Only One Mother
By an Unknown Author
Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky,
Hundreds of shells on the shore together,
Hundreds of birds that go singing by,
Hundreds of birds in the sunny weather.
Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.