Mother's Day can be a tough time if you have a complicated experience of being or having a mother. This could be because your mother has died, you and your mother have a strained or estranged relationship, or perhaps because you want children but are struggling to become a mother.
It’s important to take care of yourself as you go through a time that brings up a lot of difficult feelings. Here are a few tips on how to get started.
Acknowledge your feelings
There’s no right or wrong way to feel on Mother’s Day. It's okay to feel sad, angry, numb, hurt, or any combination of complicated emotions. Writing in a journal or noticing how these emotions feel in your body can help you understand and accept your experience. Allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel, without shame. Your experience is valid.
Be gentle with yourself
Don’t push yourself too hard on Mother's Day. Instead, think of activities that will help you feel good and decompress, even if they’re just something small. This could be taking a nap, reading a book, or going for a walk. Having this downtime can help make sure you have the space to go through any emotional experience the day might bring up for you.
Spend time with people you love
Consider connecting with close friends or other family members on Mother's Day. They can be a source of distraction and help cheer you up if that’s the kind of support you need. If you are close with people who have similar experiences with mothers or motherhood as you do, sharing those feelings of grief, loss, or anger together can be very powerful. Above all, surrounding yourself with people who care about you on this day can remind you of how much you are valued and loved.
Avoid social media
If you find that social media makes you feel bad on Mother's Day, it's okay to take a break from it. A flood of posts of pictures of people with their moms or captions of platitudes about Mother's Day can feel alienating. Remember that despite the carefully curated content of social media, the truth is many people have complicated relationships with their mothers or with motherhood. You're not alone in feeling this way, and it’s not fair to compare the complexities of your experience with those seemingly “perfect” images.
If you're struggling to cope with Mother's Day, it could be a sign that it’s time to grapple with bigger feelings about your experiences with your mother or with motherhood. Connecting with a therapist can help you find perspective and clarity. We’re ready to help — to learn more, click the button below to schedule a free phone consultation.