With Mother’s Day upon us, it’s important to remember that it is not always a joyous occasion for everyone. Although for many, Mother’s Day provides the opportunity to celebrate and appreciate a special relationship, this is not the case for everyone. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and it is important to bear this in mind. Here is some advice for those who struggle on Mothers’ Day…
If you have lost your mother
The gap left by loss can feel even larger with constant reminders of maternal celebration in every shop and Facebook advert. However, you don’t have to pretend to be fine or avoid talking about your mother. If you feel you can, talk about her and the fond memories you shared and feel comforted by her impact in your life.
If you know someone that has lost their mum, don’t be afraid to talk about them. Often those that have lost loved ones will love to talk about them. It helps them to relive memories and, although they may get emotional, it’s an important process to grieving.
If you have lost a child
The pain of losing a child is incomprehensible to many. Although death is a natural part of life, there is nothing that feels more cruel and unnatural than having to mourn your child. Mother’s Day can trigger uncomfortable and painful emotions, especially in the age of social media parenting where photos of homemade cards and happy families can dominate your news feed.
It’s important to remember that it is natural to find Mother’s Day difficult and there is absolutely no shame in struggling. Allow yourself the space to grieve and remember your child in your own way. Reach out to loved ones and seek extra support if you need it.
If you know someone who has lost their child, don’t pressure them to discuss their feelings but let them know you are there for them if they need you. Many people would benefit from sharing happy memories or having a shoulder to cry on. Let them control how they seek comfort or support and avoid enforcing your opinion of what’s best for them.
If you are struggling to conceive
There are many different reasons why some people struggle to conceive. This struggle can be a very stressful time and a day dedicated to mothers can be hard to get through. If this is the case, reach out to loved ones and share how you are feeling. Take the opportunity to focus on your wellbeing and take a self-care day. Even if you have a busy day, do at least one thing that will lift your mood.
If you know someone who is struggling to conceive, try not to overload them talking about Mother’s Day. Treat them with care and consideration. Speak to them about other topics as you usually would, but them know they can talk to you if they want to.
It’s OK not to be OK on Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day can be difficult for many; whether for these reasons or others, such as strained or distant maternal relationships. If this is the case, remember it is always OK to struggle with your feelings and it’s important to reach out to those you are close with.
Even if these situations don’t apply to you, it is possible that someone in your life or social network is struggling with Mother’s Day. So, when you are celebrating and sharing your posts on social media, be respectful and remember that not everyone is able to celebrate the day.
Be compassionate and considerate when you post or discuss Mother’s Day. Remember to be kind and to support yourself and the people in your life, on this day and every other day.
If you need support for some of the issues described in Gayleen’s blog, please follow this link to access support. Our peer-support groups can help with these issues.