Mother’s Day is a celebration to honour mothers and all the hard work they put in to raise their children. However, for some people, the day itself can be extremely challenging. It can be a painful reminder of loss, grief, or feelings of inadequacy each year.
Loss and Grief
Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for many, especially for those who have lost their mothers. The pain of this loss can be felt for years, and the memories that surface on this day can evoke a deep sense of sadness. This is especially true for those who have recently experienced the loss of their mothers.
However, if you have lost your mother, it can be helpful to take time to remember her and the cherished memories you shared together. One way to honour her memory on the day is by doing something special, like lighting a candle or preparing her favourite meal. These gestures can help keep her spirit alive and offer comfort during this difficult time. Allowing yourself time to grieve is extremely important.
It’s understandable that Mother’s Day can also be challenging for people who are not in contact with their mothers for whatever reason. Acknowledge your emotions and allow yourself to feel them. You don’t have to spend the day alone. Reach out to other people in your life, like friends, family members, or other loved ones, and spend time with them. Treat yourself to something that makes you happy, like going for a walk, reading a book, or watching a movie.
Another reason why Mother’s Day can be challenging for some is that they feel inadequate as mothers themselves. Comparing yourself to other mothers on social media can be detrimental to your mental health and well-being. Social media platforms are often filled with carefully curated images of mothers who appear to have it all together. However, these images do not reflect the realities of motherhood, which can be messy, challenging, and unpredictable. This can create feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and anxiety. You may start to feel like you’re not doing enough, or that you’re not measuring up to the expectations of others. Unfortunately, this can lead to a negative cycle of self-criticism and low self-esteem. So, instead of comparing yourself to others, try to focus on your own journey and the unique challenges and joys of motherhood. Remember that everyone’s experience is different and that it’s okay to have good days and bad days. Focus on what makes you and your family happy and fulfilled. By doing so, you’ll cultivate a sense of self-worth and self-confidence grounded in your own experiences and values. Take some time to reflect on what you are proud of as a mother and the positive impact you have on your children’s lives.
Mother’s Day can also be a struggle for people who have difficult relationships with their mothers or children. For some, the day may bring up painful memories of abuse, neglect, or other hurtful experiences. If this is the case for you it is important to prioritise your own mental health and well-being.
One way to do this is by setting boundaries and limiting your exposure to triggers that may intensify negative emotions. You might choose to avoid social media or take a break from certain family members or activities that are likely to exacerbate your distress.
Mother’s Day can be challenging for a variety of reasons, but whatever these may be, please know you are not alone. There are many people going through the same challenges as you and it’s perfectly okay to acknowledge and honour your emotions. Remember the day lasts for just 24 hours so make a plan to fill the day with positive things that brings you joy or spend time with people who support and love you.
If you’re experiencing challenging times you might like to consider chatting with one of our trained mentors here at Trauma Research UK. Find out more here…