Today – Mother’s Day here in the US – is an important day and an incredibly important topic – especially for those of us who’ve experienced childhood, developmental or attachment trauma.
For some, this day may be a wonderful celebration. Perhaps you have a loving, healthy, fulfilling relationship with your mother or a mother figure in your life. If so, I wish you a joy-filled day of celebration. 🥰
But I also know that for many others (perhaps someone you love if not you), this day can be extremely complex; bringing up all kinds of feelings from pain and anger to sadness, grief and longing.
For those of us who fall into this latter category, I want to stress one thing above all: there is no right or wrong way to feel today.
Perhaps you never had a mother figure, or had one who was or is abusive. Maybe you’re estranged or perhaps your mother is no longer living.
Every year, the media presents idyllic images and a narrative of happy families with gifts and cards filled with gushing sentiment. But what about those of us for whom there is no card, no words to describe our relationship?
We can be left isolated on the outskirts, filled with anger, guilt and shame.
If Mother’s Day is a time of sorrow or difficulty for you, here are 6 tips to help you navigate this challenging time:
1) Practice Self Care:
It’s so important to take care of yourself today. This could mean taking a long bath, going for a hike, reading a book, or doing anything else that brings you respite, comfort or peace. You are allowed to make your needs a priority today.
2) Allow Yourself to Feel:
Whatever emotions come up for you today, allow yourself to be with them, to witness them and feel them without judging yourself. I know this can be challenging, and we often want to distract ourselves to avoid feeling our grief or anger for example. But even just a couple of minutes of feeling can bring us so much relief.
Yes – my favorite! ☺️ Maybe you feel especially irritable with those around you today. This can often be a sign that there’s something waiting to be felt and processed – and a little tapping could be really helpful in doing this safely.
4) Establish Boundaries:
It’s absolutely ok to say no to activities that could cause you emotional distress today. If you’ve been invited to a family gathering, but know it will be too difficult for you, it’s ok to decline – even if you’ve already agreed to go! Your emotional well-being matters, so if you do decide to see family, please take any and all breaks that you need.
5) Seek Out Support:
Very often on days like today, we can feel so alone. It takes courage, but please reach out to a friend, coach or other trusted person for support. Sharing your feelings with someone who can listen with compassion can be incredibly validating and healing.
6) Create Your Own Traditions:
If traditional Mother’s Day celebrations are painful for you, you might want to consider creating some new traditions of your own. This could be anything from planting seeds in a veggie garden to honor your personal growth, to painting pottery, to writing in your journal or lighting a fire pit.
Last year, for example, my husband and kids bought me a White Birch sapling and together we planted it to represent my putting down roots with them (as opposed to my family of origin). Doing so was incredibly joyful and healing. And I get to watch it grow every day.🥰
As you navigate this Mother’s Day, please remember that your feelings and experiences are real and valid.
I’ll be thinking of you today and want to remind you that you’re not alone. I see you and I honor you.
I love hearing from you, so please leave a comment below letting me know if you struggle with Mother’s Day and if this blog post helped. 😀