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Sometimes Mother’s Day sucks.
You know what else sucks sometimes? Motherhood. And having a mother sucks sometimes, too.
It can all be really complicated, confusing, frustrating, and flat-out painful.
If you relate to that, it’s okay. You aren’t alone.
Reasons Mother’s Day sucks:
It can be a hard day for people for so many reasons, including:
- Their own mom has passed away
- Troubled relationships with their mom
- Feeling like they aren’t a good enough mom
- Their child has passed away
- Children who are sick or in pain
- Children live far away
- Want to be a mother badly, but it hasn’t happened
- Have decided not to have children and society won’t let it be
- Working on Mother’s Day to pay the rent even though they’d much rather be home with loved ones
- Complicated relationships with children
- Foster care
- Stepmother situations
- Nontraditional families without a mother
- And many more reasons
It’s okay to be sad today. It’s okay to be sad any day, actually.
How to make the day easier for other people?
You don’t know what people are going through. Your neighbor, sister or best friend could be dealing with something I just listed and never discussed it with you. The elderly women in the grocery store or the teenage barista could be struggling. Be kind and gentle to everyone. Always, but especially on Mother’s Day.
If you know Mother’s Day sucks for someone you care about, check in them. Make plans for coffee, a yoga class, shopping, etc. for sometime soon. Let them know you’re thinking of them and are available if they want to talk. Tell them you see them and they’re doing a great job.
My experience with Mother’s Day:
My relationship with my daughter carries the weight of relationships she had with many mother figures before me. I didn’t become her mom until she was nine. I’m her last mom, but not her first by far. She said it best on Mother’s Day when she was 10: “Adoption is complicated.”
Mother’s Day is especially hard for many adopted and foster children. There have been many tears, meltdowns, disappointments, frustrations and tantrums from both of us on this day over the years.
She was hospitalized one Mother’s Day because the anxiety and depression of the trauma she endured before I met her became too heavy to hold without professional help. She was living with her dad and not speaking to me last year. So when I say I understand Mother’s Day is sometimes really freaking hard, it’s a true story.
My relationship with my mom is also messy. I’ve chosen to focus my energy on my daughter. It’s not a rejection of my own mother. I just don’t have enough to spread around and my child is my priority.
What to do if Mother’s Day sucks:
Stop trying to force the day to be special. If it’s hard for your you, that’s okay. Give yourself permission to skip it.
Avoid restaurants and other hospitality venues that will be filled with families celebrating and staff who have been trained to wish all women a Happy Mom’s Day.
What can you do instead?
Whatever you want! Take some time to yourself. If your kids are small, leave them with your partner or call in a babysitter. Then focus on some self-care. Here are 21 ideas of how to spend your time:
- Wander aimlessly around Target
- See a movie
- Walk on the beach
- Go to the gym
- Get coffee and read
- Take a long bubble bath
- Get a pedicure
- Have a massage
- Take a NAP!
- Treat yourself to your favorite meal
- Binge Netflix on your couch
- Go on a road trip
- Hang out with friends who are in a similar situation
- Spend some time being creative (paint, write, etc.)
- Hit a few Goodwill stores
- Lounge by a pool
- Pet some puppies or kitties at a shelter
- Start a garden
- Blast your favorite music (Lizzo for me) and organize a room in your house
- See a play
- Go to a concert
I have a bonus teenage girl living with me this year. Like my daughter, she’s had numerous moms. We’ve kept the day low key. We went to a drag queen brunch, but have otherwise been doing our own things. One girl went to work at her fast food job. The other is taking an epic nap. I’m about to ride my adorable bicycle to the pool.
There weren’t gifts or letters declaring my awesomeness. It’s okay. I’d rather have calmness for all of us. Because…yeah, Mother’s Day sucks sometimes, especially when you try to force it.
You are important. You are worth celebrating every day. So drop the Hallmark ideas and honor yourself. You are enough. So very enough.
So stop dust yourself off and do something nice just for you. I suggest making a purchase for something super fun at LoveHoney like my beloved Womanizer. Or book a cruise to give yourself something to look forward to! 4 Night Baja Mexico Cruises from $179 on Carnival, only at Cruisedirect.com. 50% Reduced Deposits, Plus Up to $500 to Spend On Board!