When Mother’s Day Hurts

Mother’s Day is a day where we celebrate and honor our moms.  Many spend time with their mothers sharing in that mother/child bond.  We show our appreciation for all she did to sacrifice for us; after all, she gave us life and love.  While this may sound nice, for some, just the mention of Mother’s Day or even thinking of mom can be very painful.  There are a number of reasons why this might be happening.

For some of you, memories of childhood and your relationship with mom was extremely unpleasant.  Your relationship may have been strained, and in fact, it might still be.  Some of you experienced years of emotional pain and hurts, and even possibly endured abuse.  To add to this, you may be struggling because your mother has long since passed away and these issues are now left unresolved.

Whatever the reason, Mother’s Day can be a painful reminder of wounds and unmet emotional needs.  If you are struggling this Mother’s Day, here are some suggestions to help you work through:

Acknowledge your grief

Grief and loss is a very real and very painful process.   You may be grieving the loss of what would be considered a “normal” mother/child relationship, one where love, validation, and understanding existed.  You may be hurting from what you wish you had, or the fact that you lost your childhood due to years of emotional or even physical abuse.  Recognize that you are grieving this loss, own it, honor it.  You are hurting!

Write a letter to mom

A great way to get emotional pain out is by putting it down on paper.  Consider writing her a letter, let her know how you feel.  Think about writing it but NOT sending it so you are free to be honest.  Afterwards, read the letter out loud, let yourself cry, and then you might consider burning the letter as a way of letting go.  Depending on your situation and relationship, you may also decide to share your thoughts and feelings with her.  However, before doing this, make sure to reflect on your motivation.  If you are coming from a place of anger and desire to “get back” at her, then that will only perpetuate the cycle of pain.  Whether you choose to share with your mom or not, the most important thing is getting those feelings out in a healthy way.  It is very healing!

Spend time with a trusted friend or loved one

After focusing on the grief and pain through acknowledgement and writing, find a supportive friend and do something fun together.  Allow yourself to enjoy the day and laugh.  By separating yourself from the pain, it lifts your spirit and helps you to honor that part of you that needs to laugh.  Let your spirit be free to enjoy things in the moment.

Create a gratitude journal

We all have so many things to be grateful for in our lives.  However, when we are feeling pain and emotional wounds, it is difficult to see those blessings.  By taking the time to reflect on them and then writing them down, it forces our minds to recognize and acknowledge them.  Trust me, everyone has blessings, we just need to slow down long enough to listen.

Whatever your situation, I wish you well and hope you find the peace you long for this Mother’s Day.  If you try these things, however, and are still struggling to manage your emotions, consider talking with a professional.  Remember, it took years to build up these hurts.  Though it may not take years to tear them down, a counselor can help you see more clearly what is happening and find peace.  Wishing you a happy Mother’s Day!

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