We’re almost at that special time of the year when we celebrate mothers across the world – a day especially dedicated to honoring the women who nurture us and shower us with selfless, unconditional love and support. We mark this occasion by honoring their hard work, sacrifices, and their incredible resilience, which often form the glue that holds families together. Celebrating this occasion by pampering mothers with gifts, flowers, breakfast in bed, or memorable experiences are just a few ways of expressing our appreciation for all that they do. However, for a lot of people, Mother’s Day can be less of a joyous occasion and more of an awkward experience, or a painful reminder of things that are amiss in their lives. It can be a day fraught with emotions for those who have a complicated relationship with their mother or children, for those who have lost their mothers or for mothers who have lost a child, to only name a few. Not everyone has the privilege of having picture-perfect relationships with their families. So, for Mother’s Day this year, aim to give the gift of kindness and compassion to anyone you know who may be hiding behind a smile.
- For the mothers who are struggling. If you are a single mom or a working mom, spending every moment of each day juggling a myriad of responsibilities trying to keep your family afloat. If you are facing financial difficulties and your family does not have the means or circumstances to celebrate this day. If you are a stepmom fielding off your stepchildren’s animosity. Or if you are traumatized from your recent miscarriage or feel exhausted from your battle with infertility. Just know that you are enough. Know that you are doing your best to make the most out of difficult circumstances and that your troubles are not a reflection of your failures as a parent or a nurturer. Take a moment on this day to dismiss any unfounded notions of your own inadequacy, and instead, celebrate your achievements and accomplishments, however big or small.
- For those who are estranged from their mothers. If there is one thing the pandemic taught us, is that life is unpredictable and uncertain, and taking things for granted can lead to regret and unhappiness in the future. Regardless of what might have originally led to your strained relationship, consider taking this opportunity to reconnect with your mother. While it might be unrealistic to expect that your relationship will blossom in a day, taking the first step in trying to communicate honestly and productively to truly understand and appreciate each other’s perspective may ultimately pave the way for healing and forgiveness, not just for each other but for yourself as well. You may not be able to erase any past hurt or unpleasant memories, and like any relationship, it will take time, patience, and persistence to rebuild. But there is no better time than the present to start working on it.
- For those grieving a loved one. Mother’s Day can be a particularly emotional and distressing time for those whose mothers have passed away. Or for mothers who have lost a child. Their absence in your life can be amplified by watching everyone else around you celebrate this happy occasion. While there may be no quick formula to overcome your grief, you can honor them by reminiscing about your favorite memories of them or engaging in an activity that you used to enjoy doing together. Perhaps you can even donate your time and effort to a cause that was important to them or start a charity in their vision. Not only can this keep their spirit alive, but actively doing something meaningful in their honor can also help you cope with your loss. If you happen to know someone in your life who has lost a mother or a child, do not hesitate to reach out to them on this day to let them know that you are there for them, and perhaps even share your own favorite memory of their mother or child. Create a safe space for them to share their feelings and talk about their loss, should they choose to. In doing so, they may be able to able to gain some peace and closure, and not feel completely alone in their grief.
I hope you all find a way to make this day meaningful, for yourself and for someone you love.