Mother’s Day is supposed to be a happy day when we celebrate our beloved mothers.
Experiencing sadness on special occasions is a normal part of our human experience and the loss and longing we may fee;. These special days often serve as a reminder of what we have let go of or what we don’t or can’t have.
Many adults struggle with how to deal with difficult relationships with their mothers that can be unhealthy, toxic or harmful.
On a day when everyone is celebrating and showing appreciation to their mothers, it can be hard to know how to feel and react when your relationship with your mother is tense or non-existent.
So how do you approach Mother’s Day when you may at best be ambivalent about your mother, or — you have no existing relationship with her?
If that is the case, then even the mere awareness of the difficulties of family life can be a good start.
Much of who we are today was shaped for us, not by us. The person you are now has been strongly influenced by past events and experiences, especially an upbringing over which we have little or no control. In some cases these experiences are so complex that it is impossible to define them unequivocally. Just knowing it can make us softer and more accepting of our own nature.
Mother’s Day or not—be kind to yourself
Especially on such a sensitive day as Mother’s Day, take care of your own inner voice. You can try to adapt your inner voice to be especially gentle. Scientists have found that higher levels of self-compassion are associated with better health. When we respond to our personal struggles with a kind and understanding attitude, we enjoy stress reduction and a more positive outlook.
Accept how you truly feel
If Mother’s Day is difficult for you, allow yourself to mourn. When these kinds of special occasions come, we often make demands on ourselves to feel a certain way. You may be thinking, “This is a special occasion. I have to put on a happy face and just get through the day. ” But it’s okay to feel sad, hurt, abandoned, cry, and live the day your way.
It’s also helpful to realize that your emotions aren’t good or bad. They just exist and tell us about what is happening in our lives.
Another thing you can do if you are having a hard time on Mother’s Day is take some action. While doing something unique when you’re sad may feel a bit overwhelming, it’s important because it helps us face our feelings directly. Many people find it easier to hide their sadness or push away these negative emotions. But in fact the opposite is true. Healing comes only when you acknowledge and accept as real what is difficult and painful for you. This attitude opens up the possibility of further work with a trauma or a difficult relationship. The type of action you can take on a difficult day depends only on your personality, opportunities and the nature of the loss. For example, if you have lost your mother, you can write her a letter and express everything you would like to say to her if you had the opportunity.
Listen to your needs
Spend Mother’s Day with your loved ones only if they support you and don’t cause additional stress. Otherwise, if that’s what you need to feel safe—take care of yourself and your needs by avoiding family gatherings. Set limits and take care of your well-being. Give yourself permission to give up situations that are exacerbating your stress.
Remember—you are not alone
Today we are sending you a lot of love and support in the difficulties you face.