My Mother's Day Sucked, Now What?

My Mother's Day Sucked, Now What?

Nichelle Haynes, DO

For some, Mother’s Day is something to look forward to and is actually a restful wonderful day of celebration. But, for the majority of people I’ve talked to I hear a mix of emotions related to the difficulty with relationships with their own mothers, their relationship with their children, infertility, loss or other challenges related to how they’re celebrated as a Mother.

If you're finding yourself searching “my mother’s day sucked” you're not alone. Here are some actionable steps to help navigate this difficult time:

  1. Acknowledge Your Feelings: It's okay to feel sad, angry, or frustrated, even amidst the sea of Mother's Day celebrations. Denying or suppressing your emotions doesn’t help you feel better, it just pushes down the reality of your experience. Take a moment to acknowledge what you're feeling, without judgment. Your emotions are valid, and it's essential to give yourself permission to experience them.
  2. Reach Out for Support: You don't have to go through this alone. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist who can offer support and understanding. Sometimes, just having someone to listen can make a world of difference. If you prefer a more structured support system, consider joining a support group for individuals experiencing similar challenges. Sharing your feelings with others who understand can provide a sense of validation and connection.
  3. Create Your Own Rituals: Instead of dreading Mother's Day, consider reframing it as an opportunity to honor yourself and your journey. Create your own rituals or traditions that bring you comfort and joy. This could be anything from spending the day pampering yourself with self-care activities to engaging in a meaningful act of kindness or creativity. Choose activities that resonate with you and align with your values, allowing yourself to reclaim the day in a way that feels authentic and empowering.
  4. Practice Self-Compassion: Be gentle with yourself, especially on days when your emotions feel overwhelming. Practice self-compassion by treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a dear friend. Remind yourself that it's okay to take breaks, set boundaries, and prioritize your well-being. Give yourself permission to say no to activities or social gatherings that feel too triggering or draining.
  5. Focus on Gratitude: While it's natural to grieve the losses and challenges you've faced on your journey to motherhood, try to also cultivate a sense of gratitude for the blessings in your life after you’ve acknowledged the complexity of your experience. This could be gratitude for supportive relationships, moments of joy and beauty, or the strength and resilience you've discovered within yourself. Practicing gratitude doesn't mean ignoring your pain; rather, it's about finding moments of light amidst the darkness and acknowledging the small blessings that bring comfort and hope.
  6. Seek Professional Help if Needed: If you find that your emotions are significantly impacting your daily life or mental well-being, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A perinatal psychiatrist or therapist specializing in reproductive mental health can offer personalized support and coping strategies tailored to your unique needs. Whether it's through individual therapy, medication management, or other therapeutic interventions, there are resources available to help you navigate this challenging time with compassion and resilience.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to feel after Mother's Day, and it's okay if your experience doesn't match the societal expectations of the holiday. Give yourself permission to honor your truth, embrace your emotions, and take whatever steps you need to prioritize your emotional well-being. You are worthy of love, support, and compassion, today and every day.