Mothering Sunday

I’m sitting here thinking about all the people who are going to find tomorrow hard, and my heart is aching for you.

For those who find Mothering Sunday hard, whether it’s because you aren’t one, don’t have one, wish you had a different one, or any of the other multitude of reasons, you’re in my thoughts.

To make tomorrow easier, please consider these ideas.

1. If you want to be a mother but aren’t for whatever awful reason

First of all, you are not alone. Talk about it. Talk about the pain mother’s day brings you. Talk about the mother you would have been, and talk about how much it hurts that you haven’t got that chance.

It can be helpful to plan a structured day doing things that children won’t be involved in or perhaps you want to be around children. The most important thing is that you put your needs first, and you understand that it’s okay to meet them. This is painful for you, and your pain needs to be acknowledged and allowed.

With that in mind, remember that you don’t have to suffer in silence. If it hurts too much to be around your own mother or mother in law, or any other person being celebrated tomorrow, you have every right to say no.

Ultimately, keep yourself safe.

2. If you have lost your own mother.

If you are grieving your own mother, tomorrow will highlight your loss, and may bring a depth to your grief you only experience on these difficult days.

It might be helpful to write your mother a card or letter, telling her how much you miss her. It might be helpful to do something that honours her and her memory, and the legacy she leaves.

Again, your pain is valid. Even if you have children of your own, your pain should be acknowledged and respected. You have the right to take some time to consider the loss you have experienced. It does not detract from the love you have for your own children, it is totally separate, and that’s okay.

3. If you don’t have the mother you deserve.

If you are someone whose mother was abusive, tomorrow may be a bitter pill for you. Even if you have kids of your own. When we don’t have the mother we ‘should’ have done, days like tomorrow are especially hard. You do not ‘have’ to acknowledge your mother. You do not have to suffer abuse because she gave birth to you. You do not have to keep other people happy, and you do not have to tolerate contact because it’s mother’s day.

Your pain is valid. Your experience is real. Just because someone else thinks you should tolerate abuse because someone gave birth to you doesn’t mean you should.

You are allowed to make tomorrow all about you and you do not even have to breathe in the direction of the person who shares your DNA.

If someone is attempting to force you to do so, may I suggest you ask them why they would wish you to suffer abuse to make them feel more comfortable?

4. If you’re a single mother and tomorrow won’t be any different to every other day of the year.

Tomorrow is about you more than any other mother. Tomorrow is about you fighting every battle parenting has thrown at you. Perhaps you are in contact with the other parent and perhaps not.

Either way, if you don’t have someone who takes the time to take your child to get you something, tomorrow may be tough because your single status seems bigger than ever.

Try to carve some time out for yourself if you can. Get a take away, put off the washing, cleaning, and any other weekend.

Love your babies and celebrate yourself. You’re amazing. You work hard to give the love of two people. Remember to celebrate yourself on Father’s Day.

And finally, if you have a wonderful relationship with your mother, I’m thrilled for you. I truly truly am. But I BEG you. Do not project that relationship onto others. Do not assume that other people can put the pain of abuse or loss aside in order to pay homage to an arbitrary date in a calendar where we are asked to revere those who gave life.

Motherhood is a privilege bestowed on many, respected by most, and longed for by more than you will ever know.

If you know someone who may find today hard. Please send them some love. As I am doing now.

Love to you all

Helen

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