My mom died unexpectedly the week after Mother’s Day in 2015. This will be my fourth Mother’s Day without her. But even while she was alive, our relationship was complicated. She had untreated mental illness, and I so desperately wanted her to get help that she would never seek. Click here to read about my blue bird story, how we have been processing grief, and how I hope she is still watching over us.
Yesterday, the week before Mother’s Day weekend, I had the opportunity to help my blue bird family. Around lunchtime, as I was working on the computer, flying birds caught my eye in the back yard. I went out to investigate and found Randy Rat Snake trying to eat the fledglings. As I was trying to relocate Randy with a shovel, our cat Banjo was also trying to get the baby birds. Yes, I was that crazy bird lady running around my back yard trying to make sure that all the babies successfully fledged. I kept telling the mom and dad blue birds that I was on their side, helping them. Nothing else can die this time of year. Losing my mom so close to Mother’s Day and my precious last giant baby Smooch dying on spring break has just been too much. I cannot take any additional deaths right now.
So, as we head into this Mother’s Day weekend, I want to offer some tips for how I plan to address this difficult holiday.
- Run away. I plan to visit one of the lakes that has been in my to visit list for a while now. My very sweet 15 yr old offered to go with me since I will not have Smooch with me. That dude is a keeper (and he is going to make an amazing husband to one lucky lady).
- Mother yourself. A fancy way of saying utilize self care. Do what you need to do for you. If this means not celebrating, then that is ok too.
- Create a ritual. For me, I am going to start writing a letter to my mom each Mother’s Day to update her on all the things she has missed by not being with us.
- Stay off social media. Seeing all the messages of love and appreciation can be like salt in a wound. Why torture yourself with those messages? And more importantly, are all those messages honest portrayals of their relationships? Probably not.
- Appreciate what you have. I am one lucky mom to an amazing tiny family that loves me in a healthy way. I am going to try to focus on that vs what I did not have with my own family.
If Mother’s Day is hard for you, chime in. How do you cope?
One thought on “When Mother’s Day is hard”
My hatred for mother’s day is much more selfish. I have a wonderful husband who appreciates me every day of the year, but is absolutely horrible at acknowledging the “big days” – birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, when there is zero recognition from him. He often works and isn’t even around. Since my kids have had no model/guidance from him and aren’t in elementary school any more to bring home sweet crafts they have made at school, there’s not much from them either (my daughter a little, my son barely knows what day of the week it is). Being a non religious holiday, people will wish you Happy Mother’s Day and then ask you what you did to celebrate. So I get to repeatedly say, “nothing”. It sounds silly as I type it. I’ve made my feelings known and somehow nothing changes. It’s hard to demand to be appreciated. And like I said, he’s wonderful about telling me every day, but I think he hates to be told what to do and this is his rebellion.