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Coping with Mother’s Day

greencanopy-insideI know that for a lot of people Mother’s Day is a super hard and generally awful day. I’d love to give you a list of ways to make it less awful but honestly, sometimes things are just bad. And I think it’s OK to just give in. It’s all right to give yourself permission to check out. That means not steeling yourself, not putting your chin up and suffering anyway, and maybe telling people some white lies so you don’t have to show up for things you want to avoid.

You’re not being selfish; you’re taking care of yourself.

I know sometimes we really want to be the bigger person and swallow our sadness and sometimes that’s the right thing to do but maybe this weekend it’s not. That’s all right.

If this year is not the year you’re going to be able to stuff your feelings then I hereby give you permission to do whatever it takes to get through Sunday in whatever self-nurturing, loving way you can. Please don’t punish yourself for needing a break.

So here is a list of ways not meant to make it less awful but to give you ideas you could be good to yourself — you deserve that:

  • You can skip church if you want, to avoid those flowers they give out to mothers.
  • And brunch? You don’t have to go to brunch.
  • If there are mothers in your life who are expecting you to be part of their celebrations, you can call in sick and promise to take them out on another less fraught day.
  • Or you can go but make plans to get out early. If you have a partner, have them help get you out. If you have a friend who can text you with an “emergency,” do that. Even better if you can meet them somewhere after for hugs and sympathy.
  • Or you can go and bring along someone who will squeeze your hand when someone says something hurtful so you know you’re not alone. And who will listen to you vent after.
  • You can spend the day crying if crying helps you feel better. <– (that links to the Free to Be You and Me song) Crying releases endorphins and relieves stress and it might help you sleep better. So don’t fight it if you don’t want to. Let that day be a sad day.
  • Avoidance is OK, too. Denial as a regular coping mechanism might not be a long-term workable solution but if you need to spend Mother’s Day watching your favorite comedies or going for a long run or otherwise ignoring the celebration, by all means do it.

 

2 Comments

  1. We went to my parents’ Methodist church on m-day and I was impressed that 1) they handed out the flowers to *every* woman at the service 2) they made a point of mentioning all the other “mothering” that happens in the world, from friends, aunts, grandmothers, etc., and 3) they specifically prayed for those who have struggled with infertility, pregnancy loss, or whose children have died and talked about different ways to become a mother. Honestly, I was really pleasantly surprised & felt like it was the most inclusive m-day service I’ve ever been to. It was really inspiring! And then the next day my state (MN) passed a gay marriage law, so I’m walking on clouds for my gay brothers & sisters. Best mother’s day present ever.

    Reply
    • That makes me super happy, too. Thank you for sharing that with me! I hope that other churches will follow suit. :)

      Reply

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