It is Mother’s Day in the UK this weekend. From the promotions in so many places, from florists to restaurants and when you do the weekly shop, it is impossible to avoid the reminders. In this blog I’ll explore the reasons many people find Mother’s Day difficult, and share some tips to get you through the day.
Your Mum has died.
The death of your Mum can be one of the most significant losses. For most people our Mum is the first person we have a really close relationship to, and she is a significant figure in our formative years. Loss of your Mum marks a new phase of life, and an end to the identity of being someone’s child, whatever age you lose your Mum. If you have children you also see them missing their grandmother and you are carrying two losses as you support them.
You had a poor relationship with your Mum.
All around us in society there are idealised images of mother-child relationships. This is particularly so at this time of year. If you had a poor relationship with your Mum because of abuse, addiction or family breakdown, or your Mum simply wasn’t able to cope with being a mother (for whatever reason), you may feel the loss of a relationship you never had.
You wanted to be a Mum.
Seeing children coming home from nursery or school carrying gifts and cards they’ve made for their Mums can be a painful reminder of the lost dream of being a parent yourself.
You lost a child.
This time of year can trigger an increase in thoughts of what that child many have grown up to be like, what they may have done for you on Mother’s day, and the enormity of your loss. Other children may feel the loss of a sibling too.
You don’t see your children.
In these circumstances you may hold painful memories about the circumstances of the end of the relationship with your child. You may wonder what sort of person they are as they grow up, and may harbour the hope of reconciliation.
Things you can do
- Be kind to yourself, recognise it is a difficult time and give yourself some space
- Acknowledge your feelings. Your feelings are yours, no-one can tell you how you should feel.
- Write a card to your Mum, saying how you feel. You can keep or dispose of it as feels right for you
- Buy a gift for yourself
- Make a card for yourself
- Make your own remembrance ritual, such as light a candle or visit a significant place
- Say no to any family gatherings you are not comfortable with
- Ask for support from a trusted friend or family member
All of these experiences contain an element of loss. Counselling can help with feelings of loss; of someone you loved; of something you hoped for but didn’t have; of relationships. Call me on 07761 023027 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about how counselling may help you.
Julie Millar is a counsellor in Chester.
She grew up at the seaside and loves sunshine and tea. She listens with her heart as well as her ears. She works with people who have lost something precious to them; a person, an animal, a dream… And people who have experienced abuse. People who are hurting or confused and want something to change.
Julie’s superpower is curiosity.
Follow Julie on Facebook and Instagram where she posts on a variety of topics.