Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate our mothers for everything they do; their sacrifice, their love and their care. However, for so many people, even mothers, Mother’s Day presents an emotional challenge.
If you have been consuming social media recently, you have seen some videos of mothers talking about how this day has become a burden for them. One would think that when the day arrives, others would try to take away as much of the burden as possible so mothers can relax and enjoy the day. However, some mothers have found that they have to plan their own celebration. They will be asked, “what do you want to do today?”, which essentially gives mothers the mental workload of having to come up with ideas to plan their own day. Additionally, there are those mothers who have had no events planned for themselves and the other mothers in their life, so they end up having to step up and celebrate with each other.
There are also more painful reasons why Mother’s day is difficult to celebrate. There are those who are often reminded how their mothers are no longer with them. The first Mother’s Day after a loss will be the most difficult. Later, it can become a yearly reminder of this loss. It never gets easier to experience this day, but you will find a way to survive and celebrate positive memories each year.
Lastly, there are those with complicated relationships with their mothers. The relationship might be tumultuous, which makes it painful to see others able to celebrate their mothers. This can bring up unpleasant memories or trauma reactions. These individuals have probably grown up with mothers who are critical, neglectful and even abusive.
If you identify with any of the above groups, finding community will ease the burden of this day. You are not alone in your discomfort with the day, so seek out others who understand your experience. This could mean joining support groups, reaching out to friends, or leaning on family members.
Written by Leina Rodriguez, LMFT