Happy Mother’s Day?
I intentionally put a question mark at the end of that sentence because for many, Mother’s Day is not the happiest of days. I think Jen Lemen (2013) said it best:
…some years there are all these little points of pain that will not go away. The baby you never had. The one you gave up. The kid you lost to something bigger than you. The child that slipped away before you ever held her. The one that was never born. The one you worry you’re failing. The one that failed you. The mother who’s so close and yet so far. The one you loved so much who couldn’t love you back. The one you could never love because it hurt too much. The one you lost too soon. The one who is slipping away. The one you can never please. The one you wish you could live up to. There are no cards to honor these children or these mothers. There are no holidays to contain all the parts of you that fall outside the lines of generally understood sorrow or celebration.
Mother’s Day tugs at the deepest, most vulnerable places in our hearts: childhood, parenting, and loss. So while some are enjoying a yummy brunch with their mother and/or children, others are grieving. Is there space in our lives for this grief on a day that is so jam-packed with greeting cards and flowers? I think there is. I also think it takes a very concerted effort to recognize and honor that grief. This does not have to be a grand affair; it may be as simple as lighting a candle and saying a prayer for the baby you lost. It may be taking a 24-hour hiatus from social media so as to not be triggered by every other post. However you choose to recognize this very real pain is up to you. I simply ask that you be gentle with yourself and with those around you as you walk through this day.
Written by Alexis Anttila, MA, LAMFT
Lemen, J. (2013, May, 12). In Case Mother’s Day is Hard for You