It’s almost Mother’s Day again. There are flowers, cards, and commercials portraying mothers and daughters genuinely enjoying each other everywhere… it’s so idyllic and wonderful. But for some, Mother’s Day instead brings grief, anger, resentment, stress and guess what, that’s ok too. For the mamas out there who didn’t have a mama or the mama they needed, you deserve to be seen. When you grow up without a mom because of loss, abandonment or neglect and Mother’s Day is a reminder of the absence, your feelings make sense. When you grow up with a mother who is incapable of loving and seeing you and instead abuses you and maybe you can barely tolerate to acknowledge “the Day” or say “mom”, that makes sense too.
It’s ok to not buy into the whole act and to be real about how you need to honor yourself this Mother’s Day. It’s ok to stop playing the “supposed to” game. Trying to be good and fit in isn’t going to help you heal the loss of your mom or the trauma of being unseen and hurt by the one person who was supposed to love you most and be there for you when you ventured out into the world and got hurt. So this Mother’s Day, dedicate the day and this year to learning how to be the mama you needed. Here are some suggestions:
- Start by giving the day to yourself and being honest with yourself and your family about what you need.
- Say no to celebrating in ways that don’t feel good to you this year.
- Allow your real feelings! You’re not the only one who feels sad or angry on Mother’s Day.
- Let anyone who has helped you learn how to love know how grateful you are for them and let them know that you are going to learn to see yourself how they see you.
- Consider how denying your authenticity is allowing your grief and trauma to control your life and feel some anger about that. How dare anyone treat that little you as if she didn’t deserve a present and loving mother!
- Create a self-care plan to give yourself the support you need to learn how to show up for yourself. Write it down and check-in monthly on your progress.
- Create a mindfulness practice and let yourself regularly imagine what it would’ve been like for you to have a good-enough mother. Gradually feel that love and comfort as a sensation and emotion.
- Set an intention to learn how to “see yourself” differently and through the eyes of the mother you always needed. Surround yourself with people like this. You deserve nothing less.
- Be gentle on yourself! Make an effort learn to love your imperfection at least 1x/ day, especially paying attention to loving yourself during times you are typically hard and punishing toward yourself.
- Consider psychotherapy. Every one of our therapists at Mindful Springs understands this pain and can help you re-pattern your mind+body to learn to deeply self-love.
- Add a few of these suggestions to your self-care plan: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/134-activities-to-add-to-your-self-care-plan/
When we stop pretending and start learning how to feel and heal, we break the cycle of unresolved grief and loss, trauma and resentment. Our realness deserves to be seen and loved. It takes courage to be seen in our vulnerability. So be brave mamas! <3