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Mother’s Day Got You Down?

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originally posted April 25, 2019
updated April 6, 2021

Author: Leslie Farin

UPDATE: It’s been three years since Mom died and two since I lost my Mother-in-Law. I still miss both of these wonderful women more than I can say. Mother’s Day continues to be a difficult holiday for me, though the pain is admittedly not quite as raw.  I hope some of you find the article below helpful- take care of yourselves and try to remember to be sensitive to others who may be going through something about which you are unaware…

Do you dread Mother’s Day?

I have a confession to make – I am dreading Mother’s Day this year. I have marvelous memories of past Mother’s Day celebrations, but this time the holiday will be different. This year I am motherless. Both my mother and my mother-in-law, two of the most wonderful people in my life, passed away last year. Though neither death was completely unexpected, I was not at all prepared for the emotions that still frequently overwhelm me.

While I am struggling as Mother’s Day approaches, I am aware that others also find this holiday difficult for equally painful reasons. For example, the woman who wants to be a mother, but is unable to conceive, or the family that doesn’t celebrate together because they are estranged. And let’s not forget about the widowers who might need a little extra TLC to get through what used to be a joyful holiday. Whatever the situation, I think it’s important to be sensitive to what others might be going through on a day that many assume is a happy one for all.

For those of you who, like me, are not looking forward to Mother’s Day, I came up with some ideas to help myself get through the day – and thought I’d share them. Some apply to those without a mother, and for those of you who dislike Mother’s Day for different reasons, the others are for you.

For those who are motherless:

• Do something to honor your mother. Wear an outfit she picked out for you, go to her favorite restaurant or volunteer at a charity she supported.

• Transpose a treasured recipe that reminds you of mom onto a beautiful serving dish – handwriting and all. Prairie Hills Pottery is one company that I know offers these unique custom items.

• Make a list of Mom’s favorite sayings –reading her words later can be a great source of comfort when you need it.

• Create a gallery of Mom’s life. Pull together old photos and documents such as her diploma, passport and driver’s license in a scrapbook for a beautifully illustrated history of her life.

• Reach out to other women of influence in your life. Perhaps a special elderly relative. Your efforts to connect will likely be appreciated more than you know.

For anyone dreading Mother’s Day, whatever the situation may be:

• Pamper yourself – get a manicure, go to a spa, take a long bath – whatever makes you feel good! You deserve it.

• Stay busy. Go on a long hike in a beautiful area or a walk in the park. Spend the day planting flowers. Finish the book you haven’t been able to make time to read. Volunteer at a local charity.

• Reach out to friends who are also not celebrating Mother’s Day for whatever reason. Make plans to spend a fun day together with others whose company you enjoy.

• Keep the holiday in perspective. Remember that the basic definition of mothering involves nurturing and comforting others. You may not have a child or a mom in your life, but you have given and continue to give to others, so don’t forget to honor yourself. We’ve all provided support and love to others in times of need. And think of all the women who gave of themselves to you over the years; thank them for being there for you.

• Stay off social media for a week before and after Mother’s Day if you think it will be hard to see all the family pictures and tributes! We know you don’t begrudge anyone a happy celebration, but it makes sense to avoid the postings if they cause you pain.

The Bottom Line

Mother’s Day is one of the sweetest days of the year for many, and those who want to celebrate certainly should do so. In your celebration, however, don’t ignore the pain our friends and neighbors may be feeling. For those of you who like to throw out, “Happy Mother’s Day” greetings, as so many of us do, try to control yourself. Your well-meaning words may seem hurtful rather than cheerful. And for those who are struggling…take care of yourselves as Mother’s Day approaches in a way that makes you happy.


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