For a lot of people Mother’s Day comes with a whole host of emotions Hallmark didn’t intend.
2016 marks the third Mother’s Day without my Mum. I’d love to be able to say it’s got better since the first year, but it hasn’t. Most of the year I’ve moved forward immensely from the dark place I was in following her death, but around a few key times; the anniversary, Christmas, and Mother’s Day, I feel like I’m right back where I was in 2012. Even though I know it’s just a day, and much like Valentine’s Day you shouldn’t confine your affections for the people in your life to singular days, it’s still a huge reminder of what I don’t have any more.
This weekend it’s Mothering Sunday in the UK, and like millions of others I’m doing my best to avoid any mentions of it. It’s not that easy, consumerism means that holidays have become giant excuses for shops to get you to buy stuff. I get emails starting about a month before the day with various offers and promotions. As it gets nearer they increase until I’m getting several a day in the week leading up to the dreaded holiday.However over the last couple of years I’ve found a few things which help me feel not quite so awful when the time of year rolls around again.
I hope these hints can help anyone who finds mother’s day difficult, but also anyone who has a friend or loved one who’s lost their mum.
Firstly, and the one most of you will be expecting from me, is to take some time out on difficult holidays and look after yourself. Self care is important when you’re doing well, but especially if you’re having a rough time. I like to do a face mask, read a book and listen to some music. A nice cake or meal always helps a little too. Whatever you enjoy doing, taking some time out and indulging will give you space to deal with your emotions a little better.
If you dread the though of being alone arrange to hang out with a friend of family member. I know it might be difficult to ask, but they want to be there for you. If everyone is busy with their own families then consider volunteering somewhere, or going shopping or even to sit in the library and read a book. Sometimes just having people around you can be comforting. It’s important to talk to people. I know it can be hard to open up and admit that you’re feeling vulnerable, but just saying out loud that the day is getting to you will help. Find a friend or family member who you feel safe and comfortable talking to, and share some favourite memories of your mum. Today might be a difficult day for you, but by remembering and celebrating your mum you can make it more positive.
Celebrating another mum or parent is also nice. Has your best friends’ mum ‘adopted’ you into their family? Do you want to show your dad how much you appreciate him for being there through the tough times? Mother’s Day doesn’t have to just be about traditional mothers. It can be anyone who has taken on a mothering role in your life. I’m sure someone in your life would be thrilled to know how much they mean to you!
If you’re struggling, please talk to someone professional at a charity or service, or your GP. There are some resources listed on my support page too. I’m also compelled to share this amazing tribute and fundraiser from my friend Naomi who is asking people to share a memory of their mum and donate the money they would spend on a mother’s day gift or card to support Yorkshire Cancer Research. You should definitely also check out her blog!
Please please know that you can talk to me. Even if you don’t know me, I’m happy to be there for anyone going through a tough time, and I can at least somewhat relate to your feelings on this difficult holiday. If you want to chat feel free to comment below, DM me on Twitter, or send me a message on the Facebook Page.