When Mother’s Day Hurts

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  A special day of joy for many moms, but a sad day of emotional pain for many others.  If your child is causing you a lot of heartache and pain due to their negative behaviors (alcohol and drug abuse, self harm, an eating disorder, trouble with the law, same sex identity issue, etc.) it is a day that you wish you could skip.  Every holiday hurts, but Mother’s Day feels the worst.  This one focuses on all that you wish you had with your child but have lost.  It elevates your pain.  It reminds you about your broken dreams and your broken heart.  The reminders are everywhere.  TV commercials, stores where you shop, ads on the internet and in the newspaper.  You’re surrounded.

You may hear from your child.  You may not. You may see them.  You may not.  You may get a card.  You may not.  Maybe you would just be happy to know where they are or that they are okay.  If any of these describe you, I have 5 tips for you.  They are the same I give on every holiday.  They really do help.  I hope something here will help you.

5 Tips for Surviving Mother’s Day:

1) Adjust your expectations – lower them.  If you can, let go of them altogether.  This will help you be content with whatever happens.  Let go of needing a certain thing to happen.  If you don’t you are setting yourself up to be hurt and disappointed.

2) Consider doing things differently – maybe your former traditions will just make you more sad or be too difficult to do in light of your situation.

3) Avoid social media – hearing about your friend’s blessings with their children can make you feel worse than you already do and envious (not good)

4) Focus on others – do something for someone else who is hurting or lonely

5) Be grateful – keep giving thanks no matter how you feel; start a gratitude journal (even the smallest things count!)

A book that will comfort you and help you keep your sense of humor (is that possible?) is Where Does a Mother Go to Resign? by Barbara Johnson.  Click here to watch Barbara herself say a few words about it on Youtube.   I just finished reading one of her other books, When Your Child Breaks Your Heart,  and found it very insightful.  She’s been in the pit of despair yet found her way out.  Two of her sons died and a third was living a gay lifestyle.  She lost her sense of humor for a while, but through her faith she found it again.

Laughter.  Hmmm . . . maybe this should be #6 on my list?  Laugh.  Laugh hard if you can.  Let’s be honest.  It may make you angry with me for suggesting such a thing.  You may be wondering how in the world you can laugh again?  I know.  I’ve been there.  But if you can find a way to have a really good laugh it will do so much for you.  It releases those “feel good” chemicals throughout your body.  So, go watch a funny movie.  Read some jokes (or have someone tell you a few!).  Watch silly Youtube videos.  I like America’s Funniest Videos and re-runs of really old sitcoms like I Love Lucy, The Carol Burnett Show and Happy Days.  Whoa.  They are really old, aren’t they? Maybe that will give you a laugh!  I am so glad God created us with the capacity for humor and laughter.  I need to go add that to my gratitude journal!  Ha!  :o)

Happy Mother’s Day and God bless you with his comforting love.  And may He give you the gift of a good laugh sometime during the day.  If you need a little help click on a few of the links above and watch a one of the video clips.   I bet something there will help you laugh!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh . . .”(Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4a)


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