So Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and you’re bombarded on all sides by advertising for the special day. There’s pink flowers everywhere, messages about how your mum is an inspiration or the best person in your life. That’s all very well and good, if your mum is still in your life. However, for some of us, we won’t be celebrating Mother’s Day this March 31st. Maybe your mum passed away, or maybe for a variety of reasons, you don’t stay in contact with her. Here’s what you can do to make this Mother’s Day a little bit easier on yourself.
Avoid social media
Firstly, don’t give in to the urge to check your social media feeds on Sunday. It’s so tempting, especially when it’s part of your daily routine. If you’re like me, you wake up and you flick through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before you even get out of bed.
That’s all well and good usually, but today your feed is going to be packed full of messages about your friends’ mums, and how much they love them. For them, this is sweet and a good way of showing the world how much they appreciate their mums. For you, this is going to be yet another reminder that your mum isn’t in your life. It hurts, and for me in particular, it almost feels personal. Why do they get to have their mums in their life, when I can’t?
The answer is to just stay away for the day. Don’t open any apps, don’t log on, don’t engage. You know it’s going to be there, but you also know it’ll only hurt you. Think of it like the hot stove. You really want to touch it, but you know you shouldn’t. Do go looking for things that will cause you pain this day.
Talk to someone who cares
This Mother’s Day is going to be difficult no matter what. It’s even harder if it’s the first Mother’s Day without your mother, or it falls on a day with difficult associations for you. Some find it easy to breeze through the day without giving it a second thought, but others will find it much harder. That’s why it’s a great idea to look for someone who you can talk to about it.
If you have a friend or loved one that you can trust, open up to them about how today makes you feel. Remember, your feelings are valid, even if they love Mother’s Day. Just the act of talking about it really helps get you through the day.
If you don’t want to do that, you can talk to a service designed to let you vent. If you’re in the UK, the Samaritans are the best choice. They’re there to listen without judgment, so talk to them if it’s all getting too much for you. Their freephone number is 116 123, and it’s open 24 hours.
Plan a day to yourself
As you won’t be seeing your mum this Mother’s Day, then you can plan a day that’s all about you. The term ‘self care’ is quite tricky, as it usually feeds into the idea that you need to buy things to ‘take care’ of yourself. However, if there’s any day you need to take care of yourself, it’s today.
The way you spend Mother’s Day will very much depend on you. As an example, let me tell you what I’m planning to do. As my husband will be going out to see his mum, I’m taking over the sofa and the living room for the day. I’ve just bought a video game I’ve been wanting to play for ages, and I’ve downloaded it, ready to start on Sunday. I’m going to buy myself some chocolate and treats, and I’m going to chill on the sofa in my PJs, eating nice things and playing my game.
For you, you may want to do something similar with a show you’ve been meaning to get around to on Netflix. Maybe you’d rather go do a hike in the woods instead. Perhaps you really love creating things, so you’ll want to spend the day working on that novel, or a craft that you’ve really wanted to try. It’s very much up to you. Pick something that you’d love to do for the whole day, uninterrupted. It’s your time.
Allow yourself to feel bad
Finally, you may do all of this and you’ll still feel sad or low about Mother’s Day. It’s hard when in the back of your head, you’re thinking about the relationship with your mum that you no longer have. It’s saddening and depressing to think about everyone else out there, spending time with their mums when you can’t.
If you feel low, allow yourself to feel that way. Many people reading this may have grown up in households where they weren’t allowed to express their feelings, so even now they try to repress them. If that sounds familiar, remember you’re an adult now and it’s very much ok to express the fact that Mother’s Day gets you down. Cry into a pillow if you want to, or scream about it until you’re hoarse. Allow yourself to feel those feelings.
Everyone is different, so everyone will cope with Mother’s Day in a different way. Remember that you’re not alone, not by a long shot. The media wants you to believe that everyone is spending time with their mums, but there’s plenty of us that will be at a loose end on March 31st.