Mother’s Day has been difficult for me for the past few years. I don’t have a great relationship with my mother and my children barely acknowledge it. I have good kids, but they are teenagers and self-centered at this point in their lives. I know this is typical for teens, but it still hurts. I couldn’t wait for the day to end. How can I approach Mother’s Day differently, so it doesn’t feel so depressing?
Mother’s Day can be emotionally complicated. Nobody told us moms that the one day the world celebrates mothers would have expectations and pressures for perfection. At times we may not even enjoy this day, that is supposed to be all about us. There are many factors that might influence the day including but not limited to whether you have a good relationship with your mom, infertility, loss of a child, and what is going on in the lives of your children. Most moms just want some appreciation and acknowledgment that we’re important. But we also desire that on many days during the year- not just one in May.
One contributing factor may be social media. When you see all the sentimental posts about mothers, you can’t help but compare. But keep in mind that social media posts are often deceiving and not necessarily reflective of what truly might be happening.
You are correct in that your children are supposed to be fully immersed in their own lives right now. However, that doesn’t mean it is acceptable. They still need guidance on socially appropriate responses to holidays. Do you have a husband, extended family member, or friend who can help them purchase a gift or plan an activity for the day?
Perhaps it would be helpful to depersonalize it a little and look at Mother’s Day as an opportunity to teach them how to recognize and appreciate others. A little coaching about what you might like goes a long way. It also might help to remember their brains are not fully developed and they are still learning to navigate relationships. When they are older and potentially have their own families, they will look back and appreciate you in a way they are not capable of doing right now.
I am sorry Mother’s Day left you feeling underappreciated and depressed. I hope you took time for yourself that day to pamper yourself and honor your role as a mother. Remember, even in Biblical times mothers, and women in general, were often left out, unappreciated, and sometimes marginalized. But those brave women cared for each other and their communities and kept our people alive through some very tough times. They were brave and strong, and when your children get older, they will see strength and bravery in you, too.