Get Through Mother’s Day with Distraction and Action

Here were are again, on the eve of Mother’s Day. I noticed TV commercials touting gifts for “Mom” in early April. Now the dreaded day is this Sunday. The people who promote this Hallmark holiday have no idea how difficult it is for those of us who wanted children and don’t have them and also for those of us whose mothers and grandmothers are no longer alive. All this Mother’s Day hoorah just reminds us of what we don’t have and makes us want to go hide in a cave. Right?

Over the years I have mellowed from being viciously angry all day to resigned. I have come to accept that this is not my holiday. Just like Chanukah for Christians or Christmas for Jews. Just like it’s not my birthday. So I need to be a big girl and get over it. Sure. Sometime on Sunday, it will get to me. But I’ll live, and so will you.

To survive Mother’s Day, I recommend distraction and action.

Avoid everything that reminds you that it’s Mother’s Day and you’re not a mother. (Guys, apply the same rules next month for Father’s Day). Avoid TV, Facebook and other social media. Don’t go to restaurants where they greet you with Happy Mother’s Day and a flower. The mall is probably a bad idea, too. You don’t want to see mothers surrounded by their loving children.

If you have a mother, grandmother, godmother or other mother-figure still living, make the day about her, not you. As for your sisters, cousins and friends, let their spouses and children honor them. Send  a card if you must, but don’t go overboard. If they complain, explain that you love them but Mother’s Day hurts too much to get involved.

If your partner has children or grandchildren, expect nothing from them. They have their own mother. If they actually remember to honor you, too, be gracious and grateful, but don’t make yourself crazy waiting for a card or gift.

Distract yourself with creature comforts and non-motherly activities. Go hiking. See a movie in an actual theater. Go to a spa. Stay in bed with your sweetie and make love all day. Read at a beach or a swimming pool while sipping pina coladas.Throw yourself an Unmother’s Day party at which no one is allowed to mention babies or children.

Remember, it’s just one day, and then, thank God, it will be over for a whole year.

Last week I posted a long comment from “Sam” about his childless dilemma with his wife who couldn’t have children. Several of you responded with great comments. Go to the post to see what people said and maybe add a comment of your own.

Happy Wednesday, dear friends.

6 thoughts on “Get Through Mother’s Day with Distraction and Action

  1. Hey Sue, I survived another MD! Was dreading it for months due to an uptick in step-kid drama, but since I did my own thing for the first time in years it went fine. Spent the day with my mom. And prayed for those with aching hearts like mine. There are so many of us. I thought of your blog I know there's not a lot of traction on here lately, but please don't stop this blog. I've sent people here. I find your wisdom comforting. One thing you didn't mention, so I'll say it. Avoid church on Mother's Day if you're still grieving a miscarriage or infertility of any kind. Yikes! The majority of pastors and church folks will make most adult married women without children think there must be something horribly wrong and utterly selfish with them. Hopefully one day that tide will turn, as it has with divorce for the most part. Until then, watch church on TV or read the Word or go for a walk in tranquil, quiet nature. We have a lot to be thankful for. Keep your focus on the positive.


  2. Hi Ruthie,
    Good job getting through MD with a minimum of angst. I actually had a harder time on Saturday, where I played the piano at church. And yes, the pastor did his MD blessing. Avoid church on Mother's Day if you can. I didn't go on Sunday.
    A friend, who has two kids and a bunch of grandchildren and a husband who bought her roses, had the audacity to whine about how hard MD is for her because her kids don't honor her the way she would like. I bit my tongue and said I was too busy on MD to hang out with her and make her feel better.
    I did some baking and reading and then jammed with my music friends. It turned into a good day.
    I have no plans to quit the blog. It's as important to me as it is to you. I may move it to another site, but I'll give you plenty of warning.


  3. Wow, that lady needs a wakeup call.A friend whined to me that one MD she drove 2 hrs to watch her grandkids play little league baseball. They all went to a fast food place after & by 9 p.m. she couldn't take it any more. Loudly and with gnashing of teeth she wailed, “Not one of you has wished me happy Mother’s Day!” Oy vey, I really bit my tongue on that one


  4. I think we have to bite our tongues a lot. For a while, I just said whatever angry thing I was thinking. Then I felt guilty about it because it's not their fault I don't have kids and what right do I have to rain on their Mother's Day?


  5. My godchild wished me a happy Mother's Day. A niece who was standing nearby said, “Hey, she's not a mother!” I know she said it partly because it's true and partly to make fun of my godchild. Another niece retorted, “Um she's a godmother and that counts.” First niece shrugged and went on her way.I have to admit that I don't appreciate Mother's Day wishes. I mean it was super nice of the little guy to say it to me and I appreciate the gesture. The role of godmother is nice, but I don't consider myself a mother because of it. And I don't like playing pretend.A family friend visits my husband’s family on Mother’s Day and he always brings a rose for each of the mothers. I am the only one without a child. Still, he gives me a rose (under the “godmother” guise). It's nice of him, but I do not like it. But really, what is he supposed to do? Leave me out when all the other women are receiving a rose? Stop giving the roses to avoid the awkwardness? Neither of those options seems kind or fair. As with most years, I thanked the family friend for his kindness but then opted to leave the rose at my mother-in-law’s home (he always leaves early so doesn't know I do this). This year she did not insist that I take it.Lately I feel very “stuck.” I”m not a mother, but then I do not see myself as “never being a mother.” It's still on the table. (But not really, I guess) I've had some work transitions. My home needs to be worked on, but until we deal with a pricey foundation issue, I'm reluctant to put money into new carpet, etc. So I live in a currently dumpy house. Can't even pursue the foundation issue because of massive debt. I'm healthy, happy and getting by. I enjoy my family, friends, and life in general but it just doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Can I really do what I'm doing for the next five years? Ten years? How long? I know this is my life, and I'm responsible for the next move. Just not sure what to do.Anon S


  6. I'm sorry you're stuck, Anon S. I hope you can find your way out of the muddle. I totally identify with your Mother's Day discomfort, including the flower thing. It's awkward for everybody. I mostly avoided people, but I did make a run to the pharmacy and sure enough, the young woman at the counter wished me a happy Mother's Day. I didn't correct her, just said, “Thank you.”


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