Take the sting out of Mother’s Day

Oy, this Sunday is Mother’s Day again. I have been blogging about this hurting Hallmark holiday for years. Go to the archives, look up the second post every May to read what I wrote.

What can I say this year? Stay off social media until at least next Tuesday. I know, I probably won’t either, but I’m giving you fair warning that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., will be loaded with motherhood posts and pics. I’m already seeing them today. If all those baby pictures and mom tributes make you nuts, go to the little X in the corner of your computer screen and click it. Do whatever you’ve gotta do to silence the madness on your phone or tablet. Just don’t look.

Even in the non-digital world, Mother’s Day is brutal for people who want children and don’t have them. I’m thinking about skipping church because I hear there’s a whole big ceremony planned. Nuh-uh. I’d like to go out to brunch, but I don’t relish the crowds, the flowers and the servers wishing every woman “Happy Mother’s Day” as if they have no clue that at least one-fifth of us are not mothers and will never be that sweet old lady surrounded by children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

If someone invites you to a Mother’s Day party and you know it will hurt like crazy, don’t go. Tell them honestly how you feel or make up an excuse, but don’t go.

The only way to avoid the whole mess is to either stay home or go somewhere far away from people and media. Squirrels don’t know about Mother’s Day. Seagulls don’t give a rip. A redwood tree stretches toward the sky, oblivious.

One way to make it easier may be to give all your attention to your mother or others who have mothered you in your life. Go back to being the child handing a color-crayoned card to Mom. If your mother, like mine, is not around anymore, find some way to honor her anyway. Light a candle, sing a song, bake a cake.

I had a chance to look through my mother’s old cookbooks last week. Now I have a craving for her Salisbury steak. Maybe I’ll make that on Sunday and bake her chocolate cake with Cool Whip frosting for dessert. Or maybe I’ll just go to the gazebo overlooking the ocean where I used to talk to her when she first died. I can bring her up to date with everything that has happened lately.

In other words, I will make the day about my mother and not about the fact that I am not a mother. Like Secretary Day or Veterans Day, it’s not about me. If it’s too soon or too painful to think about your lost mom, find someone else to honor. Or hide.

I know how hard Mother’s Day is. I used to be the meanest, most miserable person on that day. I’d growl at anyone who wished me a happy Mother’s Day. I’d make my day worse by offending everyone around me. I learned that that doesn’t help. Nor does getting drunk and staying that way until the day is over.

Hang in there, my friends. As my dad likes to say about every holiday, “It’s just another day.”

Here are some things to read about the Mother’s Day dilemma:

“What Mother’s Day Feels Like When You’re Childless” 

“How to Deal with Mother’s Day When Mother’s Day Sucks for You” 

“How to Survive Mother’s Day If You’ve Experienced Adoption or Infertility” 

What are your plans this year?

7 thoughts on “Take the sting out of Mother’s Day

  1. I see my Mom Saturday. Hoping for a quiet, calm, boring Sunday. Either I’m numb to the pain after all these years or managed to fall into passive acceptance.


  2. Meanwhile in Malta while the government is amending the outdated IVF Law of 2012. Malta’s pro-lifers, having the support of the Conservative Party and the Church, are waging a ferocious war against the childless couples and single women.
    I hope you will be be ready to accept these 2 online petitions. The links are: https://chn.ge/2GLXNpf and the other https://chn.ge/2FaYqFI.
    Please support the Maltese people.


  3. Love to you all struggling through today. Hope you can do something nice for yourself that you enjoy. It is not Mother’s Day in the UK today. Perhaps in future, we should have a group trip from the USA and other countries to the UK and vice versa when it is Mother’s Day here.


  4. I figured you would have wise words for today. My computer died a week ago and I couldn’t seem to find any bookmarks. So this morning, I was fiddling with my phone hoping to find some reference to get me back to this site and found literally a thousand bookmarks stored in my phone. Apparently I had set it to sync to my computer a while back (I usually wouldn’t do that).

    Thank you.

    I will be taking my mother to out to dinner and a couple of small stores shopping. I usually don’t do that because of all the chipper assumptions with people wishing you a happy day. But, it’s just she and I now and it’s what you have to do. I’ll second your comment that the seagulls and squirrels don’t care what day it is. Some years, I’ve been lucky to go turkey hunting on this day. The woods is where I find peace.


    • I’m glad you’re back. Thank you for your comment. Have a good time with your mother. If someone wishes you a happy Mother’s Day, grit your teeth and say thank you. It will be over soon.


  5. I avoided church too. I don’t like it when the priest makes godmothers stand. It’s a pity thing and we all know it.

    I visited both of my mothers (and the little get-togethers where they’d be) and had a nice time. For probably the first year ever, no one said, “Oh, but you’re a godmother, (aunt, good friend), and those are important roles too!”

    Sorry – it’s not the same. The fact that your kid enjoys saying hello to me on the seven times a year that I seem them hardly makes me a valuable “mother figure”. I’m not fooling myself so don’t bother.

    A male family friend spoke up yesterday. For years, he’s been looking for a woman to start a family with. I wouldn’t say that he “aches,” but it’s common knowledge that he wants to be married. He cheerfully spoke up and said, “Hey, when is “Uncle’s Day”? No one celebrates uncles.”

    We are not alone, ladies! There are good men missing the boat, too.


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