Holidays - Blog

8 Things That Can Help When Mother’s Day Hurts

Dena Yohe


Mother’s Day is coming soon — maybe too soon for you.

Sometimes serious issues can come between a mother and her child, and it can be devastating. If your relationship with your child is characterized by heartache, then this article is for you.

Whether you have a child struggling with addiction or mental illness or your child has pushed you away for other reasons, a day celebrating moms can be particularly difficult.

Moms on this kind of journey don’t look forward to Mother’s Day. I know. I’ve been there.

On days like Mother’s Day, I long for the past. Special memories flood my mind from when my daughter was little and wanted to cuddle in my lap. She adored me back then.

But those days are over. We can’t go back. We’re in a new place on the parenting journey — one of grief and loss, of shattered dreams, of letting go.

Dear Heartbroken Mom, there is someone who can help, whether or not your child takes action to make positive changes.

I don’t know when things will change for your child — only God knows — but until that day, be comforted by this: God sees you. He understands. He cares. He feels your pain, and He is close.

Ask God to give you the strength you need to take steps toward healing.

Don’t let grief overwhelm you this Mother’s Day. Here are some things you can do to help soothe your aching heart:

  1. Lower expectations. This prepares us for less hurt and disappointment if things don’t turn out the way we hoped.
  2. Change your traditions. Make plans, but do things differently. Do something you enjoy even if you have to do it by yourself or with a friend.
  3. Express your feelings. Give yourself permission to let it out. If you need to express sadness, create the space to shed tears. If you’re angry, write a letter to your child expressing everything you want to say, then destroy the letter. Holding back your feelings only hurts you more in the long run.
  4. Repent and experience grace. We all have done things as parents that we regret or wish we had done differently. Thankfully, the Lord’s grace and mercy meets us in our repentance. If you feel like you have been holding onto shame, confess that to the Lord, repent, and ask for forgiveness. And then receive it! Apologize to your children as you feel the Lord lead, and rest assured in His grace.
  5. Shift the focus. Take time to remember what you can be thankful for and practice gratitude. Instead of being overtaken by grief, do something for someone else or volunteer for a cause you care about. Helping others can naturally help you improve your mood.
  6. Make an appointment with a counselor. If Mother’s Day could trigger a deeper issue for you, like anxiety or depression, schedule some time to work through your pain and anger with a professional.
  7. Seek out others in a similar situation. Find out if there are support groups in your area, or gather people you know to start a prayer group for mothers who have strained relationships with their children. Finding an understanding community can put you on the path to healing.
  8. Remember who you are: God’s beloved child. God loves you with a deep, unconditional love. You are His unique creation. You’re beautiful and precious in His eyes.

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