For Women - Blog

How to Handle Mother’s Day When It Feels Hard

Shannon Kaney with Hope Griffin


As an unmarried woman with no children and grieving the death of my own mother, Mother’s Day often brings a mix of emotions.  

Each year, millions of dollars are spent on Mother’s Day cards, flowers, gifts and special meals. As a result, for several weeks leading up to this special day, I’m confronted with a multitude of advertisements in stores, on TV, social media and even in church.

I desire to be in church that day because I genuinely want to celebrate my friends who are mothers and be surrounded by my church family, but it’s hard.

On Mother’s Day, the pastor asks all the mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers to stand. As the rest of the congregation applauds, I notice I’m one of very few women still sitting.

My heart aches as I fight back tears. I think of my own mom and wonder if I will ever have the chance to be a mother. Being unmarried with no children can leave me feeling like an outcast on Mother’s Day. What’s missing from my life becomes glaringly obvious.

Despite my unfulfilled desires, I’ve learned that Mother’s Day also presents an opportunity to serve others. God has brought several women into my life who have served as surrogate mothers and mentors. Now it’s my turn to pay that gift forward.

I have been given the opportunity to do the following:

  • Mentor young women.
  • Baby-sit for my friends.
  • Make meals for families in need.
  • Care deeply for the children in my life.
  • Look for opportunities where I live to speak up for children.

Though my life looks different then I imagined, motherhood and marriage are not required for me to have hope and purpose. Every woman’s story looks different and holds value.   

God desires for me to invite Him into my grief and disappointment. He welcomes my questions, sadness and even anger. In return, He showers me with His love and brings healing to my heart.

If Mother’s Day is hard for you, try doing the following:

  1. Be honest with God. Bring your emotions, sadness, frustration and even your anger to Him.
  2. Reach out to the women of influence in your life. If your mom has passed away or your relationship is difficult, refocus on the women who have influenced you over the years. Send an encouraging note expressing how they have impacted your life.
  3. Nurture others. Who has God placed in your life to care for? Don’t resist the opportunities to pour into the lives of others. Embrace the chance to be an adopted aunt for a military child, a big sister for a foster kid or a mentor to a younger woman.

When life turns out differently than you expect, will you resist and insist on your own plan, or will you allow God to lead your decisions?

Matthew 11:28-29 (New International Version) says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest of your souls.”

Learn more about how to go deeper with God.

Related Topics:
Mother's Day Women
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