Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Good & Bad About "Mother's Day"


Mother's Day is a holiday that is marked world-wide. Countries such as the United States, Canada, The UK, Australia, China and Japan, just to name a few, highlight the day on their yearly calendar.


Historically, Mother's Day has been a day where children and other family members honor mothers or individuals who are nurturing and caretaking in maternal ways. For some, it is a day of celebration, of expressing one's love and appreciation for a mothering figure. The day is met with happiness and the sharing of joyous memories of times past and the anticipation of good times to come.


However, for others, Mother's Day is not so easy. It can bring forth sadness, loss and yearning if one's mother has died. Or if a mother has lost a child, it can become an excruciating day filled with grief. Anger and resentment can percolate if a person has not had a good relationship with his or her mother. There are many more examples....too many to list in this post.


In my work, landmark days, anniversary dates or holidays of any kind can be especially difficult for anyone who has experienced loss, death or the recognition of toxicity in a relationship. Of all the days in the calendar year, Mother's Day and Father's Day evoke the most profound emotional responses.


To those of you who struggle with this day, know that you are not alone. Give yourself permission to feel and think whatever may come from within. It is important for your to mother yourself.To those of you who can celebrate this day with joy, I wish you a most happy day.


I wish everyone a Mother's Day that brings them well being.



References:

Hinton, Clara. (2004). How to Handle Mother's Day. Silent Grief


Pollock, G. H. (1970). Anniversary Reactions, Trauma, and Mourning. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 39:347-371

33 comments:

ellesu said...

"Mother yourself." That's one I haven't thought of. I like it.

Wishing you a day of peace with happy moments popping up now and then.

ellesu said...

Opps. That post above didn't sound exactly right. You know I wish you an entire day of happiness -- I just love those unexpected special moments that pop up and surprise us. Those moments that can't be planned. I hope you have some of those, too. That's what I meant to say. :)

Yasin Murat ÖZEK said...

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traci said...

I struggle with Mother's Day and have for quite some time. Now that my mother has been gone for a couple of years, I am really working at remembering that Mother's Day is not about my own mother anymore but instead about my relationship with my daughters and taking care of myself in the best way possible. Happy Mother's Day to you Deb.

east village idiot said...

what an important post. ever since i had my son i love mother's day - it was harder before. thanks for recognizing everyone. it's an important day to thank anyone who's been a nurturing force in your life.

Beth said...

Mothers Day isn't the easiest one for me, although over here in the UK its in march so I've got it over with for the year. My mother and I have such a shaky relationship that I know that whatever gift I buy probably won'tbe appreciated and we seem never do the "family" things like I imagine most other people do.

Fathers Day is much easier for me. I'm a daddy's girl, he understands me much better!

Hope you're having a good day!

Awake In Rochester said...

Thank you for being so sensitive to this. I felt obligated to post something about Mother's Day, but just couldn't bring myself to do so. I lost my mother decades ago, but still feel the absence. Mother's Day is not an easy day for me.

Winrob said...

You are the kindest and so sensitive. I agree M Day and F Day are tough on many. My mother passed in 2002 and I usually dread M Day but this year It was a good day.
Your words are so caring. Happy M Day to you. I hope you enjoyed your day with your family.

Barbara K. said...

A very lovely post. Thanks.

I have worked for a long time on expunging or resituating the more damaging aspects of my relationship with my mother. I am glad to have reached a state of appreciation and gratitude for what she was able to give; and that it's not too late to tell her so directly.

Rose said...

Great Post! I know this is a difficult time for many I just pray that they have great memories and can think of those at this time. Though I was reluctant to post, I did.

S'onnie said...

years ago I used to think Mothers day was a bad day and inparticular that my mother was a bad mother but as I have grown up and matured I have changed my view a little. I think its great to celebrate those mothers who are awesome mothers, who put everything they can into their children and in doing so raise people who change the world. And I also realise while my mother and I may not have a good relationship (we have no relationship) she is not bad. She made some choices which I don't think were the best but she thought she was doing the right thing. and the good thing with realising this is that I don't even really resent her nor do I get really upset on Mothers day. I just remember the good times and others who have had mothering influence in my life

Oops sorry this was a long response...I hope you had a good mothers day

CrackerLilo said...

For a couple years after my first miscarriage, I had a really difficult time with it, and nobody understood that.

At my blog, I wrote about how frustrating my mother is about gifts on Mother's Day. My brother missed three in a row, and she'd give me the most perfunctory of "thank yous" and then harp on how awful she felt not getting a gift from him. I understand that listening is an important gift, but there was only so much of that I could take. I made sure my brother didn't forget for my sake, not our mom's. It has served to remind me that my mom has a favorite and it's *not* me; also to remind me that I'm best off not living in the same state as her. She's much easier to celebrate when I don't feel like I *have* to.

My wife is estranged from both of her parents for many good reasons, and she'll clamp down emotionally near these days if we (her friends) allow it.

So. I guess what I mean by all that long-windedness is, thank you for talking about *all* the aspects of Mother's Day! One down, one to go! (My father's dead, and I really do think of it that way.)

Heidi said...

{{{ Deb}}}}..Just wanted to stop by and say Hello :)

phd in yogurtry said...

I believe I have stood at the signpost you have pictured, but had completely forgotten it originated in Philadelphia. Thanks for the reminder. And you make a very good point about the mixed feelings associated with mother's day. My own day was shadowed by feelings of hurt associated with a conversation with my own mother. Your post helped. So thank you.

MYSTI said...

Wonderful post.

about jenji said...

Thoughtful post, Deb.

jenji

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therapydoc said...

I'm glad it's over.

Casdok said...

Mother yourself! Great thought. :)

United We Lay said...

My mom and I had a disagreement over who was responsible for making Mother's Day plans. My grandmother used to have dinner since my mother had kids. When we became old enough to cook, I took care of it. Now that I have a child, I believe that the dinners should fall back to her for a while until my son is a little older and I have time to plan a Mother's Day dinner. She disagrees. So this year we had dinner on Saturday and my dad took her out on Sunday. On Sunday, I spent the day with my husband and son doing things that I wanted to do. It can get complicated.

The Lone Beader said...

The bad thing is that I forgot all about Mother's Day!

kannan udayarajan said...



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jumpinginpuddles said...

we did the happy mates day again and it was great :D

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STAG said...

Good stuff as usual. One forgets sometimes that family relationships are often emotional minefields, and "hallmark holidays" often just don't make it (whatever IT is) any better.

alan said...

Thank you for stopping by and checking up on me...walking along the edge of a cliff and finding a friend means a lot!

alan

νικος κανακας said...

Hi

It is a very great and thinkful post and I really appriciate it.

Deb said...

To all,

Thanks for your comments and stories.

Miranda said...

This is truly an amazing post. I myself always dread mothers day. They always go to their dads, even on father's day. It hurts. Though this year I didn't get brunch, lunch or dinner with them. I got a happy mother's day out of both of them. And a gift certificate for a spa. Hmmm, weird eh?

Marj aka Thriver said...

Mother's Day is still somewhat difficult for me, mourning the mother I never had. But, I've just about completely replaced that with a celebration of my own motherhood on that day. My family and I had a wonderful Mother's Day this year! :)

SeaSpray said...

This post evokes a lot of emotion within...things I'd say but...

Your sensitivity is always appreciated. :)

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Mothers day rocks. the best

srose said...

Thank you for this post and acknowledging those of us who struggle with this day not because we lost our mother, but because of the anger and hurt this day may bring. You couldn't have written this an better.