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Was Mother’s Day a Disappointment?

May 14, 2012

It’s the day after. Many of you who are mothers had an absolutely marvelous Mother’s Day – but some of you didn’t. Some of you may, indeed, be depressed today because your expectations for Mother’s Day weren’t met and you feel unimportant, underappreciated and taken advantage of. Or, the day may depress you because it is a painful reminder of a loss: of a child, of your own mother, of estrangement from a child/children OR because you never had children and you wanted them. In particular, women who are mothers can be especially tender on this day and the people who care about these women need to be aware of and sensitive to this fact.

So what do you do if Mother’s Day was or is a challenging day?  How do you pull out of the disappointed feelings – the envy at other’s bouquets, cards, candy, dinners out, etc. Especially if you received little if any recognition?

Well, first of all, allow yourself to have a good therapeutic, pain-purging cry – privately.  And face it, whether we like it or not, for some, Mother’s Day can dredge up all sorts of emotions and expectations some of which you need to release safely. I believe that crying is one of the safest ways to do so. So after you’ve had your cry, wash your face and ponder exactly why you are disappointed and upset.

Perhaps your expectations are too high or demanding. Perhaps your own behavior toward your children has driven them away. The worse realization is that maybe – just maybe – your parenting style created self-centered people who don’t often think about other’s wants and needs. Or maybe, you did everything “right” and you still don’t receive deserving accolades.

Whatever the reason or reasons that you recognize as the cause of your discontent, keep this in mind:  the day is over for another year. And, in that year, try to figure out some ways to ease the anxiety for yourself as the next Mother’s Day approaches.  Need to mend some bridges? Then do so.  Is your pain due to a sense of loss?  Then identify someone to help that day – someone who may need attention or love, and give it to them. Are you too demanding (be honest with yourself!)? Then lower your expectations and be thankful for the recognition that you do receive. Do you have children who do the minimal amount because they are simply thoughtless?  Then plan something that you want to do on that day that includes them and model the giving behavior you wish for them to adapt.  Hopefully they’ll “get it” eventually.

If all else fails, just push through the day again next year realizing that it only happens once a year. And, you CAN get through it.  Really.  I’m speaking from experience.

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