In Case Mother’s Day is Hard for You

In Case Mother’s Day is Hard for You

(with my mom, who understood so deeply the pain and beauty of mother’s day)

Let’s be real. Mother’s Day can completely blow sometimes.

You want to be cheerful. You want to be with the program. But some years there are all these little points of pain that will not go away.

The baby you never had.
The one you gave up.
The kid you lost to something bigger than you.
The child that slipped away before you ever held her.
The one that was never born.
The one you worry you’re failing.
The one that failed you.

The mother who’s so close and yet so far.
The one you loved so much who couldn’t love you back.
The one you could never love because it hurt too much.
The one you lost too soon.
The one who is slipping away.
The one you can never please.
The one you wish you could live up to.

There are no cards to honor these children or these mothers. There are no holidays to contain all the parts of you that fall outside the lines of generally understood sorrow or celebration.

But there is this moment, this incredible moment, where you can feel it all. Where for once you can’t stuff it down or forget it. Where you have to be with it, because it is not going away.

And here, my friends, is where something important happens. This is where we connect, where we understand we are frail, where we are human. Where we see in new ways what life means. Where we are issued a compelling and persistent invitation to mother ourselves. To cut ourselves the breaks we didn’t get. To ask for the help we always needed. To let tears come and say, This is how it is. I’ll ask in this one tiny moment, for the courage I need to let everything just be.

No matter what your point of pain or challenge today, I want you to know that you are not the only one. Somewhere over a silly Mother’s Day breakfast, there is a woman faking a smile who feels just like you do. Somewhere in a very silent house with no one to call, there is a woman who is tending the ache of her loss, just like you. Somewhere standing in a shower there is a woman who is feeling it all and letting the tears come, just like you.

As you go about this day, know that over here, Ria and I have candles lit for all these unspoken things, and that we are holding the space and thinking of you. You — the faraway, soulful you — will be in our meditation and in our warmest thoughts. We are sending you light and love and the deep wish that you would know today of all days, nothing is wasted and we are together in ways we cannot always see but are just as true. That the night can never last. That even in our darkest moments, there will be someday, the surprise of a laugh, a comfort, a dawn.

With so much love, hope and light,

P.S. Will you share this around? We know there are so many women who are feeling it today. And if you know you appreciate things like this, please sign up for our weekly messages at Our hope is that everything we send out brings radical acceptance for who you are and relieves your suffering. Thanks!

photo by Patience Salgado of


  1. Your words help me untangle a weaving of pain that I am dealing with today.
    Thank you. You remind me of to turn that weaving into a blanket of nourishment and gratitude.

  2. Raw, powerful truth.
    Thank you for these amazing words on this day.

  3. Thank you for writing what I wanted to but couldn’t because the point of pain is too sharp today. <3

  4. thank you for this, Jen. very much. xoxo

  5. Thank you. I needed this today. I promise to share with others experiencing similar challenges.

  6. Thank you.

  7. Perfectly said and bless you for saying it.
    Big love from one mother to another.

  8. I don’t know how to say “thank you” in a way that will properly convey what I feel. So here is a feeble comment that fails to express the warmth and gratitude I feel right this very moment. Thank you.

  9. As someone who stays away from a toxic mother and who has an adult daughter who’s not speaking to her either, I needed this. Thank you for your kind words.

    • I was hoping to see a post like this and am grateful for it. Thanks again for this, word cannot describe the extent of sadness I felt today but reading this took some of that weight off. Thank you,

    • Me, too. Toxic mother/estranged adult daughter. Feeling it from both directions today.

      • Jennifer says:

        Things with me and my Mom are getting better finally. It’s still a bite in the butt when going through the myriad Mother’s Day cards. I want to try and get something that’s not a lie about our relationship.

    • Sharon M says:

      I am in the same position as you. Mother’s Day was once my favorite holiday. Now it is a challenge to get through.

  10. Thank you for this. This was about the only thing I saw when I was skimming through my facebook that I actually lit up at instead of issuing an inward sigh this morning.

  11. thank you jen.

  12. Thank you. This means a lot to me – for you to put words to my feelings & for you to tell me I’m not alone in those feelings. With deepest gratitude.

  13. another daughter says:

    My mother never liked me, and I always felt unwelcome in the world. I moved out at age 16, totally unprepared for the real world, but seeing no alternative. Years later she wants to be friends and acts very loving and I feel SO GUILTY for not wanting to be close with her. Shes a martyr. Such a victim. She will never be happy and it makes me depressed to be around her. Mothers Day is nearly as bad as Christmas for me. So many emotions. Thanks for posting this.

    • I was looking for blogs yesterday about this, I felt alone and needed people. I’m sorry to hear, ppl never change, don’t feel guilty, I did, she is the same person who abused me as a child, don’t make my mistake

  14. Well, this just brought me to tears again. I weep in fits and starts on this auspicious day. Mother died, I’m not a mother- two miscarriages- and it’s just hard. Even the Aunt I used to connect with is kind of lost to us with Alzheimer’s now and well, it just sucks. So, I move through yoga, I hike and let the tears come and go. It’s just another day and these feelings pass through me. I am grateful for you and for Ria honoring how hard this day can be for some of us, probably more of us than I know, and I welcome healing love and light that you both send. Thank you. xo

  15. Thank you. Very well said.

  16. I always feel so guilty not wanting to celebrate this day. I hate the manipulation involving my own mother, it makes me very angry…
    I feel sad and doubtful about my own motherhood and reading these words has been such a relief. Thank you for the light lit, I need it.

  17. heatherjoy says:

    thank you for writing this, for sharing it, for thinking of it at all! thank you mahalo

  18. Yes, for putting here, what takes chapters to explain. I hope for everyone to arrive where they are led. Hard roads , obstacles, pain and disappointment: to a place of deep breaths, and self care. xo

  19. Christina says:

    Thank you for these words. I do have children who make this day sweet for me. However the little girl inside that was beaten and abandoned longs for a mom to want her around. You never outgrow being told you weren’t wanted. You just ask God to show you His purpose and turn the pain into something beautiful for Him.

  20. Thank you Jenn, today is one of many special days to come that I will no longer share with my son, whom I lost on January 1, 2013, but our loved ones we have lost will remain in our hearts and thoughts forever, and for all of us who are feeling this terrible pain, even though we don’t know one another we are connected by this life altering experience – we are not alone, you are in my thoughts today also…..

  21. gloria glass says:

    am so sad today, but try to smile for my kids. I don’t want them to have bad memories of mothers day. i want theirs to be wonderful. When my mother passed away I lost my best friend and now with the lose of my 15 yr old son..its all I can do to make it thru mothers day. thank you for reminding me I’m not alone

  22. thank you thank you thank you…it feels so lovely to be seen, understood and held…

  23. Thank you for voicing what needs to be voiced. Just lost my momma.

  24. Very well said and very apripos!! Thanks for writing !!

  25. This is beautiful and incredibly touching, in the almost-literal sense of the word – very much struck a chord – thank you so much for sharing it.

  26. Thank you for this. I have struggled for years with this day, feeling like a failure for not joyfully embracing it like the rest of the world seemed to do. As a child and young adult, I hated the obligation of honoring a woman who spent every day systematically abusing me. When I married and became a stepmother, the day became known as the Grand Snubbing Day, where the kids and their bio parents would go to outrageous lengths to exclude me and make me feel in every way possible that I did not matter at all. I’ve yet to make it through a Mother’s Day without sobbing. But at least this year the pain is a little less knowing I’m not the only one out there.

  27. just me says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, and may God BLESS you. I think I dread Mother’s Day more than anything else. For health reasons I can neither have my own child nor adopt, and now my sister-in-law is pregnant and I have been wondering how I am -ever- going to manage seeing her over the next several months, especially since I know we will be expected to give a baby shower. (I have avoided baby showers like the plague.) My mother and sister do NOT understand how I feel. Sorry for the vent, it’s just all of this has been all bottled up and this is the first time I have been able to say anything to people who will understand.

  28. Beautiful and necessary

  29. Thank you for the kind words and beautiful energy.

  30. I lost my mom almost 4 years ago to breast cancer. Ever since then, Mother’s Day has always been bittersweet, because I grieve for the amazing mother I lost, the many years I should have had with her and didn’t, and for my own lack of motherhood. At least when she was alive I could fill the space left by not being a mother with her. This post was exactly what I needed today. Thank you.

  31. Love this. Love this. Love this. I so needed this today (and every Mother’s Day). Much love. To all of us. xoxo

  32. Thank You!

  33. Having a 19 year old son who him and I have had a very distant relationship and having suffered through he loss of 3 miscarriages I have spent my mothers day in bursts of bawling fits I came across this on a friends facebook and the sigh of calmness and not feeling alone when I read this I just want to say thank you..
    tearfully and gratefully yours

  34. missing my son says:

    thank you. been crying all day. my mom died in december and my son died last May right after Mother’s Day. hopefully it won’t be this bad every year. love to others in the same place.

  35. For the first time on this day…I don’t feel as if I’m alone with my tears.Thank-you.

  36. Thank you.

  37. Beautiful thoughts on a complicated day — that few people feel allowed to express, myself included. Thank you.

  38. Joanna Y. says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I have 2 wonderful sons who showered me with dinner and gifts last evening. I woke up this morning feeling so sad and didn’t know why. When my boyfriend asked me if I was ok, the floodgates opened and I said “I miss my mom.” I sobbed for her, gone almost 23 years. I miss her so much- she was my best friend and an incredible role model. Can’t tell you what reading this meant to me today.

  39. Beautiful words and sharing <3

  40. “We know there are so many women who are feeling it today.”

    There are also many men feeling it, as well… I know I am. And your piece helped.

    Shared. Thank you.

    • Scott, I was just about to make the same comment. I lost my mom when I was 2 years old, so there isn’t much to remember and embrace, yet there really is both “pain” and “beauty” 40 years later, I still feel the void, but I have to celebrate her wonderful sisters, who have mothered me in their own special ways. I was comforted by this piece, and your words, Thanks.

  41. Vanessa says:

    Shared. Thank you.

  42. Strange how these things come when you least expect them…just when I needed to be reminded to mother myself…just when I was thinking there is no one in the world who could understand how I feel at times…thank you. This was a truly needed blessing, God Bless.

  43. Nicole Clark says:

    THank you, I needed this today….

  44. Lynne Lawrence says:

    Thanks Jen. I lost my beautiful 21 year old daughter exactly two months ago today. To even think of celebrating mothers day makes me sick. Yes I am always her mom but never another hug on mother’s day again or any day for that matter is too much to swallow. I’m sympathetic to all the angel moms out there today. Thinking of you all, and saying a prayer.

  45. I, too, thought of friends who have lost mothers, who had difficult mothers and similarly wanted to send them some love today. What you wrote said it better than I could have and took it to the next level – the need to mother ourselves. Your words are helpful not only for women but men. I have a dear friend who was beaten by his mother when he was a child. Men need to heal from mother wounds, too.

  46. AMEN! You just made MY day-THANK YOU! <3

  47. One of the best posts I’ve ever read on the day. Thank you.
    My Mother’s Day card, for the mother who didn’t live long enough to hear it.

  48. This has been the only Mother’s Day post I’ve seen that hasn’t made me angry. Knowing that there are others who understand my pain is a blessing I wasn’t expecting today. Thank you for that.

  49. Thank you a thousand times for this

  50. a little bird says:

    I loved my mother. My mother loved me. But it wasn’t enough, because I was not the important child; I was the extra child, and this was evident throughout my childhood. When I was a teenager, and the important child died in an accident, Mom told me, “I wish it had been you.” Well, I wish it had been me too, and what I never told you, Mom (in the 40 years after that in which our lives intersected here on Earth), was that I’d attempted suicide just the year before. So, it SHOULD have been me. And yet; had it been me, I would not have had my own children, who are so very dear to me. Of all the mistakes I made myself as a mother, at least neither one of my own children felt unimportant or “extra”.

  51. Thank you for expressing my deepest pain and allowing it to be ok <3

  52. Shoggoff says:

    Thank you. I’m looking for something to hold onto this first Mother’s Day since her doctor’s didn’t notice that her kidneys shut down and kept feeding her her heart medication, which killed her. It’s hard, and there are few people who understand. Obviously you do. And i thank you for it. It helps.

  53. Grateful tears says:

    Thank you. just…thank you… ‘the mother it hurt too much too love…and the mother who gave me away at three months old…’ Bless you for this….

  54. I loved this post and I hated it. The younger woman in the photo looks so much like my mother did (as a teenager) who I lost 21 years. The younger woman also looks a lot like my daughter whom I haven’t seen in almost 3 years.

    It’s been a tough day for sure. Blessings to all of those who try to hide their own pain, today and every day of the year.


  55. Thank you so much for this. I am truly touched. Love and light.

  56. Tammy Lundrigan says:

    This is so true

  57. Thank you.

  58. Beautiful and well written. Just right for us.
    Thank you.

  59. Beautiful!! Helped me today when I was feeling down

  60. SandyGal says:

    Thank you for this! I cried when I read it. My mother passed away a few years ago and my husband and I are going through fertility testing and the doctors say things don’t look good. Mother’s Day brings nothing but pain for me right now. It feels good to know I’m not alone in my pain.

  61. Thank you for this wonderful post it was trully beautiful (& helpfull)

  62. Krystal says:

    Saying thank you doesn’t seem like enough. Today has been an extremely hard and depressing day for me. I lost two babies in the space of 7 months before I even got to know them or hold them, almost dying the second time (last December) due to the fact that it was an ectopic pregnancy. My heart aches more than I can bear and I wonder if I will ever know the joy of being a mother. Your post comforts me a little. Thank You.

  63. This is the first Mothers Day without my little Ariel. She died last year after a 4 year battle with cancer. Thank you for this.

  64. This really hit home after an incredibly painful day spent getting my daughter admitted to an alcohol treatment facility in order to protect her own children and hopefully save their future together. Thank you so much for this.

  65. Christi says:

    “There are no cards to honor these children or these mothers. There are no holidays to contain all the parts of you that fall outside the lines of generally understood sorrow or celebration.”

    Thank you.

  66. I love my mom. I do. But I don’t feel the connection and devotion I that’s associated with Mother’s Day. I want to feel it. I long to feel it. But, the truth is that she never really fostered that bond between us. She loved me at arm’s length. She still does.

    The only gift I see in this is that I learned how NOT to mother from her. I shower my kids with mothering. I make a point every day to let them know the depth of my love for them.

    I grew up unsure of the depth of my mother’s love. My children have no reason to doubt it. For that, I thank her.

  67. simcha4 says:

    thank you for understanding. there are four days a year in which i am inconsolable, and this is one of them.

  68. Thank you for your eloquent words. I have 3 beautiful children and a loving husband, but I lost my mom almost 14 years ago when she was only 50. Mother’s Day is always bitter sweet—she went home much too soon.

  69. Kathleen L says:

    Thank you for this. I lost my Mom in March 2010. It was very sudden and unexpected – she was 54. In my eyes, she was way too young. I have struggled every year since, but this year was incredibly tough, as I found out earlier in the week that I am dealing with what could potentially be cervical cancer. And while I am still in “wait and see” mode, it is scary. And I wish I could call my mom and talk to her about it. So thank you. Thank you for letting me know it’s ok to be sad on this day. To be lonely on this day. And to cry on this day.

    • just me says:

      Wait and see mode is tough; I had several months of it last year. I will be praying for you and hopefully things will turn out as well for you as it did for me.

  70. Thank you for your loving compassion. And thank you to everyone else who has commented. I am sorry for all your losses and for my own and I send you my love. Began my day crying and feeling silly. Ended this day crying and feeling understood. Peace.

  71. Susie Boucher says:

    My gradittude knows no bounds! This article gives me back the power to grieve, but along with it, I have to respect my children’s right to grieve in their on way also. Too my little Choopie… We are a family and I am anxious to hear what my children are doing. It doesn’t have to turn into fight if you bring their names up. I am curious about what activities they are doing and where they are living. Although right at the moment there is only one who is not communicating. But I also have to respect your right not to tell me. And all you need to say is I don’t want to talk about it. And I need to respect that.

  72. Thanku… i lost my mum 2 months ago very sudddenly anf unexpected so this mothers day was very hard

  73. Today was the worst.
    Thanks for this.

  74. Carolyn Ausborn says:

    I lovingly posted this to my Facebook wall, which is set to include only my close friends and family. Thank you for your enlightening and sensitive words here. We need to understand the many facets of what “Mother’s Day” means to many. I can say I do share in several of the experiences, described on this blog. The messages are poignant and deserve understanding and compassion, and ending with a show of encouragement and support. Thank you for this.

  75. Thank you for writing this. A friend of mine posted it on her Facebook page and I decided to read it. I thought it was ‘only’ about those who had problems with their mothers–not those of us who had a miscarriage. I found out that I likely had a miscarriage a couple of weeks before Christmas this last year and it was confirmed with my second ultrasound on Christmas Eve–and I also found out that I would have had twins. My D & C was the day after Christmas. It seems like a lifetime ago. I would have been 7 months pregnant now. This was exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you.

  76. Thank you so much for this….I was the child that always was second even though I was first born. I never understood “Why?”
    Abused, critizied, ignored …until I was in my 50’s and spoke with a counselor. The
    outcome? From out discussions, the counselor finally told me my mother was jealous of me. How is one jealous of one’s own child? She resented the time I spent with my father….working on cars, doing field work, repairs…why, she wouldn’t want to do them. No she didn’t, it was the TIME spent with my father she resented. By the time my eyes were opened to all this, it’s now too late to change anything. The last I spoke was on the phone almost 10 years ago when she told me” she’d prefer if I never called again” and like a fool, I didn’t…I should have told my Dad. He died..then last Chistmas she died..that phone call being our last conversation. Jealous, …it all makes sense when I look back thru the years…wish I had known the problem sooner.

  77. Xena Horvath says:

    Thank you for this, it was much needed.

  78. b l o n d i e says:

    Today was a little bittersweet. I’m 18 and am still on good terms with my mom, but this past year all my issues with depression and suicide have come to weigh down on her. I want to be a good daughter, but the only way I can do that is fake smile after smile. I hope I made today decent for her. This is a relevant piece.

  79. Thank you for sharing, because even though my mother is alive today, I feel like I lost her 12 years ago and to this day, Mother’s Day has been a challenge. I go through the motions because I feel the obligation as a daughter to but inside my heart I know something isn’t right. And I am so happy that I can feel that it isn’t right and that it’s okay to feel this way.

    Beautifully written.

  80. Beautifully written. I can relate so well. While mother’s day is a day spent honoring my daughter, I always feel an acute sadness when I think about all I lost. I wish so badly she could be here with us, but I try to push those thoughts aside and appreciate what I have left. It’s hard for me when people just don’t understand. Hopefully this post will help spread awareness and get people to think.

    I blog over at:

  81. Thank you. This was beautiful and just what I needed today. Bless you!

  82. so beautiful and timely! a friend shared this on facebook this morning..i had to share it on my blog..thank you so much!

  83. Hurting Heart says:

    Thank you for this. A friend who knew I was hurting today posted this on my wall. I am LDS (Mormon) and within our religion families are one of the basic things taught. I was never ever prepared to be 32 and not married, because I was taught that If i did all I should I would be. However, I am not. So the days like today where the one wish of having a child and family are at the top of my brain, I tend to shy away from social media so I personally don’t have to face it. I am glad for that quick second I got on and saw her post of this. You summed up everything I have felt in my life. God be with the women that feel this. It is not an easy road to travel, but it is easier when you have people to help you walk along the way when all you want to do is fall to the ground.

  84. sympathetic says:

    “…No matter what your point of pain or challenge today, I want you to know that you are not the only one. Somewhere over a silly Mother’s Day breakfast, there is a woman faking a smile who feels just like you do. Somewhere in a very silent house with no one to call, there is a woman who is tending the ache of her loss, just like you. Somewhere standing in a shower there is a woman who is feeling it all and letting the tears come, just like you…”

    …and even if you’re not a woman – if you’re a girl missing the baby you gave up when you’re not a woman yet, a man missing the mother you lost too soon, a boy who has a mother you can never please, etc. – you’re still not alone.

  85. Thank you so much for this. You touched my heart in so many ways. I have been holding back tears all day for more then one category you spoke of. You are a blessing

  86. Marissa says:

    Thank you.

  87. Thank you… Thank you so much you have no idea how much this is appreciated. You’re a beautiful person for sharing this so thank you once again!

  88. notalone says:

    Thank you for this, and thank you to all the commenters. Knowing I’m not alone made today a bit more bearable.

  89. Thank you for this. I wanted a baby more than anyone on earth but my husband couldn’t have children and we couldn’t adopt. This day is very painful for me but I am so grateful I still have my wonderful mother.

  90. Thank You for this. It really gave me comfort. Having an addict family, including an alcoholic Mom, these days are always weird. Thankfully, through professional help and 12- Steps, I am able to have some gratitude for my Mom. For anyone who feels the uncomfortableness on this day, you are not alone.

  91. A Blogger says:

    Thank you for this.

    For the Mom who I could never seem to be good enough for and finally for my own mental health, had to walk away because I couldn’t endure her abuse. The distant sister who I’ve never been able to connect with. This day is full of painful and complicated relationships.

    And lastly the best friend and soulmate, who was Mom/sister/friend all rolled into one, who then slowly and painfully died of cancer only months ago and who I miss desperately.

  92. This is such a thoughtful post! I know a lot of women and men whose mothers are no longer with us and this day is especially hard for them! I shared this post on Facebook in the hopes it might brighten their day some.

  93. Today I am thankful for my four sons, but mourn the death of my unborn daughter. Thank you for giving me the space to feel both things without stigma or guilt.

  94. Lost twins babies and my mom in the same week. Each year it gets easier, the pain feels less like a knife blade and more like a dull, echoing ache. You hate to be the person that can’t feel the joy of others’ celebration, but it is a tough day. I choose to hide away and celebrate on my own at the beach. Thanks so much for this post. It makes it just a teensy bit easier.

  95. jen lemen says:

    so moved by all these comments, everyone. thank you for being so honest, for sharing. i can feel the weight of these sorrows and am sending so much love and hope.

  96. Thank you so much

  97. Had a really bad day , felt releaf I wasn’t alone.Everwhere you go , tv, it all about being a mother..Hurts really bad….

  98. My mother died on January and my daughter is no longer speaking to me and is keeping her children from ever seeing me. My son lives across the country from me. I didn’t cry all day until I read your post. Reading that and all the comments helped me feel less alone. I’m not the only one who grieves today. Thank you and all of your posters for softening the pain.

  99. Thank-you

  100. Scapegoat Blacksheep says:

    I’m in so much pain.
    Thank you for the light
    and thank you for the love.

  101. I needed to hear (read) those words. Thank you.

  102. Christina says:

    After two unsuccessful marriages to men, the last one being 18 years, I finally came out as a lesbian to my family. All the things I had feared would happen did happen. My mother and I were very close. We talked every day on the phone, even though we lived on opposite coasts. Now our relationship is one of judgment and guilt. It hurts like hell. This is “Bad Daughter Day”, and I’m the disappointing, bad daughter. Therapy helps, but it’s been tough to be on Facebook today and see all the lovely testimonials and pics. I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s a lie right now. Your post rang true on so many levels. Thank you for giving me permission to feel pain and loss today. I’ll be glad when this day is behind me for another year.

  103. Thank you, I really needed this

  104. I read it and it made a lot of sense, being you described everything that I have been feeling. I lost my daughter last September to suicide, The pain is very strong and comes and goes. just beacuse I don’t want my grandchildren to see me braking down. I hide and cry in the shower many times. Today was not easy and it makes me feel empty. Thank you for caring enough to bring these toughts out in the open for those of us who are not brave enough to do it.

  105. Dear Jen, thank you for bringing out the words that many just like me, are unable to voice.
    Mother’s day was specially difficult for me, lost my daughter last September to suicide. Pain is still very much in me. Thank you for your toughts of support.

  106. Thank You so much for this encouraging writing, When I read the part that said, Somewhere standing in a shower there is a woman who is feeling it all and letting the tears come, just like you…” That was so me this morning, I was very sad to have to go through the motions of another Mother’s Day, that have been hard for me for many years. Wishing I could celebrate a mother that really love and cared for me, but It never happened. I felt for many years, this was my burden that I had to carry by myself. When I read this I felt like the Lord was right there, It made me feel like I have never been alone, God has always been there.
    Thank You for such wonderful incite, I guess I never felt that there were so many women out there feeling the same emotions on Mothers Day. Women We are Never Alone!!!

  107. Today I started a blog of my own, to help me work through some painful realizations. I saw this on afriend’s FB page and it struck such a chord. Thank you.

  108. Perfect. I needed that. Thank you so much.

  109. Thank you so much for this beautiful work. My dear mom passed 10/3/2012 and I had been dreading dealing with Mothers Day…However, among the tears I did celebrate and focus as much as possible on the good memories. Peace and blessings

  110. Christine says:

    I don’t know how to say thank you enough. Tears have flowed all day off and on feeling shameful for not being happy for the blessings I do have. Tears in the shower at the losses mourned of my mother and sons and yet more guilt. for the first time today I feel like it’s ok to cry and let it out. Thank you and your other posters for letting me know I’m not alone and bless you for putting this out there for me to find..I will be sharing for others.

  111. This day has been fraught with tears for years when I didn’t have a child I so desperately wanted, and now… Now I have the child, but lost everything else. Including my mother. I feel like my life is destined to be one of pain. Thank you for the reminder that I am not alone.

  112. I can’t begin to thank you enough for writing this and for having 2 people I care about share it with me on FB. I can’t remember when I didn’t just “go through the motions” on Mother’s Day. First, being the middle child of a mother whose love was conditional, and nothing I did was ever enough; then a teenaged, terminated pregnancy sorely regretted in hindsight; then marrying the man of my dreams at 49, past menopause, only to lose him in death last year. This day is hard for what was and for what will never be. Bless you for showing me that I’m not alone.

  113. Thank u

  114. Thank you for sharing these truths and including so many of us. It is a bittersweet blessing to see all the responses–I’m comforted to know I’m not alone, but sad that so many are suffering as I am. Yesterday was hard in two ways–mourning for the mother I cannot (yet?) become and the mother who cannot love or accept me as I am. And struggling with the guilt heaped on by all those today who do not have the courage to confront abuse or cannot understand . It’s not easy. Thanks for the support.

  115. Kathryn says:

    You have no idea how important this was for me to read today. Thank you for sharing this. I was fortunate today to have some wonderful time with and messages and flowers and cards from some of my children. I am blessed with my own wonderful 74-years-young healthy mom and had a wonderful talk with her. One of my daughters and I had a great reunion with some old friends, one of whom is struggling with a very serious illness. I had another lovely and funny conversation with my sweet 86 year old mother in law who has had the unfathomable heartbreak of burying two of her three children. Despite my blessings, I too ache on Mother’s Day. The pain of losing a child – in my case to “something bigger” – is still so very real and raw. The joy and sorrow are so inextricably intertwined. You have done me, and I’m sure many others, a great kindness by sharing this compassionate message today. With light and love I thank you. Xxoo

  116. Thank you for this post.
    I am so glad today–“mother’s Day” is almost over.
    It would have been worse if it lasted a week or a month.
    For so many of us moms it isn’t our day
    and it almost feels like a mockery to say it is.

    I dread tomorrow
    when I am asked what I did for Mother’s Day.
    Am I honest and say cried a lot and felt like slitting my wrists?
    Or just dish out the partial truth, nothing?
    Cuz it sure felt like a big nothing.
    That nothing of this one day
    felt heavier than all the weight carried from pregnancies,
    worries over late night fevers and their high school antics
    to the time I hugged them before their last good bye.

    I am comforted to know I am not alone.

    Bearing the weight of this Mother’s Day “nothing”
    feels lighter knowing I am not the only mom who is sad today.


  117. Craig Collins says:

    While this brought me to tears, I thank you for writing this. I lost my mother tragically when I was a baby, and dread this day every year, because I never knew her, and never felt that I really ever had a mother.This just made this horrible day a whole lot better, and reading it gave me comfort. Thank you, from Chicago.

  118. Thank you for your thoughtful words. Reading this really hit home. Beautifully written and meaningful.

  119. Thank you. Feeling this one so many levels all day. Have been up all night crying. Thank you for making me feel less alone.

  120. Reading this offered me so much comfort to the pain i’m feeling about having recently been touched by a man in a way i didn’t want. i know my pain isn’t mothers day related, but your words about the connection of human frailty, mothering ourselves and courage to let things be, really helps. Thank you so much

  121. I went to see my mum for Mother’s Day. I had been shopping for a nice gift for her and bought her some beautiful roses. All I heard when I arrived was how disappointed, sad and lonely she is that my brothers don’t see her. This is pretty much a ritual for all holidays and special days. It doesn’t mean much that I ever make the effort.
    I have two sons who I adore. One of them got up earlier, snuck into the laundry gave me a huge cuddle and said, Happy Mother’s Day Mum. I love you. That’s all I really need. I hugged him tightly and told him I loved him so much and I said thank you. I don’t expect the jewelry, fancy restaurant lunches (just to put on a public show), perfume and I have certainly got used to never getting flowers or much else from my partner either for Mother’s Day, birthdays, Christmases or any other day.
    My other son and my partner, didn’t even acknowledge me. I don’t think I’m a lousy mum. I work hard full time, I do everything in my power to give my kids every opportunity I didn’t have, they go without nothing and I do my damnedest to raise my sons with a conscience.
    I spent the best part of the day fighting back the lump in my throat. I spent the day before when I was shopping for my mum’s present doing the same. Late in the afternoon I was getting dinner ready when I just had to out of the house. I went outside right up the back of our yard and I just couldn’t stop the tears flowing. I’m not glad other woman feel like this because no one should have to ever feel this. It’s the deepest, most heart wrenching pain in the world. I feel so alone, so worthless. I have questioned everything I do and how I have done it. Am I the reason my mother, my partner and now my son dont value me at all? Year after year I just feel and I want it to stop.

    • shooting star says:

      I am sorry things seem so bad right now. I had a dysfunctional mom too. What helped me was to tell myself that there are about 7 billion people on this planet and I will find the nice ones to be around and try to avoid the mean ones as much as possible. Good luck to you. There are people you will meet soon who will be kind to you… including yourself.

  122. Icksney says:

    Thanks for writing this, saying this. Yeah…mother’s day, not fun, not happy. Suffice it to say the Mother I had inspired me to never bear anymore ‘bad seed.’ There is no one to call and the phone here will never, ever ring from my kids. My kids that never had a chance to be born.

  123. Wow, this is really beautiful. Mother’s Day is not a place of pain for me, particularly, but I am very aware that it is for so many that I love, in exactly the ways you describe. What an amazing piece.

  124. mariana says:

    This, too, was important for me to read: ” It’s still a bite in the butt when going through the myriad Mother’s Day cards. I want to try and get something that’s not a lie about our relationship.”

    So hard, like grinding your teeth hard, to go through the cards and not weep for the sweet ones and just want to give up. I finally bought a post card at a museum that was blank on the back, so as to be able to avoid buying a card the words of which I didn’t mean or believe.

  125. Thank you! I needed this!!!

  126. Maria Bortugno says:

    My childhood was over when my Mom lost her battle with Kidney disease. I was eleven. My universe changed forever that day. I would never again have a shoulder or ear to turn to, nor that unconditional love and Bond my Mother and I had. No more sharing or shopping. No more fun Holidays. No shopping together for my Wedding dress or sharing girlie secrets. I was recently married and although the occasion was lovely it was haunted by the absence of my Mother.

    I don’t begrudge anyone who is fortunate to have had their Moms their whole life, I only hope they don’t take for granted the joy Moms bring! Happy Mothers Day to all Daughters, fir you are the lucky ones!

  127. I cant express how much this article spoke to me today. Ive read many “why mother’s day sucks” articles, and nothing resonated quite on the level as this did. It’s heartfelt, well thought out deeply sensitive. Thank you for writing this, for me and for every woman and child I do or dont know that hurts so deep on Mother’s Day.
    With warmth

  128. I have a emotinal support blog in spanish. Would you mind if I translate your post for my population, I will give you all the credits and mention your blog. Please let me know.
    Thank you.


  129. Nichole Jacoby says:

    This is especially for meh… My amazing uncle shared this to me on facebook, and it meant a lot. I’m a mother of 3 handsome boys and thy are all adopted. Together. This told meh that its alright that I felt sad, down and depressed yesterday on Mothers Day 🙁 I wantd to feel happy and yet it was hard… alwys is, evry single day but evry yr on these special days… thank you for your inspiring words, means a whole lot to ME! It lift meh up just for a second and put a smile on my face… again THANK YOU! 🙂

  130. my adult daughter won’t speak to me for reasons that I don’t even know. she is bipolar and apparently I just couldn’t be the mother she needed. letting go is so hard. I try to tell her that I love her and she just pushes me away. my mom is wonderful and I always dreamed that I would be just like her. she lives far away and even though I see her, I miss her so much in my everyday life 🙁

  131. SportsGuy says:

    All of this is very true, for men and their mothers as well.

    Thank you ever so much for putting into words what we feel in our hearts.

  132. Thank you for sharing this with me and thank you for writing these words. Mother’s Day can be hard for so many reasons…thank you for acknowledging this.

  133. It makes me feel better just reading this and other people’s posts. I lost my mom only a month ago. I’m still trying to understand that she is no longer here. I now realize after reading this that I’m not only mourning for the loss, but I’m also mourning the relationship that I have wished fit since I was little that will never be. My mom was not a nurturer. Her way if parenting was once you were old enough to take care of yourself you were in your own. I always felt like she didn’t care. But I always held out hope that maybe someday she would change, that I could make her change. I have 3 children of my own now. And had realized it is what it is and that it won’t change. And now that she is gone, I will no longer have the opportunity to keep trying. I didn’t even get to say good by at that I was sorry. It’s so helpful to read other people’s post and to see that there are many people out there that didn’t have the perfect relationship. I don’t need to feel guilty. It’ll be a long journey to get myself to believe this. Thank you so much.

  134. I love you!

  135. Thank you for this!

    I have never had a real relationship with my biological mother. We speak on occasion, but mostly out of necessity. My grandmother (my mother’s mother) raised me for a number of years as did my great-great grandmother. Unfortunately, even after having three more children after me, there was no connection with myself and my mother.

    Both my grandmother and great-great grandmother are both deceased and the day is just not the same. What hurts the most about Mother’s Day in addition to not having a relationship with my own mother, is not being able to have children of my own.

    But I do have a wonderful husband and I am the teacher to 15 great students who are like my own. So I feel blessed to be able to give these children all the love I have and nurture them to become independent adults. ♥

  136. Thank you… I have cried and reread this for 2 days. This is the first year I have had to cut all semblance of a relationship with an abusive mother and knowing I will never have the traditional Mother’s Days with my 3 children whom are disabled. I look into their eyes and that is the best I will get and I am learning to accept that for me, it is enough.

  137. Shirley says:

    I did not see this until Monday, and still feeling the pain earlier this morning, and chiding myself for allowing “such weakness” to be in me…then I stumbbled upos this! Your words are very moving, an eye opeaner..thank you for posting this.

  138. Thank you for this! I just had a miscarriage less than 3 weeks ago and I was supposed to be exactly 12 weeks on Mother’s Day, which is when we were going to tell everyone. I thought I was at peace with the miscarriage until yesterday, and I was such an emotional wreck! This helped a lot, I let the tears and sobs come, and life is now moving forward. Thank you. <3

  139. selfish, disappointing says:

    I’m glad my friend shared this on facebook. The ambiguity of Mothers Day is so difficult. I avoid sharing my feelings about it, because I don’t think I will be understood. My mother and her mother are alive, but our relationships broke down as they moved farther away, my parents had a messy divorce, I left college, and there was widespread falling out among family members. My mother and I didn’t talk for a few years. The I would get an occasional card saying how much she loved me, or simply, “if you had children of your own, you would understand.” I want a better relationship with my grandmother, but she can’t understand why I can’t reconcile with my mother. I have a hard time knowing how to communicate, and then feel enormous guilt and stress when I do nothing. I’m sorry to see there are so many others who are hurting, but it helps to not feel so alone.

  140. Thank you for these beautiful words. They said everything I felt today.

  141. Your words voiced exactly how I felt today.
    Thank you.

  142. Lisa Gioia-Acres says:

    A dear friend of mine, who knew how painful Mother’s Day is for someone like me who never knew her mother, shared this post with me. It helped. Thank you. The connections I have made with my friends and the bonds I made being a mother to my daughters has helped to heal me. And knowing there are others that feel the deep emotions, such as those who read your blog, is also of great comfort.

  143. Wow. I am so happy I found this story. You hit the nail on the head, as I did a lot of crying yesterday. Not only because of all the beautiful photos of moms on Facebook, but also because of several of the complications you listed above. Thank you. You’re clearly wonderful. 🙂

  144. Thank you for making me feel less guilty about hating Mother’s Day. I don’t begrudge others who deserve to enjoy it, but it gets me very depressed.

  145. Margo Howland says:

    Thank you for this post. My wonderful mother passed on 1/1/11 and I was never able to have children of my own. I married in my late thirties and then the reoccurrence of a fibroid tumor in the uterine wall necessitated a hysterectomy. I’m still sad that we never had children. Luckily my husband’s mother is still alive and well and I tell him to enjoy her company while he still can…

  146. I had to take a break from Facebook yesterday because I couldn’t handle all of the mother’s day shout outs. I lost my mom 6 years ago when I was 25 and miss her dearly. Thanks for holding space for all of us.

  147. Dinah R. says:

    wow. You feel my pain. Thank you. Love & Light

  148. Wow thanks for those truthful real words!

  149. What a beautiful sentiment and so well-written. Thank you!

  150. Mother’s Day is about honoring the women in your life who are mothers, including your own mother, your grandmother, your stepmother, etc. It is not about ‘you’, its about others. So for those of you who are upset because you are left out of something on Mother’s day, you are missing the point of Mother’s Day. It is a day about others, not about self.

  151. Thank you, my mother died a couple of years ago when I was only 20, now I’m living in a country where the Mother’s Day falls a few days after the US Mother’s Day, which means I’ve been surrounded by Mother’s Day for more than a week. Making Mother’s Day gifts with my students was one of the hardest things I’ve done all year. This article was a great healing message for me.

  152. Jessica says:

    Profound. Thank you.

  153. Treasure says:

    Thank you. I felt like such a fool as the tears fell Sunday morning. As I looked around at all the smiling faces, I so easily forgot that I was not the only one feeling this way.

  154. I bought the present. I sent the card. I made the phonecall. I smiled and acted like all the hurt didn’t matter. I bit back the words that would destroy all-to-fragile bridges… and at church they gave jellybeans to all the mothers, and some thoughtful person called out that Polly should have one too, even though I’m not a mother, for all the children I work with every day. It was a mixed bad.

  155. natasha says:

    thank you for this. its perfectly said and beautiful. I cut ties with her last october, finally stopped the dance…I felt so alone until I saw this. what a relief it was to see somebody “gets it”.

  156. Nancy North-Gates says:

    Thank you for having this. I wanted yesterday to just say to everyone “I hate Mothers Day”. But I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s happy day. And it would be so hard for anyone to understand. I have two grown children who are in there late 20s plus a foster daughter the same age and all three are doing OK. I am considered by all to be a successful mother. But I lost two children, my mother died when I was 26 and we had had a difficult relations ship and my beloved MIL died 20 years ago. I just don’t like this holiday at all. I feel that it tries to force me to celebrate whether I want to or not. Yuck.

  157. Yup… Mother’s Day is hard…Thank you so much for such meaningful words…the first time trying to read it, I couldn’t see for the tears, but once I got through it, I realize I am need to just give myself permission and just be…
    Also brought me some sense of peace, as of course, I am not the only one grieving for a mother that didn’t mother.

  158. For myself, and the three babies I barely got to hold in my womb, let alone my arms: thank you.

  159. I just wanted to say that I think this was one if the purest, kindest things I have ever read! I hope you understand the impact of these loving and deeply touching words! They really made a very hard day for me easier.
    Thank you.

  160. wohh just what I was searching for, regards for putting up.

  161. Thank you for allowing me to feel acceptance for the feelings I was holding in. Not wanting to let anyone know the darkness I was feeling, the jealous feelings of others having a lovely time with their Mom’s and or their children. While I painted on a smiling face yet was dying inside. Thank you for allowing me to not feel so alone. A million thank you’s. Love and light to you <3

  162. A Sad Mom says:

    I wish I’d seen this on Sunday…I slept most of the day and cried for the rest of Mother’s Day. I am a mother without my child. My child is now a grown woman who won’t have anything to do with her mother… 🙁 She blames me for all the bad and sad things that happened when she was a child. She forgets that it was me who wiped away her tears, hugged her lots and reassured her that things would get better and that I would always love her and be here for her. So on Mother’s Day when my beautiful daughter forgot to call me, it was her mother who cried for her daughter, who just wanted to be remembered with love and thanks for raising her to be the beautiful and talented woman who she is today. I used to love Mother’s Day; now I hate Mother’s Day because I am a mother without my child.

  163. Thank you. Thank you for holding this space.

  164. beautiful

  165. Mother’s Day has come and gone, and I’ve heard from my two biological children. That’s expected, because the bond with them has been adequately nurtured through the years. But three children whose lives I shared are now forever gone. They have taken other paths and I regret that they feel this way. For I am one of the despised stepmothers who tried, but ultimately failed to retain any connection with them. My husband sees my sadness, but he urges me to accept what I cannot change. He does better with this than I do. Every year, my path of pain begins with Mother’s Day and ends with September 11th. I try my best… When we all got together in 1973, it looked so hopeful. Three children whose mother had died young, and their handsome father, who needed a wife and a housekeeper for his beautiful home. Two toddlers, who never knew another life before their father left me in 1971. All seven of us were all born in different months — which made the parade of birthdays and holidays work out so well. It was uncanny. I don’t know if I will ever feel differently. Now that I am almost 74, it is the kind of pain that I try to assuage but with great difficulty. Thanks for reading. Ellen

  166. Thank you for these words. I lost my baby at 5 months. There is nothing worse then feeling of failure and love at the same time. Very heart wrenching. And very lonely.

  167. Wow. What an amazing post !

    I’ve never been able to find a card that works for the relationship with my mother.
    And it is rare to read something like this that is so accurate and bound to be so helpful to so many people trying to navigate what might not feel like the norm… but is.

    Thank you for not leaving these words unspoken!

  168. Your words inspired to write a blog about Letting in the light after Babyloss
    It was truly the most difficult thing I had to do in a life of many challenges. I miss my daughter Hannah every day but I am now able to enjoy my life, something I thought would never happen. I feel hope for my future now and am so glad I have found your site
    Thank you

  169. Wow, good stuff. I was looking for some “words” on the anniversary of a friends Mothers passing. Glad I found this page!

  170. Beautifully written. So glad that I found this, even if it was after Mother’s Day. Thank you!

  171. Una Simms says:

    Thank you.

  172. If there is one holiday that honors something that every human being has personally touched and been affected by, this is it. It is not religious, it is not patriotic, it does not celebrate someone you have not known, seem or touched, it is not ethnic, it is not to memorialize, etc. Regardless of individuals experiences with this person, this day is to give acknowledgement to a human being that provided each of us the security of a place to develop from a fetus to a living person. No one would be here if a Mother did not use incredible changes of her body as an incubator for our existence. Yes I honor others, I am thankful for events and occurrences, I enjoy many celebrations and I give respect. In addition to those I also add deep emotions and a debt I owe to my Mother. Now That she has passed, I am paying off the debt by being who she raised me to be.

  173. I have read many articles on Mother’s Day with a broken heart, and many have helped, but yours is so incredibly well written, and so universal, that I felt I needed to say thank you. Mother’s Day is such a difficult day for so many people, for so many reasons, and your article delicately addresses this pain with reason and compassion. God bless….
    “the gift of healing”

  174. Thank you for giving us permission and space to grieve. My birthday always falls on Mother’s Day weekend, and reminds me of the fact I am adopted and lost my first Mother the same weekend as Mother’s Day and my first day of life outside her womb.

  175. Thank you for this. I am really down about Mother’s Day this year. My own mother is the BEST but we are relocated to another state right now and I won’t see her. We have two adopted children, ages 18 & 19. The 19 yo is in prison and has been for over a yr. He writes us but he keeps getting time added to his sentence and can’t seem to change his ways at all. The 18 yo rarely communicates with us. She is homeless by choice and was a chronic runaway since age 17 but started doing that since age 14. She refuses help from other family that has tried to take her in and even from youth shelters. We are afraid for her life. She is involved in all kinds of risky behavior. I gave up having birth children for these two. I thought I could see them. Now all I have is a gigantic hole in my heart and PTSD from the whole ordeal. 🙁

  176. Natasha says:

    Thank you so much for this. Mothers Day is always hard for me because I never had a mother to celebrate it with.. THank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!

  177. Kimi Eisele says:

    a year later, this is pretty damn great. thank you. thank you.

  178. Thank u for this n for lighting a candle for me. I am a daughter of narcassistic parents and today Mother’s Day was so hard for me as my mother acted so hurtful as I knew she would. I needed this article today.

  179. Natalie says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  180. Adrienne says:

    Thank you. This day, this year, was one of the worst I’ve had. What a breath of air, what a recognition that the day is fraught for some of us.

  181. Thank you for thinking of us. Not easy to articulate how we feel when we are supposed to celebrate but we are actually suffering…


  1. […] This meditation on the various experiences of mothering and being/not being mothered shows the depth of the day–and lets everyone in to experience reflection. […]

  2. […] Ms. Feverfew – This came to me by way of Hopeful World ( and a friend over at fMh. I thought I would share these healing words with you today. Much love, […]

  3. […] is a post shared by a friend who struggled to conceive for a many number of years before finally having her […]

  4. […] was fortunate to have read this today. It really hit home. I’ll have to try to remember to read it again next year, hopefully […]

  5. […] sans kiddo.  I’m home now and taking a quick glance at Facebook, saw this: “In case Mother’s Day is Hard for You“  Earlier today, I was trying to reason my way to why Jesus matters to people and why these […]

  6. […] know Mother’s Day can be tough for many. I loved Jen’s post: In Case Mother’s Day is Hard for You. My own dear mother often quipped “Happy Guilt Trip Day!” Whatever your situation, I […]

  7. […] Re: mother's day when not close to my mother This here helped me: In Case Mother’s Day is Hard for You […]

  8. […] end of the evening. I’m happy I did. My sister sent me the link to a very touching article ( with a simple “Je t’aime”. It was nice of her, because earlier she gave me […]

  9. My Homepage says:

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: […]…

  10. […] out this great blog post on a similar topic by another blogger, called In Case Mother’s Day is Hard for You. Or for a mood boost, check out the funny YouTube video for moms by Kid […]

  11. […] morning, I read a blog post titled “In Case Mother’s Day is Hard for You”. It caught my eye because in the past few days, […]

  12. […] In Case Mother’s Day is Hard for You. […]

  13. […] Couldn’t have said it better myself… In case Mother’s Day is hard for you […]

  14. […] read this. And it didn’t make the day suck any less, but it made it feel less lonely. And I watched an […]

leave a thought.