• Debi

Mothering Sunday for mothers whose children are not in their lives

As a mother who is alienated or estranged from their children, you feel very at odds


Mothering Sunday for mothers whose children are not in their lives

Do you know a mother who lives apart from her children due to marital or relationship breakdown that has had an impact on her relationship with her children?


There are far more than you may realise, and the way society speaks to them can be so very hurtful. Most of us have not chosen to be in this position, it is a wholly unnatural place to find ourselves, and can leave us very disjointed.


As a mother who is alienated or estranged from their children, you feel very at odds, often feeling very sensitive to the mantra of the advertisers who are so very keen to tell you how important mothers are, and how you should say and do all these things to tell them.


Most mothers in this position very often don’t see their children, or if they do, they don’t get to spend substantial time with them. Equally, their children will also be grieving the loss of having their natural close relationship with their mothers on a daily basis, so their behaviour might not be as ‘happy’ as you would hope for which can also make any visiting time very traumatic for both mother and child.


Some of the online card companies are realising that not everyone wants to have that full blown ‘in the face’ Mother’s Day advertising experience, and that it can be very hurtful – so giving them the option of turning off the reminder emails is hugely comforting. However, not everyone is as thoughtful when they open their mouth.


Mothers who are apart from their children live with daily grief of the disconnection of their relationship with their children –


The loss of their place as a mother has several aspects:

  • Loss of being the nurturer

  • Loss of being the protector

  • Loss of being the provider

  • Loss of being the educator

  • Loss of being the caregiver

  • Loss of being the cook

  • Loss of being there to congratulate, or to commiserate

  • Loss of picking up at the school gate

  • Loss of seeing their friendships blossom

  • Loss of seeing their growth in education

  • Loss of sharing impromptu special moments

There are so many aspects of being a mother that people just don’t realise because they are a given, taken for granted, and when someone tells you to ‘pull yourself together’ or, ‘you’ll do them no good being like this’, or, ‘just you wait and see, they’ll come back’, may have no idea how much those comments sting and hurt because the experience, as an alienated/estranged mother we have is very different to that of someone whose mother, or child, has died.


My best advice is to be a heartfelt friend

♥ one who listens, deeply, and gives space to the mother apart from her child/ren

♥ one who truly hears what the mother is saying

♥ one who makes space for the tears, and may well have a tissue ready

♥ one who offers a hug should it be needed

♥ one who doesn’t offer an opinion or judgement

♥ one who doesn’t make it about them

♥ one who can gift the love that is often so sorely missed


Being considerate and thoughtful with the words you use, and the compassion you give is the kindest way to support a mother who does not have their children in their lives.


About Debi


The Founder of The Soul Phoenix Emotional Resilience Coaching, Debi Richens is an Emotional Resilience coach who works in Trauma, PTSD, Grief, and Loss. Debi has a particular interest in Parental Alienation, Grandparent Alienation and Estrangement - having a firm belief that everyone should be afforded a voice and be heard and supported. Find out more about Debi here.