When motherhood isn’t as expected

Mother’s Day may be bittersweet


When motherhood isn’t as expected

Grief on Mother’s Day isn’t necessarily about bereavement. When we define grief, we refer to “conflicting emotions.” The experience of being a mum can be full of love and joy while at the same time frustrating, tiresome, painful, and challenging.

To begin with, we have a wide variety of hopes, dreams and expectations that take root long before a child enters the world. As the relationship progresses, sleepless nights, arguments, defiance, and worries create emotional energy within us. This build-up of emotional energy makes motherhood stressful to say the least.


Mother’s Day may be bittersweet due to any number of reasons, such as:

  • A difficult relationship with a child, lack of respect or affection

  • A disappointing birth experience or health complications caused by the birth

  • Infertility or the inability to have (more) children

  • The death of a child including miscarriage, stillbirth

  • An estranged relationship with a child due to family matters

  • A loss of personal identity, career

  • Major changes in the body resulting from pregnancy and birth

  • A child who is affected by illness, injury, disability

  • Lack of support from family members or friends

  • Worries about child’s future, health, success

Whatever your situation, please know that it is perfectly normal to have mixed feelings about the day. Relationships are complicated and can cause complicated emotions. We do not need to feel guilty for not “enjoying every minute.”


When we learn how to make peace with our motherhood story, we can find much more enjoyment – not just on Mothering Sunday, but every day of the year.


To find support with any aspect of motherhood and loss, visit the ‘Find a Specialist’ part of our website, or chat to us via social media.