When motherhood isn’t as expected
Mother’s Day may be bittersweet
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.
Maria Bailey is an Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist based near Torquay, Devon, where she lives with her husband, three children and two dogs. Maria uses the Grief Recovery Method, a short action programme via Zoom, to mainly help people who have lost loved ones to cancer and Covid-19. You can find out more about Maria here.