The Many Forms of Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is nearly here. Soon there will be gatherings at family lunch tables, in parks, and on beaches in celebration of mothers and all that they bring to the world. For many, this is a day of joy, recognition, and togetherness. Yet, for many others, Mother’s Day can bring a confusing mix of emotions as there are countless ways that our maternal relationships, journey to motherhood, or experiences after becoming a mother may be impacted.
If you have felt sadness, anxiety, heartbreak, anger, or loneliness as you navigate experiences related to motherhood, you are not alone. These types of experiences could resonate with you, as they do for others:
A challenging relationship with your mother, maybe due to family history, boundary issues, differing political or societal opinions, or generational patterns.
Difficulty becoming pregnant, which can incorporate extra stressors caused by medical intervention (like IVF), conflict with your partner, or feelings of guilt and loss.
Postpartum issues, like depression and anxiety, which may feel surprising and overwhelming after potentially longing for a child.
Difficulty adjusting to pregnancy and motherhood, as life suddenly changes, requiring new plans and priorities, and a shedding of your ‘old’ self.
Choosing not to have children, by choice, and feeling a pull to defend your choice to others.
Trying to accept that you will not have children, due to circumstances beyond your control.
Each stage of pregnancy, motherhood, or the absence of either, may present its own physical, emotional, and mental challenges. These challenges can feel particularly sore around a time like Mother’s Day.
Each person’s journey presents unknowns. While there is much beyond our control, there are things we can do to best support our inner beings during times of life transition, stress, and uncertainty.
Here are three holistic strategies that may help you support Your Innermost Self this Mother’s Day.
Our support systems can lift us up – whether we need extra hands for childcare, the nurturing presence of trusted friends, or the strength of our neighborhood to fortify us with a sense of connection – being with our support systems can increase positive emotions and our sense of well-being.
If Mother’s Day includes plans with family or friends, consider practicing mindful awareness during the occasion to help enhance a sense of connection. You could practice this by:
Pausing to notice the present moment as it is,
without judgement or criticism,
while aiming to be open and curious about the unfolding of the day.
If there is not a plan this Mother’s Day, there could be opportunities to connect in other ways, such as:
Organizing a gathering with others, in celebration of anything
Going to community club events or meet-ups
Offering support to friends or family who may need it
Depending on where we are in our motherhood journey, which may include not having children, we could be experiencing any number of emotions. Guilt, fear, sadness, worry, doubt, anger, and denial could all feel very real. We can aim to make space for these emotions, while encouraging balance with things that bring us peace, joy, and fulfillment.*
You might consider what you have done in the past that may have helped you find greater balance during stressful times. You could also brainstorm new ideas, such as:
Intentionally resting, guilt free
Spending time in nature
Praying or practicing acts of spirituality
Treating yourself tenderly (how would you talk to yourself? What would your breath feel like? What would you be doing with your time?)
*Making space and finding balance may be best supported by the help of another. This could include a trained professional if needed.
Pausing to recognize things that we are grateful for can offer a welcome relief when we may otherwise be holding difficult emotions like worry, stress, or fear. This Mother’s Day, you may practice pausing and expressing gratitude for things that are true in life right now. Even in the face of challenge and suffering, there can be opportunities to be grateful for the present and to search for meaning where we are right now.
For example, depending on our individual journey, we may feel gratitude and find meaning in:
Finding a doctor who is helping you move in your desired direction
Enjoying more exercise and movement while on a break from fertility treatments
Appreciation for your friends and family who show up when you need them
Sharing the wisdom you have gained with others
Being a positive influence as an ‘auntie’ to the children in your life
Watching your child discover the world each day
Nothing lasts forever, the hardship nor the good. How can we honor the good of today as it passes on its way?
Navigating periods of uncertainty or change and forging ahead despite feelings of fear can certainly be challenging for us all. You do not have to do it alone. Grow True Psychology focuses on helping people move through change, manage anxiety, and show up as their best selves using a holistic approach to therapy.
If you would like to learn more about Grow True and how it may help, reach out for a free 15-minute informational consultation.
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