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Mother’s Day is regarded as a time for us mamas to get a much needed break, and much deserved recognition for the hard work we put in daily.
But the reality is: Mother’s Day can be tough for many moms. Some of us have difficult relationships with our mothers or our children; some of us have lost our mothers. Sometimes, we don’t communicate our expectations and our loved ones aren’t able to express their gratitude in a way that fills our cup. Other times we communicate our feelings and they aren’t heard. In many cases, the disparity between mama's expectations and the reality of the day can lead to feelings of disappointment, which then can lead to feelings of resentment, or guilt, or worse.
So what can you do if you find yourself feeling disappointed after Mother's Day?
First, it's important to acknowledge your feelings. I tell my kids often “all feelings are valid.” It's okay to feel disappointed, and it's definitely not uncommon. My feed was filled with Mother’s Day disappointment posts leading up to and after Mother’s Day. Give yourself the time and space to process your emotions.
Second, if you're feeling up to it, try to talk to your loved ones about what you're feeling. This can be a tough conversation to have, but it can also be really helpful in getting everyone on the same page for next year. Be specific about why the day matters to you and how you'd like to acknowledge it. If you want to be alone for the day (which, by the way, is TOTALLY okay), say that. If you want gifts and a nice dinner, say it! Be as detailed as you can so everyone can have the same level of understanding.
Third, try to remember that not every Mother's Day (or holiday) will be perfect. Just like with anything else in life, there will be good years and bad years, highs and lows. Focus on the little moments that make every day special and cherish them for what they are.
Finally, take this week to pick something you wish had been part of your Mother’s Day experience and treat yourself to it! Remember, your feelings are real and valid and it is okay to treat yourself to some self-care and love too. Make sure to fill up your cup so you can continue to show up for others, every day of the year.