Awareness, Our Reflections

Mother’s Day

2 min read

Mother’s Day: a day to celebrate the mothers in our lives, the one who gave birth to us, the one who adopted us, the one we picked to be our mother or who volunteered to step up for the role because ours was not available to us, an aunt, a grandmother, friend, or foster mother.

Mother’s Day is a widely celebrated annual event full of happiness and gratitude. However, it can also be a complicated day with countless reasons as to why many women may struggle with this day. Beyond the lunches, Facebook photos, flowers and cards, it can also be a day that causes great pain.

It is important to recognise and appreciate that motherhood can come in many guises: the single mother, the mother who endured years of fertility treatment, the mother who accepts fertility treatment has failed, the mother who lost her child to miscarriage, the teen mother, the “advanced maternal age” mother, the mother who adopted a child, the mother with joint custody of her children with Mothering Sunday not being her weekend, the mother who tragically lost her child, and the mother who perhaps has never felt so overwhelmed and disconnected from life as she currently feels right now.

If Mother’s Day is tough for you, you are not alone.

The societal expectation and pressure for mothers to feel joyful on this day can feel heavy. Motherhood can be hard, both physically and emotionally. The self-stigmatisation women place on themselves to be a happy and energetic mother, while simultaneously handling daily life challenges can silence them. And, this stops many women from reaching out for help for fear of being perceived as a failure.

If a mother is suffering from depression, it can be hard for her to take care of her own needs, let alone the needs of her baby or child, naturally causing her additional distress and anxiety.

3 thoughts to keep in mind this Mother’s Day:

You are the only mother your child needs. Please steer away from any self-inflicted pressure you may be placing on yourself. Your child does not need the social media ‘picture perfect’ life. They just need you, your love and presence! Acknowledge your incredible strength and the small things you accomplish. Realise your worth and don’t believe the negative self-talk you replay in your head. Show yourself more kindness than judgment and more credit than criticism.

Take a moment to mother yourself. Nourish and care for yourself. Get as much rest and sleep as you can. Every little bit counts towards feeling better and able to cope. If you were sick with the flu, you would automatically rest in bed. Mental illness is no different and requires the same level of self-care to help restore and heal.

Share with someone you trust and talk about your feelings. Don’t be afraid to say if something feels wrong. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength and does not mean you are failing for doing so. Talk to your GP, to find out what support and services are available to you both locally and digitally. There is no need to suffer in silence. The sooner you get help and support, the better you will feel.

To all the mothers who are part of the beautiful and amazing diversity of motherhood, please allow yourself to take this Mother’s Day to celebrate YOU. Celebrate your victories, no matter how small they may be. Celebrate the incredible resiliency you have and continue to develop. Take great care of yourself and remember you ARE enough! You are doing a mighty great job, with many brighter days on the horizon.