For Whom Mother’s Day is Difficult

Mother’s Day is this Sunday and we will collectively celebrate the women who either gave us life or raised us. We will make phone calls, or take them out to lunch, send them flowers, buy them meaningful cards, and express gratitude for all the sacrifices they made for us.

Except some of us won’t be doing any of those things on Sunday for a variety of reasons. There is a small club of us for whom Mother’s Day is difficult. This post is for us.

Mother’s Day is difficult for those of us who have lost our mothers, either through death, estrangement, or other reasons. It’s difficult for those who deal with infertility and Mother’s Day is just a reminder of what we don’t have. It’s difficult for those who have lost children and it’s a day that reminds us of what we used to have.

I remember the first Mother’s Day after my mom died. I was 8 months pregnant and completely dreading that Sunday. We all met up at the cemetery to see my mom’s headstone for the first time. She died six months previously and the ground was too hard to install it earlier. I think we went out to lunch afterwards. I can’t remember. Grief has a way of erasing memories. Self-preservation at it’s finest. The next month I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and my mom wasn’t there to hold my hand this time.

Mother's Day

The advertising industry doesn’t realize how hard this holiday is for some of us. They don’t realize how triggering it is to see the umpteenth commercial about the perfect card/flowers/fruit bouquet you should send your mother. They don’t realize how triggering it is for women who are experiencing infertility, or are childless due to life circumstances, to see commercial after commercial reminding them that they’re not a mother when they desperately want to be. And unfortunately some bloggers are devoid of empathy and compassion and like to shame those of us who have deep-seated hurt around this day.

That is why we need to be patient with our tender little hearts. We need to do some self-care and allow ourselves to feel what we feel, without guilt or shame. (For self-care I like to take baths and read, exercise, watch silly movies with my kids, and make snarky jokes). If Mother’s Day is difficult for you for any reason your feelings are valid. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel bad for feeling bad. Give yourself the same empathy and compassion you would give your best friend. Celebrate, or don’t, however you choose this day. For this one day, it is all about you and your tender heart. Protect it.

I acknowledge that I am incredibly lucky. I have four children whom I love and who love me. They keep talking about the things they are making at school for me or the present they all want to buy me to celebrate me on Sunday. They are so sweet. What I want to do on Mother’s Day is gather them around me and embrace each one of them and tell them just how lucky I am to be their mother. They are such good kids with such big hearts. I also have a wonderful mother-in-law, who has always treated me like one of her own kids and is just about the best grandma in the whole world. I have no problem honoring her on Sunday and thanking her for all the sacrifices she has made for her family. All the things she has given to us to help us make our lives better.  All the times she has cheered us on and picked us up when we’ve fallen. Even when we’re ungrateful or don’t acknowledge just how special she is. Sometimes angels masquerade as people, and she is one of them.

mother day

However, Mother’s Day will always be bittersweet to me. No matter how thankful I am to be a mother and to have had a wonderful mother and mother-in-law, there is a part of my heart that will always be missing. It’s in the shape of my Mama Sue. On this day I will wear the necklace I gave her on the very last Mother’s Day we celebrated with her when none of us knew she was sick. I will lay flowers on her headstone and I will thank my God above that one of the bravest, funniest, most loving people I’ve ever known gave birth to me. But I will also mourn because I wish she were here for me to tell her why I’m so grateful I was lucky enough to be her daughter. Alas…alas…

Happy Mother’s Day, to all of us, the motherless, the neglected, the infertile, the childless, the discarded, the abandoned, the weary, the sad. This day is for you too.

This post was featured on The Huffington Post


17 thoughts on “For Whom Mother’s Day is Difficult

  1. Blah blah blah, seriously get some help! I love how multiple times a year you have to go into his depression over your mom. Then you project your mommy issues onto your children who are all ready screwed up because you are their mom. If I was your kid I’d give myself up for adoption! If you actually followed the teachings of your “faith” you would know that if you live righteously you would see her again, but you don’t so maybe that’s why you can’t deal with it. I knew your mother and know that this is not how she would want you to be living your life. So pull up your big girl panties and go get some serious help instead of constantly playing the victim and eating your fee fees.

    1. Look inside,
      Look inside your tiny mind,
      Now look a bit harder
      Cause we’re so uninspired,
      so sick and tired of all the
      hatred you harbor.

      Do you
      Do you really enjoy living a life that’s so hateful?
      ‘Cause there’s a hole where your soul should be
      You’re losing control of it and it’s really distasteful.

      How sad that someone would spend Mother’s Day lashing out in anger because of their internalized guilt over how badly they treat their own mother. I really do feel sorry for you.

      1. /mod/: SuzyQ has lost their commenting privileges for being a toxic asshole. I’m going to reprint my comment policy here.

        I welcome any and all comments that have something constructive to say. I welcome friendly discourse and an exchanging of ideas. I have wonderful family and friends and I’m anxious to hear from them. I welcome new readers because some of my dearest friendships have started in the blogging world. I welcome disagreements with my thoughts and ideas, unless I’m sharing personal experiences from my own life. I rarely publish personal attacks unless they make me laugh at their ridiculousness.

        Speaking of which, if you really feel compelled to write something ridiculously hateful, these are your rules.

        1 – Spelling and grammar are a must. Don’t say it unless you can spell it.

        2 – If I do decide to publish your comment, I reserve the right to mock it.

        3 – If you really have nothing better to do than spread your hate on my blog, at least have the courage of your convictions to use your real name or IP address. Otherwise, you hiding behind a keyboard flinging your poop at the screen is just cowardly. Stop being a coward.

        If you don’t like me, what I write, or my blog, I invite you to use your God-given free agency to exit this site. No one is forcing you to be here and read what I write. Just remember the old adage your Mom used to say: If you can’t say anything nice (useful, worthwhile, helpful, or adds to the discussion) then don’t say anything at all.

  2. SuzyQ – I have one word for you “RUDE”. Why don’t you grow up and stop trying to tell everyone else how to live their lives. Wish your mamma had taught you better manners, oh well. Tell me a little about yourself so I can critique how poorly you are doing. Sure I can find a few hundred things to tell you how you are doing everything wrong.

    Grief is a funny thing and everyone gets to go through it in their own way. Risa is a big girl and handling it just fine. I think you need to get help to deal with having to butt into someone else’s life. There is a saying in my part of the country: Clean up your own backyard before you go looking into mine. And since you obivously have never read the new testament, let me tell you a story about removing a beam from your own eye, before you remove a mote from mine. GROW THE HELL UP.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Queen B. I appreciate it. “SuzyQ” is a deeply disturbed individual. As someone who struggles with mental illness myself (clinical depression) I don’t like to denigrate others with it, but all I can say is at least I’ve gotten professional help with my issues. I don’t take it out on others because I hate myself and my own life so much. It must be Hell living inside their head.

      Secondly, if they knew my mother at all they would know she is very proud of me. I know because she visits me in my dreams and tells me. Also, my living parent, my dad, is so proud of me he’s bursting at the seams. I can’t help if I have a good relationship with my parents, and SuzyQ treats theirs like complete shit. If they knew my mother at all, they would know that were she alive she would be on their front door step right this second defending her girl baby. She would be deeply ashamed of them for how they treat their parents and siblings. In fact, I know she would be highly disappointed in the “man” they became.

      Thirdly, to attack my children is just the lowest thing anyone can do. I mean, how awful of a person do you have to be to say bad things about children? Yeah, my kids are so out of control that they’re honor students, compete in their districts Science & Math Olympiads, are Peer Leaders, and a Cheerleader. They work hard and earn all the money to participate in their activities. People beg my oldest child to babysit because she’s so competent. Adults who actually get to be in my children’s lives because they’re not toxic and mentally ill tell me all the time just how respectful and kind my children are. Something SuzyQ could learn something from.

      Fourthly, I have a deep and abiding faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ. What I reject are the harmful cultural traditions of Mormonism. If that’s a problem for anyone, IDGAF.

      Lastly, yeah, occasionally I eat my feelings. So fucking what? I’d rather be chubby than an asshole who writes hateful comments about someone on Mother’s Day because they feel so horrible about themselves they feel the need to attack others. Gosh, could you *be* anymore of a coward? SuzyQ needs to take their own advice and get help. Lots of it.

      1. Having a mental illness and being mentally ill are two different things. I have depression and I do things to combat it (like medication, exercise, etc.). Being mentally ill, like you so clearly are, is when you don’t control it and choose to take it out on other people, like you have done since yesterday with your hateful comments. Please, get help. It’s just so sad to witness. Secondly, I don’t spiral down into a depression several times a year. Being sad and having a depressive episode are also two completely different things. It’s never going to be okay with me that my mom died of cancer at age 62. That makes me sad. Being in a depressive episode is something I’ve only experienced once in the last 15 years and dealt with with professionals, something you might want to try.

        Now, I’m done ever addressing your comments. Please find a new target for your BPD.

  3. Risa – that was such a wonderful post on so many different levels. You do such a great job of articulating your thoughts and you also do a great job of responding criticism. But SuzyQ’s comment just made me see red. I read, and re-read, the post to see where (and why) they would leave such a hate-filled spew. It was just so untrue.

    I really hope they are met with more understanding when they lose someone close to them whom they love very much. It makes a loss so much worse when someone is so very unkind. I have taking the baptisimal covenant of mourning with those who mourn to heart. It is one of the ways I can give service to those around me. We all mourn differently and there is no time-table for “getting over it”. It’s NOT playing the victim to mourn. I really feel sorry for SuzyQ and the pain they are in because that is not normal to go on an attack like that.

    The part about your children was so out-of-line. FWIW, I think you are a great mother and they are very lucky to be your children. Spews like that say so much more about the commenter than who they are commenting on. Good for you for moderating. Again, I LOVED the post because it was a beautiful expression of how much you loved your mother and how you are coping with her loss. It can be a healing balm to someone else going through a similar situation. Don’t let some mis-guided fool silence your song.

    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Queen B, and for your friendship. Thank you for honoring your baptismal covenants to mourn with me. Sweet friends like you make difficult days easier to deal with.

      Honestly, yesterday was such a good day. I felt my Mother’s spirit reminding me that “death cannot stop true love…all it can do is delay it for a while” (Princess Bride). I know we will be together one day and this separation, no matter how painful, is short. My dad and my siblings, who knew my mom best, affirm to me that she is proud of me and how I have dealt with her death. She suffered from depression too and she always told me just how much she admired how I took control of it instead of it taking control of me. I know she is proud of me because nothing made her more proud than her kids and grandkids. Remembering her brings a smile to my face. I can almost feel her arms around me.

      Thank you for letting me express that.

      1. I’m sure she is proud of you too!!!! I hear you loud and clear about depression—it can knock you to your knees. I know from personal experience. Only someone who has been through it can see the heroic (in my opinion) efforts to overcome it.

        I honestly don’t understand why some people feel we should “get over” grief. If we did not feel so much love for someone, we wouldn’t feel the grief of their passing. Our grief keeps them in our minds and hearts. And why on earth wouldn’t we want to share our thoughts of our loved ones with others — it’s a true expression of love.

        I feel the same way about Mother’s Day as I do Valentines Day. Manufactured holidays that are only about someone making a lot of money selling a dream that makes everyone feel like they don’t measure up. We honor our loved ones in many ways that don’t have to be tied up to a “set aside” day. It was nice to have you acknowledge those who don’t have happy feelings about Mother’s Day. Your opening your heart to share your story has helped others feel like they are not alone, showing them how to get through the day. That is Christ-like love in action. Not sure why someone is so upset by that that they have to say such mean things. It has me shaking my head.

  4. /mod/: SuzyQ does not have commenting privileges because their posts are abusive (and really lame).

    >>>Until next year I bid you Adieu.

    So you plan on making Mothers Day a yearly bleitkreig of hate and venom? Don’t waste your time. Also, go fuck yourself.

    1. It’s nice that you can recognize projection because that is what you are doing. “Bless your heart”.

      I’ll pray for you too because of all the hurt and pain you much have in your pathetic life that is causing you to spew hate and venom. Good Luck until next year.

      1. LOL, Risa. We both told, SuzyQ the same thing. That is what “Bless Your Heart” means in the southern venacular.

    2. Social workers are quite qualified to diagnose people with mental disorders. We take whole classes on it in school and study the DSM-V. We just can’t dispense medication.

      When I say SuzyQ has BPD, it’s not an insult. It’s the only way to explain their behavior on this blog. Only someone with BPD would choose Mother’s Day to unleash their hatred on someone else who has lost their mother, make multiple comments in obsession, and vow to make it a yearly thing. It’s either that or they’re a drug addict. I’ll go with untreated BPD for 1,000, Alex.

  5. My problem with these comments are simple. SuzyQ seems to have such intimate knowledge of Risa and repeatably attacks at a personal level. If you know her and her family so well then why do you hide your identity? Come out. Show your face. If you wont then you are a coward and troll. You obviously are not here to help the conversation, but to make untrue accusations and reveal yourself as a coward.

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