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Turning the Pain of Mother's Day into Joy

By April 28, 2010

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Mother's Day is sometimes a difficult holiday for women. Not every woman has a loving mother, some women don't have children, and others don't have good relationships with their own children. Many women don't have the "ideal" family situation with a happy mother, father, and children.

Celebrating Mother's Day may not always feel like a celebration, but a day of guilt, especially when we compare ourselves to other women. On Mother's Day we're reminded of all the things we should be doing, we hear how wonderful and "perfect" other mothers are, and we think how our lives and situations aren't like those of the women around us.

For the past few years Mother's Day has been bitterly painful for me. Last year, after crying throughout the entire church services and barely making it through the Relief Society lesson without bursting into sobs, I decided I'd had enough. When I returned home I decided that I wasn't going to put myself through that again.

The ironic thing is, that my mom (who is a FABULOUS mother) has always struggled with Mother's Day. I've always judged her for this as it was something I hadn't understood until last year.

This year things are different. This year Mother's Day is going to be wonderful, because instead of focusing on what we don't have, my mother and I are focusing on what we do have- which is each other. We have an amazing friendship and loving relationship. This year we are getting together on Mother's Day and celebrating it together. We are going to talk, have lunch, talk, do some crafts, and talk some more. (We do a lot of talking, just ask our husbands.)

For the first time in a long time my mother has been looking forward to Mother's Day. We're so excited to finally enjoy this holiday and celebrate it the way it should be celebrated. We just had to find what worked for us to be able to focus on all the great things about motherhood instead of dwelling on the painful aspects of motherhood.

How do you feel about Mother's Day? Do you love this holiday, or do you struggle with pain, guilt, and feelings of inadequacy? Share your thoughts in the comments or vote in this poll: Is Mother's Day Difficult for You?

Satan is trying to destroy us with negative thoughts and feelings, but that doesn't mean we have to listen to him. When you find yourself burdened what can you do to change your focus?
May 2, 2010 at 9:59 am
(1) Lori Labrum says:

I have struggled with Mother’s Day because my mother passed away when I was just becoming a mother. My daughter was only 16 months old and my son was only 3 months old when she passed away in September that year. The next Mother’s Day started my dispise of Mother’s Day. With no mother around to call for advice on how to be a mother, that day always reminded me of what I was missing. It is too painful to hear speakers talk about “My mother is my best friend……” “I don’t know what I would do without her.” You learn to live! You learn to go on.! But don’t remind me of what I don’t have. For osme reason the Lord thought it was best for her to leave me without her in my life. It isn’t fun. That was all 32 years ago. My four children are grown and children. I am a grandmother. I still don’t like to sit through Mother’s Day.

May 3, 2010 at 10:04 pm
(2) Marsha says:

Mother’s Day is a time when we can learn to be gracious and appreciate the beautiful things in life. Even if you feel inadequate as a mother, learn to accept and enjoy the appreciation others give you on this day. If you feel unappreciated as a mother that’s a little harder, but you can turn your focus to appreciating your own mother, grandmother or other mother figures in your life.

May 5, 2010 at 2:17 am
(3) Sue says:

Mother’s Day – Celebrating Mothers – always a hard one, but I think of the fact that even though I don’t always get on with my mother and feel that she hasn’t been there for me – she was the vessel for me to come to earth from the spirit world and because of that, I am grateful. She made me, so that I could have my own daughters. I appreciate her for giving birth to me so that I could in turn have my own children and through my faith be sealed to them for ever. You don’t have to celebrate your Mother – just celebrate that she was so that you are here. In our kingdoms coming, our mothers will be there and there will be no more tears, or trials, or feelings of neglect or rejection … celebrate that anything you don’t like right now will be taken away and you will be left with happiness unbounding, unknown joy from this earth. Celebrate what is coming, not what has been.

May 7, 2010 at 6:15 am
(4) Desf says:

Sue – I liked your comment. Even though Mother’s Day holds painful memories for me from my childhood, and even though I am living with a Mother-in-law (or, she is living with me rather) whom I don’t understand and with whom there is often hurt, I think that faith should cause us to turn our eyes to the future, and let the past bury the past. Easier said than, done, right? (This year, I bought my Mother-in-law the fattiest, highest calorie truffels I could find. So though I admit to indulging in back-handed ill-wishing, we can always pray to be better, right?)

May 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm
(5) Pam says:

I was a new convert several years ago, my first Mothers Day at the ward was very difficult.

See I had accepted my sisters help raising my 5 year old autistic son, which involved a legal adoption till I was able to physically and financially provide care for him full time. Once the adoption was final, she disappeared with him.

I had just joined the church shortly after my realization of the betrayal. I admired the church’s family values and dedication to Jesus Christ. The missionaries taught me about Christ thus saved me from the edge of sucide.

I had never shared with anyone what had happened. One, because I felt like a bad, bad mother for trusting my son with my sister. Two, I was afraid I would be judged.

I never let anyone get close enough to me, when I left church that day I was a wreck. I swore I would never go back, the constant reminder of the fact I had lost my child and would never have a family.

I cried after I got home from church and then a man from church knocked on the door, handed me a flower wishing me a Happy Mothers Day. (They were going door to door with flowers for all the women.)

The pain of that day, my first Mothers Day without my son and my first Mothers Day as a LDS was more than I could handle.

I had decided to leave the church. I would never fit in and never have a family like the rest. I would never feel as if I truely belonged.

A few months ago I received a visiting teaching message in the mail. I confided in the lady assigned to me why I had left the church. I have since attended sporatically since but I feel like a fish out of water I really don’t attend.

I am studying the scriptures and praying daily. Although I am very much alone I now know Christ and I am grateful to the missionaries and the church.

I received an email from my visiting teacher asking me to sit by her at church on Sunday. I laughed, does she know it’s Mother’s Day?

May 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm
(6) celeste says:

What a brave step for you to share your very personal experience and feelings. You are not alone, and probably more sisters than not feel inadequate and like they have somehow failed in the mothering department.
I know of at least two moms in my ward, who let their husbands have custody of their children, and I don’t know why and haven’t asked, but I know they are wonderful sisters and I have gained much from their friendship
It sounds like things were really beyond your control. Don’t let it stop your progress. The Savior loves you and wants to heal your wounded heart, but you have to offer it to him to heal.
May God bless you to see that you are His child. Best wishes

May 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm
(7) Rachel Bruner, Latter-day Saint Guide says:

Celeste: Thank you for your kind words of support and encouragement!

May 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm
(8) Maria says:

I wish there will not more Mother’s day, and l let everyone decide if there want to plan a day for it. I am 47, lost my mum at 9, never get the chance to have children. Even knowing that been a mom does not necessary mean bearing them, does not stop those who have had children treat you like you are less than a woman…extremelly sad, specially when that happen in the church. I am a convert and I had never felt such ostility before.
I do not have a special day of the year, and I live my life to the fullness every single day, knowning that everyday of my life is a blessing.
Being conciderate and kind to others should be our priority, regardless if we are related or not in this earth, because in the end, we are here to help each others…

May 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm
(9) lisa says:

Praise God for mothers day. She may not be your mother however that smile, that touch, that gift might have made your day. Lets celebrate all woman that have made a difference in someones life. You never know when you have kept someone from committing suicide, simply because of your role as a woman. There is nothing like the warm touch of a kind woman. Especially when she said’s “it is going to be alright baby”.

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