At the very least, Mums and Dads deserve a day designated to them, a day for their children to show appreciation for all of the above. However, not everyone is lucky enough to have a loving set of parents and whilst they are just calendar days of the year, Mothers and Father’s Day can be tough for some.
There’s those whose mothers have abandoned them, leaving them feeling unloved or unwanted, sons and daughters struggling with resentment and anger toward their alcoholic or drug addict father. There’s children wondering why they were put up for adoption or have foster parents and kids reminded that their father is abusive or their mums in prison. There’s those who've parents have passed away. There are also heartbroken fathers mourning the death of their only child and women suffering from post-natal depression, blaming themselves for not feeling a bond with their baby. Couples desperately trying for a baby to no avail. The list unfortunately goes on.
In amongst the plethora of Mother’s Day gift guides and incessant adverts, emails and set menus, I wanted to write a post for those who might be struggle on Sunday and Fathers Day when it comes around with some ideas of alternative ways to spend these tricky days. As you may already know, or have guessed from the photo, my mum died 7 years ago on Tuesday and therefore my list is written particularly with those who have suffered the bereavement of a parent in mind.
Reliving memories: For those with happy memories of their parent, it could be about reflecting on holidays, birthdays and times they made you laugh, reaching for photo albums, listening to Mum or Dad’s favourite songs or watching that movie they made you watch 20 times. Just make sure you’re feeling strong, you don’t want to end up upsetting yourself.
Spending time with other family members or friends: Consider whether you feel up to tackling public places such as restaurants which will be swarmed with happy families. If not, maybe take a trip to the cinema, have a day in baking or playing board games.
Show appreciation for the people you DO have: Maybe your Dad is awesome and in your mother’s absence, has stepped up and played the role of Mum AND Dad like my Dad certainly has over the years. You might have a best friend whose fantastic folks who treat you like family. Perhaps, like me, you have an amazing step-mum who doesn't live up to up the evil Disney trope and is wonderful, kind and supportive without trying to replace my mum. The same applies for foster or adoptive parents. What about those fabulous friends of yours who remember that these days are difficult for you and let you know they’re thinking of you? Let them all know what they mean to you whether it’s sending a text or going all out and cooking a 3 course dinner made up of their favourite dishes.
Keeping busy: Tackle your blog’s broken links, blitz your inbox, do a spot of DIY or work on the pesky task that’s been lingering on your to-do list for months. You’ll keep yourself distracted but will feel accomplished at the end of the day.
Treating yourself: If the day is a write off in terms of being productive, make it about you: think shopping trip, binge-watching a series on Netflix, Dominos delivery, luxurious Lush bath and face mask or, if you’re feeling it, maybe the whole lot!
As for me, I'll be listening to my playlist of songs that remind me of my mum which I've included below to show off how cool she was. I'll also be collecting my sister (who will have just got back from 3 months of travelling!) to go for Sunday Lunch and take the dog for a walk.
Whilst it’s completely understandable and OK if you feel low tomorrow if you're missing your mum, it’s also totally reasonable and OK if you don’t – it doesn't mean you love your Mum any less and you certainly shouldn't feel guilty; people grieve differently and their sadness triggered by different things. Whatever your scenario and however you choose to spend tomorrow, I hope you have a peaceful and, where possible, happy Mother's Day.
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