This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a meaningful tradition for many children. We celebrate all that our Mother does for us and it really is a day centred around love and appreciation.
With that being said, we do have a bone to pick with the commercialisation of Mother’s Day.
It pushes for the celebration of a specific type of mother; both female and biological. At Pocket, we want to acknowledge that families and specifically ‘mothers’, come in all different shapes and genders.
Many of our clients find Mother’s Day very challenging because they have experienced a loss surrounding their biological mother. A person may have limited or no contact with her due to strained relations, adoption or even bereavement. We understand that this day can be full of hurt and one you might like wiped off the calendar. In an ideal world, we would wave a magic wand to help that hurt heal but for now, we hope that others remain respectful and considerate of your level of engagement and celebration of the day.
So, how can you support those that find Mother’s Day tricky?
Acknowledge the feelings, don’t minimise them
If Mother’s Day is loaded with tricky feelings for your loved one, acknowledge them. Sometimes empathic words such as “I understand that this day is really tough for you and I can imagine that you must be feeling quite alienated in this celebration” is enough to let the other person know that you get how they’re feeling. Minimising their loss with words such as “But you have two brilliant dads now and they love you very much” can put pressure on them to push down their hurt and put on a brave face for others. We know that suppressing feelings only makes them stronger.
Acknowledge their biological mother (if it feels appropriate)
Skirting around the elephant in the room can make a situation worse. Everybody has a past and often, the best thing we can do is to acknowledge it and sit with the feelings it brings. For some people, writing a letter to their biological mother is cathartic. For others, looking at pictures or listening to a song that symbolises her is needed. The level of acknowledgement should depend on what the individual is comfortable with.
Celebrate the qualities of the mother
We think that qualities and values should be celebrated, regardless of genetic makeup. The Western World has formed an image of a mother being someone who is loving, supportive and selfless. So, is there a way you could celebrate these qualities? Perhaps you could buy a gift for somebody who has been supportive in your life? Or maybe you could write an encouraging letter to yourself?