Mother’s Day, and the month of May in general, is an emotionally charged month for me. It was on Mother’s Day in 2012 that my sister asked if I was pregnant when I complained about how nauseous I felt. And sure enough, I was pregnant with my first baby. It wasn’t planned but my husband and I were overjoyed.
A year later, I was still grieving the loss I experienced at 11 weeks. And the year after that, I was in the midst of my third miscarriage at the same time that my second baby was due.
I didn’t know what to do on Mother’s Day that first year. I had a baby in heaven, should I celebrate him? Was I even allowed to acknowledge the day since I never became a mom? I felt this odd sense of being an imposter, yet I couldn’t let go of the feeling that I WAS a mom, even if just for a little while.
Since that first challenging year, I have developed a few ways to help me get through Mother’s Day as a mom with only babies in heaven.
Here are my 6 tips for getting through Mother’s Day after a loss:
- Nurture yourself. Take care of YOU. Give yourself permission to grieve on Mother’s Day. Take time to honour your feelings. Do something that makes you feel good. Whether it’s a warm bath, an afternoon nap, losing yourself in a great book, or listening to music you love – give yourself something.
- Stay away from social media. If you find that all the pictures of mothers with their children just makes you green with envy (or something worse), take a social media break. Grief is already a difficult emotion to manage, don’t add anger, jealousy, or irritation to the mix. Just avoid it.
- Say no. If you’re expected to show up at a get together and you know you’ll be faking a smile but inwardly falling apart, don’t go. It doesn’t serve them or you. They will get nothing from your presence when you can’t be “present” with them and enjoy the day.
- Use your essential oils. The florals are so good for comforting your soul. My favourites for comfort and self-love are Neroli, Jasmine, Rose and Bergamot. Apply a drop or two topically over your heart centre and on pulse points. Breathe in those beautiful scents.
- Forgive. There are people in your life who don’t know the best thing to say or do on this day (maybe on other days too). Know that they are trying their best, based on all they were taught and just don’t know the best way to support you. Forgive them.
- Celebrate the mother that you are. Maybe it’s me, but I feel like we’ve been taught that Mother’s Day is about thanking our moms for all that they do. To me, it’s about gratitude and appreciation for the mom that you ARE, not what you do. And you ARE a mom. Even if your baby is not with you here on earth, you were a mother to that child while it grew in your womb. You nourished, protected and cared for him or her, and you loved (still love) that baby with every fibre of your being. That is being a mother.
The bottom line is, it’s okay to do what’s right for YOU on Mother’s Day. Do what is going to make you feel good and do it without guilt.
Share with us in the comments what you will do this Mother’s Day to get through the day. And if you do need more support from someone who understands how you feel, talk to me. I have so much to offer you. Schedule a complimentary session with me here.