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Coping With Mother’s Day When You Don’t Fit the Mold

Whether you are a mom, have a mom, or fall somewhere in between, Mother’s Day can bring up many different emotions. Some of us dream of becoming a mom one day and won’t be able to. Some of us have lost our mom too soon. And, let’s face it, some of us just don’t have a great relationship with the person who brought us into this world.

Regardless of the category you fall into, if you find yourself struggling this Mother’s Day, consider these tips to help get you through the day:

DISCONNECT FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
Your feed is bound to be filled with all things “mom” and there’s no reason to fill your brain with these images, quotes, and tributes. If you are already feeling sad or lonely, seeing other people’s joy and celebrations won’t help. Show yourself some compassion and log off for the day.

DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF
If you already know that this day is going to be emotionally draining and challenging for you, schedule something to fill your cup. Hang out with a friend, work on a project, get a massage or anything else that will put a smile on your face. You deserve a little love everyday, and this day is no different.

HAVE SELF-COMPASSION
If you’ve struggled with infertility, miscarriage(s), or have an estranged relationship with your mom know that you are not alone and your feelings are completely normal on this day. Acknowledge that this day is tough for you. Feel your feelings. Write them down or talk to a friend. You don’t have to hide your feelings. Tell yourself that it’s OK to be sad. Be kind to yourself just like you would a young child. Once you have notices and acknowledged how you are feeling, see if there is anything you can let go.

CELEBRATE YOURSELF
Wherever you are in this journey, know that there are a million others amazing things that make you who you are. Yes, being a mom or having a mom is a special role and relationship that some of us get to experience. But, this is only one day of the year. You are an incredible person! Honor where you are at in your life right now. Love yourself.

CREATE A NEW TRADITION
Mother’s Day isn’t likely to fall of our calendars anytime soon. Consider starting your own tradition on this day to make it your own. Maybe you recount memories, do something to honor someone else, find a way to give back to the community, head to Lake Michigan, or buy a new book. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s something you’ll look forward to year after year.

It’s important on this day to treat ourselves with unconditional love, acceptance, and compassion. Be patient with yourself and know that you are not alone.

Emily Betros is a licensed clinical social worker, certified health coach, and owner or Reclaiming Health, LLC. She helps clients put together an individualized plan to meet their health goals. Emily enjoys hiking, traveling, vegan-izing recipes, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

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