Let’s face it, Mother’s Day has a whole commercial season surrounding it. Cards, flowers, chocolates, and other treat-yo-mama marketing promotions are strong during the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day. And it sure can be hard to handle when your mom’s not around anymore to share the holiday with.
I lost my mom over 4 years ago, and I had always felt a bit glum and moody during this time of year, then I realized it was because I didn’t have any strategies for coping with Mother’s Day without Mom. So here are my 5 strategies to help you actually enjoy the holiday!
Spend time with loved ones
First let me say, I’m super introverted, so if you relate to that and need time alone? By all means, Friend, do that thing. I get it. Take time for you, process your thoughts, and have some time to yourself. But try not to completely wall yourself away from the rest of the world.
We humans are created for each other’s company. So even if it’s just for a bit, spend time with loved ones. Maybe your husband, dad, siblings, or best friend. Forgive my Martha Stewart reference, but it’s a good thing.
Reminisce & laugh
Oh, this can be so fun! I hate being sorrowful and tearful all the time when I think of missing my mom. Of course there are times when the grief wants to come crush me again, and I might have a good cry, but I won’t allow myself to be crushed. Oh there are times to let it out, believe me. I still do and always will, and that’s okay.
But, oh my goodness, the happy memories are so much better to focus on. Get together with your family members and talk about the funny moments. I remember a time in particular with Mom and my sis at McDonald’s when I was little… I can’t even talk about it without cracking up. I’m sure you have memories like that too, and those babies are the ones to whip out and snort over again right about now.
Treat yourself to something you would’ve given her
I’m going to do this this year. I’ve done it before for Valentine’s Day but it’ll be a first for Mother’s Day.
You see, on Valentine’s Day every year, my mom always gave my sister and me something special as her Valentine to us. On the first Valentine’s Day without her, it just seemed weird not to have that anymore, and sad. So I got myself and my sis really cute nail polish sets, totally something our mom would’ve done for us. (By the way, I used credit card reward points to score those bad boys. Heck yes. Mom would’ve been so proud.)
So what would you have given your mom for Mother’s Day? Chocolates, flowers, jewelry? Maybe you would’ve picked one of the ideas for no-cost gifts here, like making her favorite dessert, or writing her a heartfelt letter. Then Friend, make your favorite dessert in celebration of your mama–I’m looking at you, puppy chow–and then let yourself enjoy that puppy. (Pun intended).
Another gift I gave my mom several years ago for Mother’s Day was a handwritten, heartfelt letter. She loved it so much and told me it was one of her most cherished possessions ever. So I’m thinking, why not write that letter to yourself? Tell yourself how much you’re loved, how beautiful you are, and all the reasons that you’re precious, valuable, and worthy of being treasured.
Continue a tradition you shared
It doesn’t have to be a Mother’s Day tradition. It can be anything you enjoyed doing with your mom. Maybe the movie you always liked to watch together, or a special meal you cooked together, or maybe going out shopping, or to a favorite restaurant. Whatever it was, you can keep these traditions alive by sharing them with your loved ones.
My mom and I always went to Target and Sam’s together. It might sound silly, but we had so much fun on those trips! My sister was almost always with us, so it was her tradition too. I have to admit that the first few trips my sis and I made to those places without Mom were tinged with sadness. It just wasn’t the same. But now we’ve been so many times, it’s one of our adapted traditions that we still carry on. And it’s fun again. 🙂
List 5 favorite things about her
You could do this one lots of times over, but for now just think of a few favorites about your mom, and write them down in any order as they come to you. Here are 5 favs about my sweet mama.
- Her laugh. She would get so tickled over the weirdest stuff sometimes! Her face would turn beet red, and if she started saying, “Oh, no no no!” that meant stop egging her on or she would pee her pants. Ha! Good memories. I’m sure she would be thrilled I’m sharing this with you, by the way.
- Her caring spirit. Even with strangers. Back when I was in school, there was a lady who waited at the bus stop in the cold every morning across from the school, and my mom noticed she never wore gloves. One day Mom stopped and explained that she passed by every morning to take me to school, and she noticed she had no gloves and offered her a pair. The lady was actually offended and even got upset. But that’s exactly why I love this about my mom. It hurt her, in fact she cried, but it didn’t stop her. She reached out to people, and that’s one of my favorite things about her.
- She listened. She always cared what I had to say. She would ask me specifically for updates about things that were going on that I’d shared with her. She cared as much about me as she did herself, probably more. And she always valued what I had to say. She might not have agreed, but she validated my feelings. Even as a small child she never belittled me and always made me feel I was valuable.
- Her smile. One of her front teeth was a bit crooked, but she was absolutely beautiful. I always thought it gave her character and made her unique. She was self-conscious about it though, and she’d taught herself to smile so that her teeth would show as little as possible. Fighting a natural smile or laugh would make her cheekbones stand out, so I could tell when she was trying to hold back. I miss those little smiles. And the big ones too, because I loved that little tooth.
- Her love. Oh, Mama. I’m so thankful for how you loved me. It really was unconditional, and I know now it was the very love of God that shown through her. She was far from perfect as we all are, but I can say this about her: I was never more sure I was loved. Her love for the Lord is something I’m still so proud of. And I’m so thankful she showed me such a true example of His love. Just realizing how grateful I am that she taught me about Jesus? That right there is enough for me to make up my mind that I’m gonna enjoy this coming Mother’s Day.
So now it’s your turn! Take a few minutes to write down your fav things about your mama. It’s so worth it, and it’ll make it easier to find joy during the Mother’s Day season.
A new perspective
So now that you’ve got a new perspective on Mother’s Day post-mom, don’t let it just drift away. Actually put these 5 ideas into action and create a new mood for yourself for Mother’s Day. I’m not saying it won’t be hard, but it is possible. Use the strategies above (or create some of your own) to make the best of the season, and actually find some joy this time around. 🙂
Happy Mother’s Day, Friend! xoxo
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