Tips for Getting Through Your First Mother's Day Without Your Mom

Mother’s Day without your own mother. It feels so cruel, right? While your friends are purposefully setting time aside to show love and appreciation for their moms, you’re sitting with the aching truth that you can’t physically be with your mom anymore. And that loneliness you might be feeling just thinking about Mother’s Day? That’s grief. It’s so valid and so normal. And while there is legitimately nothing you can do to make it go away, you are worth the effort it takes to care for your heart and soul on Mother’s Day. 

Do something your mom loved.

It is oftentimes worth the energy to seek out beautiful ways to find a moment to remember and celebrate your mother. Celebrating your mom doesn’t have to be elaborate – it can be something as simple as planting her favorite flowers or eating a slice of her favorite cheesecake while watching a movie you both loved. 

Donate to a charity in honor of your mother.

If you have the financial resources to donate, a monetary contribution to a nonprofit with a meaningful cause can be therapeutic. If you’re not sure where to donate, we love the idea of donating money or needed supplies to charities that help moms in need

Talk to others who love your mom.

 Friend, we never want you to feel alone in your grief. And we know that a lot of times family relationships can be so complicated (so definitely don’t feel pressure to take this advice if your family has unhealthy patterns that don't serve your grieving heart). But sometimes, it helps to connect with someone else who remembers your mom too. It can help to talk to your dad, or chat with your brother. It can help to walk down memory lane with your aunt. Sometimes talking about your grief can help you to feel a little less alone.

Celebrate other moms in your life. 

There is something weirdly difficult about missing the Mother’s Day brunch tradition once you become a motherless daughter. And while you definitely never should feel the pressure to do so, it might help to reach out to your mom’s best friends, your mother-in-law, or a friend who has recently become a mother on Mother’s Day. Even if you’re practicing social distancing like much of the world, a virtual lunch can be therapeutic. If reaching out is too much for you right now, then it’s totally OK to say no. It can also help to reach out to another grieving friend by sending a thoughtful card or Mother’s Day gift.

Let yourself feel your feelings.

Anger, anxiety, sadness — whatever you’re feeling, your feelings are valid and understandable. Don’t feel guilty for feeling a certain way, and don’t feel like you need to apologize for your emotions.

Don’t be alone in your grief.

On really hard days like Mother’s Day, some people get wrapped up in a to-do list. Some people spend hours in their room looking through pictures and videos. Give yourself the freedom to grieve in whatever way feels right to you. And while it’s normal to need space, it can help to surround yourself with your loving support system. No matter what you’re feeling, you are worth being remembered. 

Do something for yourself.

Taking care of yourself on hard holidays like Mother’s Day can go a long way in helping you feel grounded. So give yourself the freedom to go on a hike or get takeout from your favorite restaurant. If you’re practicing social distancing and trails and businesses are closed because of COVID-19, you can still make time for a little self-care at home. Make a DIY face mask and wear it while you take a bath with a soothing bath bomb, or give yourself a manicure ( an at-home manicure is easier than you might think). Remember to show yourself kindness in the dark seasons. 

Remember, there isn’t a right or wrong way to handle your first Mother’s Day without your mom.  Give yourself the freedom to struggle, give yourself loads of grace, and remember to treat yourself the way you’d treat a friend. You’re worth it. XO.