Mothers Day - mother & baby hands - G Gawne-Kelnar

Are you over Mother’s Day yet?

And by that I mean, have you recovered from it? Healed again? Found your balance after the stormy emotions it might have rained down on you?

Because for many people this single day in the calendar echoes painfully in their hearts for much, much longer – sometimes days, sometimes weeks. It can unleash all kinds of sadness and despair. Why? There are many reasons…

Maybe you don’t even know if you’re ‘allowed’ to call yourself a mother just yet. Maybe you’ve been trying to have a baby, but it just hasn’t happened yet.
Maybe you’ve walked the long IVF path and had all kinds of procedures and all kinds of hopes, but just no luck so far and you feel stuck on a treadmill of pain.

Or maybe you’ve had a miscarriage and along with it, lost your dreams of that particular, beautiful child and your shared future together.

Or you’ve finally held your baby in your arms only to lose them to illness or accident. Or you’ve lost your own mother, through death or disharmony.

All so heartbreaking. Overwhelming. Isolating.

You can feel so alone with these kinds of pain that are either just too hard to talk about, or that well-meaning people want to smooth over quickly with platitudes that only hurt some more: ‘You can try again’ or, ‘She’s still here with you in spirit.’

And even if you thought you were on the path to healing again, a seemingly simple day like Mother’s Day turns up and can unleash all that stuff upon you all over again.

So, though it’s almost two weeks since Mother’s Day, if you’re still feeling it, know that you’re not alone.

The media and the hype and the flowers may have all died down, but if your sadness is still with you, you are not alone. A whole, mostly silent, community across the globe stands with you. And though you might not hear them, or might not know who they are, they are walking through some of this pain alongside you. Right now.

Sometimes simply knowing that, and letting it sink deeply into your mind or heart or soul, can be enough to start a kind of healing.

And if you’re not sure whether you even have ‘the right’ to be a part of this community, because you’re not sure if society would consider you ‘a mother’ yet, just know that if you’ve ever offered your body up to become a new universe for a tiny star of a child within you, you’re a mother. However small or fleeting that spark may have been,you were there, nurturing, loving, being all you could be.

How else might you survive the post-Mother’s-Day blues?

Perhaps it’s also worth thinking about how you might nurture yourself for a moment, too…How might you allow that sense of loving, motherly care include you as well? How might you parent yourself through this?

What could you do – right now – to ease your heartache and take care of yourself for a moment? To honour your path with motherhood and all that it means for you?

It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Maybe just giving yourself some small thing like a cup of hot tea and some time; or closing your eyes and taking a few, deep, mindful breaths… Drinking in this moment. And knowing that others are drinking alongside you…   .

Text and photos copyright: Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar
Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar  is a  psychotherapist who works with people all over the world via email and Skype.  One of her areas of focus is on fertility, pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. You can reach her via One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy. Gabrielle also facilitates telephone support groups for people who are living with cancer, for their carers, and for people who have been bereaved through a cancer experience.