Geeks Vs Loneliness: Mother’s day without your mum

A few words for those missing their mum on Mother's Day...

Welcome to Geeks Vs Loneliness, our spot on the site where we chat about things that may be affecting you, or people around you. We can’t promise that every article we write will be a useful fit for every person, just that over the course of the series, we hope we come up with something that’ll be of use to you.

Today, we’re handing over to a guest writer, who wanted to have a chat about this weekend’s Mother’s Day. Here’s what she had to say…

Many holidays are rubbish for all of us who have lost or are missing loved ones, but the parents’ days (Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) can be particularly tough. There are so many circumstances that can make these ‘celebration days’ trying: you could have lost your parent(s), could be a single parent filling the role of two parents, could be helping your child deal with the loss of a parent whilst struggling with the loss of your partner… there’s so many eventualities that can make many of us want to avoid these Sundays. I wanted to write this because of my own loss, but I know there’s so many other reasons why these occasions can be hard for people.Here’s some things that I’ve learnt over the years that help me get through Parent’s Days:Social media can be unhelpfulBefore social media if you didn’t want to think about other people and their parents on those days, you could try your best not to. But now the proclamations and declarations pour in and they’re impossible to avoid on your hourly/daily Facebook or Instagram scroll. I try now to totally avoid social media on these days because it can be upsetting and it winds me up. You have the best mum in the world? Your mum is better than all the mothers? How are you qualifying this statement, Karen?! You may be someone who feels better when you use social media to express your feelings on these occasions and find it a source of comfort; whatever works for you. Avoid it or embrace it, you’re the boss.People forget We all forget about other people’s circumstances, it’s hard to keep everyone’s feelings at the forefront of our minds all the time. Just because someone is being a bit thoughtless or forgetful doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. When people who know my circumstances ask me what the date of Mother’s Day is I want to punch them in the face, but somehow I have avoided facing any criminal assault charges so far. I forget stuff all the time, so I have to remember that and give people the benefit of the doubt. That ‘everyone’s fighting their own battle’ saying can be a bit annoying when someone’s being especially frustrating, but it is very true.Commercialism is the worstThe minute Valentine’s Day is over, the Mother’s Day cards come out. Easter’s over and the Father’s Day cards are soon on the shelves; it can be overwhelming. Advertisers will throw ads at everyone hoping something will stick. It’s an unfortunate fact of life and only seems to get more annoying as the ads start earlier every year. This is something I haven’t found a solution to so far – there are email newsletters, leaflets in the post, billboards, online ads… Maybe in a Black Mirror-esque future we can have some sort of blinker implants so we can’t see the ones that might upset us, but until then we have to take a deep breath and delete them, throw them away, walk past them or scroll away from them.

It’s okay to be sadRemembering those we’ve lost can be many things – upsetting, heartwarming, hilarious, comforting… but being forced into thinking about someone you don’t have around any more because of a made up holiday can feel like a punch in the stomach. It’s okay to feel a bit wobbly. Do something nice for yourself; watch a film that’s completely unsentimental, or watch something that will make you have a big old cathartic sob. Go for a nice walk and clear your head. Just take a moment (or several hours) for you.So much damage is done by “being fine”. If you want, tell someone that you find this all a bit much. A hug can help a lot. Or leave a message here – I wanted to let people know they’re not the only ones who find these days a bit of a struggle.

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Thank you, as always, for reading, and stay awesome x