Why Mother’s Day is Hard For Some

5 Ways to Handle a Difficult Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day on its surface is a good thing.  In a world where motherhood is at times villainized, I believe having a day dedicated to honoring mothers is a good thing.  I have similar thoughts to Father’s Day as well.  Mothers and Fathers were made by God to reproduce and take care of their children.  We do well as a culture and as individuals when we honor our Mother and Father.

Since I believe Mother’s Day is a good thing why on Earth would anyone struggle with this day?  There are multiple reasons why this may be a difficult day.  This list is by no means exhaustive, but it covers several major reasons why Mother’s Day is difficult for some. 

Your Own Mother’s Death

The reality is we all will face death at some point.  Many people are reminded of their mother’s death on this day.  My wife had a difficult time on this past Mother’s Day as this was her first Mother’s Day without her mom.  Facing these scars of grief can be difficult to process. 


Being Reminded of Your Mother

While this can be tied into grief I mentioned above, Mother’s Day can bring reminders of issues you have with your mother.  For some, their mother did not did a great job of protecting them and at worse your mother might have been abusive towards you.  Mother’s Day can reopen some wounds from the relationship with your mom that was not healthy.


Many couples struggle with infertility. According to the CDC 1 and 5 married women with no prior births ages 15-49 are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying. For women (and men) that are trying but unable to conceive this can be an extremely difficult day of not being able to have children.

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1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Despite this being extremely common, it is not talked about often. Many couples struggle with dealing with miscarriages especially on Mother’s Day.


Around 1 in 4 women in the United States will have an abortion by age 45.   For women that experience guilt from this decision, Mother’s Day can bring those feelings right back up.

Death of a Child

No one wants to bury a child.  By the age of 80, 18 percent of parents have experience the death of a child.  Mother’s Day can bring up this extreme sadness due to the reminder of their child’s death.

Now What?

This is not a very cheerful post up to this point.  I don’t want to only dicuss all the horrible things some women experience.  Let’s list out some practical ways to help women who had a difficult Mother’s Day

Be Grateful

This isn’t an easy one when you have a hard day.  As I mentioned above, there are many legitimate reasons Mother’s Day can be difficult.  However, there are also many great reasons to be thankful and grateful on this day and every other day.  Express gratitude to your own mother.  Especially if you had a loving Mother.  Really express the love that she gave you.  If your mother has passed on, then share a story about your mother.  If your mother was abusive, show gratitude that God gave you life despite the sinful behaviors of your mother.

Maybe you find it too hard to be grateful for anything related to your mother.  I’m still not going to let you off the hook though.  I guarantee you there is a mother in your life somewhere that you can be grateful for.  Maybe it’s the wife of your pastor.  Maybe it’s a teacher you had growing up.  Maybe your best friend is a great mother. Maybe you’re grateful for being a mother yourself.  Despite your legitimate sadness on this day it’s important to show gratitude and thankfulness in some form. 

Express Your Emotions

Despite my urge for you to show gratitude, it’s also okay to express your difficult emotions as well.  This could be through journaling out your emotions, talking with a friend, crying with your spouse, talking to your pastor or even talking to a counselor like me.  God made us to have emotions and to express them.  Don’t keep your emotions bottled up, express them in a healthy way. 

Cry Out to God

When you read scripture you realize the men and women in the Bible did not have perfect lives.  Let’s take Job for example.  He lost just about everything in his life including his own children.  What was his response?  

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21 ESV

Mind you Job wasn’t super happy about everything. Later on in Job 3:3 Job states,

“Let the day perish on which I was born,

    and the night that said,

    ‘A man is conceived.’

Job wishes he wasn’t ever conceived!  But what did Job do?  He cried out to God.  Despite how awful his circumstances were, he knew God was good.  God wants to hear our cries for help.  Do not become too arrogant to believe God does not want to hear your cries!  He absolutely does. 

woman with eyes closed and head titled up outside

Manage Yourself

If you know Mother’s Day or other difficult days are coming (death anniversary, birthdays, etc.) take an honest assessment of what you need.  These might be great days to stay off of social media.  It could be a good day to go talk a walk outside or be surrounded by those that love you.  Don’t just wing it!  If you know it will be difficult then do the due digilance to prepare beforehand.  Don’t expect others to “get it.”  You need to communicate assertively what is needed and make it happen!

Man with hands held, eyes closed, head down and sitting on bench outside at sunset

Accept It Will be Hard

The fact of the matter is a day like Mother’s Day are just going to be hard for some people.  Doing all of these tangible things will help, but the sting will more than likely still be there.  There does come a level of accepting things will be difficult.  But  for Christians we must not lose hope and be sure to cast our anxieties on Him.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7