7 Tips When Mother’s Day Hurts

by | May 8, 2022 | holidays | 6 comments

photo cred. Leonardo Wong. Unsplash


MOTHER’S DAY IS TODAY. If you have a child who struggles with addiction, mental illness, suicidal thoughts, gender identity, is incarcerated, or has other issues, today is a painful day. Your heart hurts—a lot. If this is your situation, today’s post is for you.

Moms on a nightnarish parenting journey don’t look forward to this day. I know. I’ve been there. I dreaded the day. The holiday only created increased sadness because it put a spotlight on what I didn’t have. I wanted to skip the day. Let’s fastforward to Monday. I wasn’t going to receive any loving messages from my daughter much less a card or gift. What was there to celebrate?

Don’t Set Yourself Up for This

What about you? You may be sure you won’t see your child, much less have them greet you with affection, a card, or a thoughtful gift like when they were young. They’re oblivious; too self-focused for loving gestures. They may not even realize it’s Mother’s Day.

What’s worse is their apathy. They’re clueless how their lack of care affects you.

Where does that leave you? Set you up for more hurt and pain, anger and resentment.

On Mother’s Day, I would long for the past. Do you? Small amounts of comfort could be found by looking at old photo albums – visual reminders of happier times. Special memories flooded my thoughts from when my daughter was little and wanted to cuddle on my lap. She adored me back then. Can you remember those moments with your son or daughter?

We Can’t Go Back

Those days are over. We can’t rewind and go back. We’re in a new place on our parenting journey—a place of grief and shattered dreams. A point of change and heartache.

Wounds have been inflicted—repeatedly. Soul-crushing disappointments have become the norm.

How did we get here, to this place of not wanting to face Mother’s Day, a day once filled with love and joy?

Soul Wounds are Difficult to Heal

Can we pray the pain away? I tried to, but it didn’t work, not that I didn’t try. I sought God every day, but the hurt hung on like an old Band-Aid that refused to let go, stubbornly clinging to tender wounds . . . soul wounds.

And soul wounds are difficult to heal.

Dear brokenhearted mom, you’re grieving. But there IS a way to feel better even if your child isn’t ready to change. We have no idea when or if that will happen. Until that day, be comforted in your sadness with this reminder:

Your heavenly Father knows your anguish. He sees. He understands. He cares because he loves you. He feels your pain and He is close. He’s praying for you and your child right now. 

What can you do today?

Try these 7 tips when Mother’s Day hurts:

 1) Lower expectations. Better yet, don’t have any. This will prepare you for less hurt and fewer disappointments if the day doesn’t turn out the way you hoped.

2) Change traditions. Do things differently. Start something new.

3) Make plans to do what you enjoy even if you have to do it alone or with a friend. It’s okay to boycott the day.

4) Give yourself permission to feel your feelings. If you need to express sadness, create the space to shed tears. Resentful? Vent away. Let out your emotions. Holding them in will hurt you more in the long run.

5) If you’re angry, write a letter to your child expressing everything you want to say. Hold nothing back then destroy what you wrote. Tear the paper into a million little pieces, cut it, stomp on it or burn it. This helps release anger and might prevent you from saying something you’d regret later.

6) Shift your focus. Instead of having a pity party or getting down on yourself, think about what you can be thankful for. Do something for someone else in need. This is a natural mood-lifter.

7) Remember how special and loved you are by God. He thinks you’re totally amazing, so amazing that He died for you.

For. You.

Hurting mom, if God had a refrigerator your picture would be front and center, wrinkles, crooked teeth, gray hair and all! To Him, you’re perfect in every way. One of a kind. His unique creation. You are the beloved of Christ; beautiful, adored, and precious in His eyes.

May this scripture comfort you:

For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.  Praise the LORD (Psalms 117:2 NIV).

Recommended Resources:

An uplifting book you might like is: My Cup Overflows…with the Comfort of God’s Love by Emilie Barnes.

And I hope this song will comfort you too: Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey

Dear friend, may God bless you with His peace and comfort

on Mother’s Day and every day.


  1. Suzannah

    Today is Mother’s Day. I have tried your ‘go-to’ list. It doesn’t work; however, I so appreciate you acknowledging those of us who don’t fit into the mold. I guess I would want people to know that with those of us who are not honoured that it doesn’t mean we didn’t try.
    I volunteered in my daughter’s school so that I could make sure that her environment was a healthy one there. I taught her when she came home, because some of the teaching there was, shall I say, incomplete. I left off a lucrative career with great promise so that I could be home for her when she got home from school, and I kept a garden (had no experience doing this, by the way) so that she could have homegrown food without pesticides. That’s just a start.
    I kept the home clean, and when my husband and daughter were away at work and school, I considered my time at home to be my job.
    I wish I knew what it feels like to be honoured. I don’t. My husband has been long gone and has since been with many different partners (we are both Christians).
    The pain doesn’t stop.
    Again, I wish I knew what it feels like to be honoured, especially after all these years of striving to do what is right–not without failure, for sure (I am only human)–but the trajectory of my life has been one of sacrifice and great effort to walk right before the Lord.
    If the above was all there is then that would be one thing, but my daughter (whom I have not seen in years) goes around slandering me and has openly told me that she curses me and prays for my death. I don’t understand it. She says that she raised herself and that I abused her emotionally, mentally and physically all her life. I am stunned. When I think about it, I wish I had used my life for myself. I would have had a wonderful career, enough money to live on, and no slander or pain. Happy Mother’s Day–I don’t know what that feels like.
    I cling to the verse that says to not be weary in well doing for in due time you shall reap, if you faint not (Galatians 6:9). I also pray for her every day and the grandchild that I am not allowed to know or see (that in itself is also torture). What else can I do. It has been really tough, because she has slandered me to my family, and I have been cut off from them as well. This has been going on for years while I wait for God in this situation. It is opposite of the truth of the situation, and none of this makes any sense. I wish someone would explain this complete disconnect between what I sowed and what I am now reaping. It can be absolute torture.
    Happy Mother’s Day to women who have done what is right and are getting what is wrong. I surely do not understand it. I feel your tears. On a day like today, I usually stay away from anything that is celebrating it, I could not bear up; and as cruel as it sounds, the Mother’s Days that are a bit more bearable for me are the ones where it is raining. For some reason, I don’t feel so excluded on those days. Today, Mother’s Day 2019, it is raining where I am. It is almost like God is crying for the pain that some of us mothers are feeling today. Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for the article.

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      Dear Suzannah, thank you for the authenticity and honesty in your comment. We are so very sorry for all the pain and heartache you’ve experienced from your daughter when you did your best as her mom. It surely is a mystery why she treats you like this, but your sacrifice was seen by your Heavenly Father. You may not receive the reward you deserve in this lifetime, but know that one day, you will be rewarded. He sees your sorrows and your losses and He weeps with you. While His silence is deafening, be assured that God is with you and loves you immensely. Keep trusting and never stop seeking Him. Ask Him your questions and wait…I believe He will answer. Faith is tested and refined in our desert years…but our suffering is not all for nothing. He may be preparing you for a season of helping others who have suffered as you have. Wounded servants are the best encouragers and comforters. But right now focus on your own healing and recovery. If there’s a prayer ministry in your area, that might be helpful. It was for me during my darkest times. Three books that have had a big impact on me and might help you are: The Scars that Have Shaped Me by Vaneetha Risner, When God Doesn’t Make Sense by Dr. James Dobson, and Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb. I pray God will speak to your wounded heart through one of them.
      “By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me–a prayer to the God of my life” (Ps. 42:8). The song Worn seems just for you today. I’m praying for you now.

    • Peaceful

      I started a support group ACE ADULT CHILDREN ESTRANGED. I Couldn’t find help I had to help me and others in this devastation…

      • Tom and Dena Yohe

        God bless you, Suzannah, for stepping out to do something to help others who are hurting like you were. May he bring more parents to you who are also estranged from their children who can’t find the support they need. This is a deep pain only others in your shoes can fully understand. May He comfort, strengthen, and encourage you as you offer the same to others.
        All for the glory of God.

  2. Rhonda

    Oh Dena your words always comfort me and remind me of God’s love in the midst of this suffering. Please pray our daughter gets the medicine she needs for her mental illness and will agree to. take it! We are in crisis mode and working to navigate the system to learn how to apply for disability for her. Thank you for your prayers and ministry. Pray that we will not drown but come out refined by this fire so that God may use it for our good and his glory. Thank you again for your God ordained and much needed ministry!!

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      Dear Rhonda, I’m praying now your daughter gets the right medication and right dosages to bring relief from her suffering. And cooperates with taking it! That’s the hardest part! No, it’s all hard. And God won’t let you drown. He will be the lifter of your head, your spiritual Life Preserver. Bless you during this difficult time of crisis. You are not alone!