Here’s what to do when you feel both good and bad emotions on Mother’s Day (or any day)

Mother’s Day for many is a happy day filled with flowers, cake and being spoilt rotten with breakfast in bed.

For others, it is a sad day that perhaps you might try to avoid thinking about because of the painful memories it brings back. Perhaps it is a powerful reminder of something you don’t have, never had or wonder if you will ever have.

But what can you do if you feel somewhat happy and somewhat sad, or angry, or anxious? If perhaps you have children to spoil you rotten all day long but you also have memories of a mother who isn’t here anymore, for whatever reason? Or you have a beloved mum to spend the day with, but you wish with all your might you had a child there too?

Life would be so much easier if we were able to deal with each emotion in isolation when it came up. But unfortunately, things never quite work out that way. This is why it is just as important to acknowledge the mixed emotions, the “both/and”, as it is sometimes called.

Embrace both the good and the bad. If you try to tell yourself that you shouldn’t be feeling bad because you’ve got so much to be thankful for, and things aren’t all bad, you will probably end up feeling much worse.

How would a loving mother talk to a child about this? Not with a dismissive tone, it has to be done with kindness and compassion. Listen to how you feel with patience, compassion and love. You need to mother yourself through this – be thoughtful and tolerate the bad feelings alongside the good. If you allow both feelings in, you are much less likely to feel overwhelmed by either of them, as you are allowing space for both.

Sit with the “both/and” feelings, the mixed emotions, whichever one you are feeling in whichever moment. Allow it in and allow it to pass. Then ask yourself what you most want or need. What could help you get through this moment? Is it talking to a friend? Is it going out and buying something just because? Is it being by yourself or surrounding yourself with friends or family?

Whatever it is, please do it.

We have these beautiful ecards you can send out to others, either to let them know it’s a hard day for you, or to show someone you care about that you know it will be a hard day for them.

If you want to share your story of why Mother’s Day is hard, join our Facebook group and talk to others who can relate to what you are feeling.

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