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A Survivor Of Mother's Day Depression

Updated on May 11, 2009

"There's no mistaking the tenderness and the beauty of the love in a Mother's face"

Mother's Day Expectations - A Set-Up For Depression

I've been mothering now for nearly 30 years, but as I look back on my past Mother's Day experiences, I can clearly see that I did not get what Mother's Day was really all about. I didn't realize it at the time, but I had developed some ridiculous expectations, that immediately set myself up for disappointment. When the "perfect" Mother's Day did not materialize as planned in my head - the day was ruined! I found myself unhappy and readily blamed my husband on HIS great failure to appreciate ME properly - on MY day.

Mind you, it took me quite a few years to actually verbalize that it was HE, who was the problem I had with Mother's Day. I respectfully suffered through Mother's Days year after year - until I could NOT take it any more!

My husband did not have a chance. I got pregnant, like 3 weeks after we were married, and ultimately ended up with five children. Dealing with my emotions on Mother's Day, became a yearly event - that neither one of us looked forward to. I can remember absolutely DREADING going to Sunday Services, where all the sermons would be directed toward how WONDERFUL it was to be a MOTHER, blah - blah - blah. The worst talks were the ones that the men gave, about how amazing their OWN mothers were! I know this was, and is supposed to make moms feel good about what they do. For me however - for some reason it backfired and I tended to feel like scum.

"There is no love, like a mother's love no stronger bond on earth..."

Mother's Day - Acknowledging My Issues

About 10 years into our routine, I began to suggest that my husband buy me a corsage for Mother's Day. (from the children of course) This would symbolize my significance in their lives -- wouldn't it? I would proudly flaunt my beautiful flowers at Church, feeling confident that everyone knew just how much I was cherished, as a MOTHER, by my husband and children. Surely, this would drowned out any of my own feelings of inadequacies as a mother -- throughout the meetings, and the day. This seemed like a great Mother's Day survival technique.

Nope! Eventually, I began to feel very comfortable verbalizing to anyone who would listen to me, that "I HATE Mother's Day"! I honestly wanted to just sleep through it and wake up on Monday as if NOTHING had happened. But LIFE would not allow such a luxury for me. I had to figure this thing out, because really - this was ONLY Mother's Day!

The one thing that I did appreciate about Mother's Day - and always have, are the simple tokens that my children produced yearly, to express their love for me - their mother. Whether it was a clay stamped hand, picture, letter, or a card, etc... these "gift" from their sweet little hearts were always endearing to me. I loved being their MOTHER -- and I readily accepted their desire to show such appreciation.

In fact, it was because of my own sweet little children, and their genuine desire to see mommy happy on Mother's Day - that ultimately caused me to finally recognize exactly HOW I could change the tide; and acknowledge my own "issues".

Books About Mother-Daughter Relationships

A Tribute To Mothers And Mothering - Happy Mother's Day

"A mothers love is unconditional, patient & forgiving and seems to encompass everything"

Finding Peace As An Imperfect Mom

As much as I didn't want to admit that I had issues about mothering, with my own mother - I had to. I'm not going to go into detail about what those were - other than to say that I was a very disappointed child, when it came to being mothered. I've never been the type of daughter, that wanted to blame her mother for every problem I had with my life. I'm still not. Although, I finally came to realize that my feelings of being an inadequate mother stemmed from the judgement that I was harboring toward my own mother. 

Eventually I realized that if I wanted my own children to understand how to honor their own mother in the future, and ultimately themselves - that I needed to learn how to honor MY mother - regardless! I decided that instead of focusing on what I felt were my own inadequacies as a mother and feeling that I could never be that "perfect" mother -- I would turn my focus toward celebrating my mom on Mother's Day.

Focusing on my own mom, became the catalyst that over the years has allowed me to accept myself as a mother, and realize that the PERFECT MOTHER, does not and NEVER will exist! At least not in this life!

This Mother's Day, for the very FIRST time, I have been invited to one of my daughter's homes to enjoy a wonderful day. I'm guessing that I did the right thing in deciding to not think or worry about me on Mother's Day, but to be an example to my children.  Isn't that what mothering is really ALL about?

A Tribute To Mothers - One Heartbeat At A Time

Whenever I smell Lilacs, I Always Think Of My Grandmother - Who Was A Beautiful Mother To All

Motherhood - The Experience Of A Lifetime!

You might be wondering how I feel about being a mom now, 30 years into it? Well, honestly - mere words are very inadequate to express the gratitude that I feel in my heart for the blessing of being mothered, mothering and now seeing my own three beautiful daughters become mothers, themselves.

Truly, my cup runneth over -- and if you could see me right now just thinking about it -- you would understand why I need to just stop typing, because I can't see my computer screen any longer...

Happy Mother's Day to every women - who whether she has children of her own, or "mothers" others - is a Mother!

Write On!

More about My Family Love Story


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    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      Very touching and so honest. Thank you for sharing this one and take care


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Mother's Day, I always think of it as a Hallmark Day designed for failure. Being a mother is some seriously hard business. I like the days are not designated when the kids/adults come from nowhere with a pure giving of themselves and their time. My oldest is 20 and my youngest is 7. Those small gifts, the drawing and rocks wrapped in paper with more tape than paper, those are the precious. It is the hour spent on a park bench just talking on a a rainy afternoon. Those are my mother's day gifts.

    • bayareagreatthing profile image


      10 years ago from Bay Area California

      Well spoken from the heart of a mom. I resonated with much of what you were saying. It is ironic how we view our own mothers...I am very thankful to still have my mom here to honor. She wasn't a perfect mom but she really did try hard and for that, I am appreciative. Someday when my children are older, I hope they can refocus too.

    • Mandy76 profile image


      10 years ago from Mount Shasta, California

      Marigolds for my Grandmother.. She's always had them surrounding her home and ususally lining a path to the front door. A path home.

      I love the style you write in humorous yet introspective! wonderful.

    • profile image

      Nadia Ribadu 

      10 years ago

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, for such a beautiful, thoughtful and profound hub. You spoke for many mothers, including me. Keep writing in this mold. Your honesty shines through.

    • Write On! profile imageAUTHOR

      Write On! 

      10 years ago from United States

      RVilleneuve -

      Thank you, for taking the time to say so:-)

      Write On!

    • RVilleneuve profile image


      10 years ago from Michigan

      Love this! Your honesty and journey are moving.

    • Write On! profile imageAUTHOR

      Write On! 

      10 years ago from United States

      Lisa -

      You are so right - each woman must take the journey, to understand her motherhood for herself.  And yes, much of my early issues about being a mother, and my own mother - had to do with being confused about WHO I was and would be, for my own children.

      We can all agree, that there is no perfect mother - and that's OK.  I think one of the most important things a mother can say to her children is, "I'm sorry".  No excuses.  Maybe she just didn't know how to do better.

      I tell my three daughters, that I expect them to be much better mothers than I was/am -- every generation BETTER!  Not beating myself up in any way.  Isn't that what life is all about anyway, learning and growing:-)

      Happy Mother's Day!

    • Write On! profile imageAUTHOR

      Write On! 

      10 years ago from United States

      Mighty Mom -

      Yes, motherhood is... so much more! I am really looking forward to Mother's Day this year, as I have been enjoying them for many years now.

      It is an old truth, that when we decide to look outside of ourselves and get involved with others - we also, benefit. And in a very miraculous way, the healing comes quite natually.

      Being a divorced mom, on Mother's Day - really requires self-love. Sounds like you, too - are doing much better. I so glad to hear that.

      Happy Mother's Day!

    • Write On! profile imageAUTHOR

      Write On! 

      10 years ago from United States

      Purple Perl - Yes, being mother has often brought me to tears, for a multitude of reasons. Thank you.

      Happy Mother's Day!

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 

      10 years ago from Massachusetts

      Mighty Mom, very moving - and real.   My "issues" with Mother's Day have come since my mother died (years ago).  I used to think of the day as "for her", and when my little kids would give me gifts (those handprints, etc. or else things their father bought) I, of course, knew I was a mother too.  Still, I thought mothers were supposed to be about tea cups and roses - and I felt too young for Mother's Day to really be for me.   Now, my kids are grown and put together a nice Mother's Day for me.  I'm older - and yet I still feel "too young" to be a mother (even though I've enjoyed, treasured, and lived for every moment of being one).  My point is that I think we all, for one reason or another, have to take the journey and figure out what our "mother identity" is over time.

      Just today, I said something to my (early 20's) daughter about something I did when she was little.  She joked that she was scarred for life, and then made sure she clarified that it was a joke.  I said to her, "There's one thing I've learned, and that is that all mothers scar their kids in one way or another; it's just a matter of how and of keeping it to a minimum."    She and I laughed over it together, and I realized that sometimes it is our human imperfections that make us grow closest of all.    :)  (I don't know about you, but I'm still learning about this mothering thing.   :)  ) Sorry for such a long comment, but the nature of your Hub seemed, to me, to kind of warrant a little extra thought.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      10 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Glad you came to realize the real gift of being a Mother has nothing to do with one day -- it's so, so much more. And your MD 2009 plan sounds wonderful to me.

      I had a string of Mothers Days from hell. I was divorced so my young son and I would spend MD with a good friend (also divorced) and her young daughter. Our children are the same age. But the kids were too young to actually understand or contribute. Inevitably, one or the other of them would have meltdown. That just made my friend and me feel more alone and unloved.

      You've really hit it on the head for me. The essence of a happy celebration is being able to give to someone else. Oh yes, and to lower those expectations, as it's very easy to choke on them! Happy Mothers Day to you. MM

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Esther Shamsunder 

      10 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Brought me tears as well,Write on!Happy Mother's Day!


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