When Mother's Day Hurts

Joanna ZuidemaComment

As the days dwindle down between now and Mother’s Day, anxiety is quietly building like a storm brewing on the horizon. Often just the anticipation of these ‘trigger’ days can be painful in its own right and it gets amplified when a day is so commercialized — creating an endless stream of ads peppering every corner of our existence, constantly screaming out this standardized experience of motherhood.

But what about when your Mother’s Day doesn’t fit into a Target ad?
What about when Mother’s Day hurts?

I have a mother, but she died.

I am a mother, but my child is in heaven.

My connection to motherhood is broken and complicated.

Navigating how my experience fits into a day where motherhood is celebrated is confusing.
I know many of you are faced with the same task.

Last year on Mother’s day Lane and I checked out of Faith’s Lodge, ate at one of my Mom’s favorite restaurants from her youth and spent the rest of the day driving around crying, talking, and crying some more. (Mom’s cancer made it so she couldn’t join us, so we surprised her with a mug. They have 45 cent endless coffee — I mean, come on!)


This year, we have no plans.

I’m learning that the best way to approach days like this is to simply be open to whatever the day may bring.

That may mean friends, laughter and memories.
Or an all-day Netflix binge.
Or grocery shopping and laundry.


Whatever your Mother’s Day looks like, I hope that you are able to find a moment of rest for your weary heart, a moment for you to acknowledge the heaviness, a moment for your soul to breathe.

Mother’s day will be broken.
But it may also be beautiful.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:28–29


If you’re supporting someone this Mother’s Day, just remember one thing: acknowledge it. Acknowledge their experience of motherhood. Acknowledge their grief. Acknowledge their pain.

Being truly seen is a precious gift.

Mother’s Day resources:

Adriel Booker wrote a beautiful letter to those hurting on Mother’s day that I highly recommend — Letters to a Grieving Mom: Mother's Day after Miscarriage and Loss.

If you’re searching for similar stories, go to our resources page and check out some of the blogs, communities, social links .

If you’re supporting someone, check out some of the shops, blogs, and communities we shared.

Much love to all of you this weekend.