Whilst Mother’s Day is a joyous occasion for many, it is important to remember that for some, particularly those who have lost a baby, it can be incredibly difficult. For those women, Mother’s Day is often a painful reminder of the baby who is not here and can bring up feelings of grief that may not have surfaced for a long time. It is really important to allow yourself to acknowledge those emotions and practice some self care.
On anniversaries, birthdays and dates such as Mother’s Day, looking after yourself and allowing those around you to provide the emotional support you need is paramount. I believe one of the most important principles of self-care is to be kind to yourself. Being kind to yourself will mean something different for everyone – but it is important to be self-compassionate and allow yourself to do whatever you need to make that day just a little more bearable.
Being kind to yourself can involve practical things such as taking a long walk in the sunshine, having a massage, watching a movie (or bingeing on a fabulous Netflix series!), spending some time meditating or just being alone with your thoughts. It means not feeling pressured into attending family functions if you don’t feel up to it. As my own therapist once remarked long ago, on these tough days you need to be able to “wrap yourself in cotton wool”. Over the years, I have asked many clients what this would mean for them. One said it meant not being around other pregnant women, another said it was asking her partner to treat her with “softness”. Giving yourself a break and asking those around you to do the same is what you need most at these tough times.
Mother’s Day can also be a time to validate your own loss by allowing yourself to remember the baby who would have otherwise been here. So often, women tell me that they feel so incredibly alone after losing a baby. Pregnancy loss is not only the loss of that baby but also the loss of the dream that begins the moment a woman discovers she is pregnant.
Memories are incredibly important in being able to process grief. There are many ways to memorialise that baby – light a candle, plant a tree, write in a journal about what could have been. Allow yourself that time to process those emotions in your own way. Being kind to yourself will help heal the sadness.