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Have you ever been given the option of opting out of Mother’s Day? A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Scilly Flowers www.scillyflowers.co.uk saying: We’ll soon be sending emails about flowers for Mother’s Day. Understandably some people find this a difficult time of year. If you would prefer not to receive these emails please just opt out by clicking here. Don’t worry, you won’t miss out on any other news or offers we just won’t contact you about Mother’s Day.

I applaud this company’s considerate and sensitive gesture towards anyone who finds Mothering Sunday a difficult day for whatever reason – bereavement, adoption, stillbirth, dementia and yes of course, for mothers who live apart from their children.

Given the chance to opt out of Mother’s Day has got me thinking about how mothers apart might choose to opt out or opt in to a range options. It’s rare for businesses hoping to profit on mother’s day to give us this choice, but this need not stop us from thinking about how we might do this ourselves by setting boundaries and managing the day on our own terms.

Here are some opt out and opt in suggestions that you might like to consider:

  • Opt in to being around others who acknowledge your status as a mother, who know you are a good mum, who care about what you feel and have your best interests at heart
  • Unless you have the resilience and desire, opt out of doing anything lavish to acknowledge your own mother or anyone else on Mother’s Day. A simple gesture might be all you can muster if your heart is aching
  • Opt in to what you feel will be most manageable for you on the day. There is no right way, only the way that feels ok for you, whether this be ignoring the occasion, staying at home, having a complete change of scene or cracking on with a project that will leave you with a sense of achievement at the end of the day
  • Opt out of taking care of anybody else’s feelings if your mood is low. Make taking care of your own needs your priority if the day is difficult for you. If someone around you refuses or isn’t capable of cutting you some slack – make sure you do this for yourself
  • Opt in to the belief that everything changes. I understand that this can feel almost impossible to believe when you are suffering, but time passes and our circumstances and perspective can change. To bolster our courage and inner strength, it can be useful preface our worst fears with the phrase, “If I allowed myself…”. For example, “If I allowed myself, I could believe that I will always feel this way, however, the reality is that neither I nor anybody else knows what tomorrow will bring.”

Whatever you choose to opt out of or into, I wish you peace of mind this Sunday.

Warm wishes

Sarah

 

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Sarah’s new self-help book: A Mother Apart

Support for women

Sarah specialises in counselling and training women. She helps non-resident mothers find inner peace by dealing with guilt, distress and other difficult feelings which can be experienced when living apart from their child. Her self-help book, 'A Mother Apart', published by Crown House, is available now. She also supports business women grow in confidence whilst growing their businesses. To find out more, please visit Sarah Hart's website

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