Dealing with Past Trauma on Mother’s Day

Content from Lauren’s Kids PsyD, Dr. Tara Zuckerman

Mother’s Day can be difficult a day for many of us, especially for those who have conflict with their own mothers or maternal figures. Many adult children experience feelings of loneliness, isolation, and even abandonment around this time. With Mother’s Day around the corner, it is important to know that it is OK to honor your feelings, and that you are not alone.

For some survivors, part of the healing journey and recovery process is forgiving caregivers who were directly involved in their abuse, who knew about the abuse and did nothing, or who simply weren’t there as you needed them to be following disclosure. As a result, many survivors experience feelings of betrayal, abandonment, and anger. Like many people, survivors may have a hard time accessing or acknowledging such feelings, because they are uncomfortable – especially on a day where it seems like everyone else is celebrating maternal and familial love. Begin by acknowledging and accepting your feelings. They are valid. Take a deep breath, remember you did nothing wrong, and care for yourself like you would a loved one. Self-care is not selfish…it’s both important and necessary.

If Mother’s Day is hard for you, remember that you are not alone in your feelings or experiences. Take the opportunity to be kind to yourself and practice self-care. We’ve suggested some tips and ideas below:


  1. Unplug
    1. Get off social media for the day – step away from your news feed and the barrage of photos that may make you feel triggered or lonely; instead, do something to take care of yourself – go to the park, take a walk, go to the beach, or try a new recipe
  2. Honor that this day may be hard for you
    1. Tell yourself “it’s ok” that this day may be difficult and different for you than from others
  3. Do for you
    1. Make plans for yourself, have a day filled with activities that you want to participate in, or spend time with people of your choosing
  4. Remind yourself that you are not alone
    1. Many people are impacted by Mothers Day, and may be disconnected from or without a maternal figure
    2. You have friends and family who love and care about you
  5. Journal
    1. Spend time writing or journaling your thoughts and feelings; this can be a good way to honor and then release any negative emotions or energies


Peace & Healing —

Lauren’s Kids