Storefronts pack up their displays with “I Love You, Mom” merchandise. Social media is invaded by Mother’s Day ads. Seasonal sales fill up your inbox. Sales people end their communication with a cheery wish. This high level commodification is enough to add more weight to what seems like an already difficult day for many across the globe. 

As a society, when we celebrate Mother’s Day, we assume that everyone shares a beautiful relationship with their mothers. However, this is not the case with each one of us. Not everyone has had a healthy motherly presence in their lives. Some may have lost her to death. Others might have had a complicated relationship or are estranged from her.

Some of such people may remain silent. Some may resist. Others may not express how they feel at all, suppressing all their emotions. After all, it’s not welcome to speak poorly of your mother on a day dedicated to her.

Here are a few ways to navigate around the day, incase you find yourself to be one of this bunch of people:

If Your Mother Has Passed Away

This day can quickly turn painful in the absence of the one it is meant to celebrate. It might even make you revisit your grief. However, you can turn the tables around by telling her how you feel in order to stay connected. Death does not end a relationship, it simply changes its nature. 

Write a heartfelt and honest letter to her. Take a step further and bury it in the ground, plant her favourite sapling on the top of it. And witness your relationship grow every single day.

If You Are Estranged From Your Mother

It’s completely fine if you do not wish to reconnect with her. Do not pressurize yourself to celebrate a day the society designated for you. 

However, you can try cherishing other female figures in your life – aunts or grandmothers or teachers who gave you the care you actually deserved or your own self for being the caring mother that you are today. Or visit an assisted-living home and lighten up the day of someone else’s mom who may be unable to celebrate with her children.

If you wish to connect with your mother, then you need not write her a long letter (unless you are feeling like it). You may simply send her a text like “Happy Mother’s Day!” or “Thinking of you today”. Re-establishing contact after years of low or no communication can be extremely hard. Try thinking of a beautiful memory you have with her in order to give yourself that push.

If You Have A Complicated Relationship With Your Mother

Think of this day as an opportunity to connect. Try to make this a positive day for the both of you. This could mean doing an activity together or recalling the positive memories (try going over family albums or asking your mother about her favourite memories from your childhood) or at best, avoiding pressing each other’s emotional buttons.  

You do not have to celebrate her the way everyone is pushing you to. Just do your own small bit and that too if you want to.

However you choose to celebrate (or not) this Mother’s Day is completely fine. Play it along the kind of relationship that the two of you share and not along the norms of the society. You may choose to treat it like just another day of the year or do something special – it’s completely up to you!