Honouring your Childlessness on Mother’s Day

mother's day ecard

In the UK, we celebrate Mother’s Day as “Mothering Sunday”, three Sundays before Easter and this year falling on Sunday 30th March. It was originally a day when all domestic servants were given a coordinated day off so that they could visit their families and together attend a service at their “Mother” church. It was a family day. However, gradually that original meaning has been lost and has been overtaken by the “Mother’s Day” first introduced in the US by Anna Jarvis in 1914 and falling on the second Sunday in May. Interestingly, Anna Jarvis was childless and the scope of her Mother’s Day also included Aunts and Godmothers, although the focus is now on mothers only. Both traditions have now been subsumed into what is now a commercially-led celebration of birth-motherhood, alienating those who have lost their own mothers, or who have not had the chance (or chance yet) to become mothers themselves, those who are childless stepmothers and the many childfree women who choose to be involved in the lives and welfare of children.

For those of us in the UK, we get two onslaughts of media around the day – both on our own Mothering Sunday and then on the US and global Mother’s Day celebrated in May. A double-dose of smugness, cloying sentimentality, alienation and disenfranchised grief. Hooray – let’s all buy cards for that!

One of the many difficulties or expressing anything that isn’t 100% supportive of ‘mothers’ when you’re childless is to invite accusations of being bitter –  and I’d like to explore that for a bit. First of all, what’s the big deal about feeling a bit bitter? It’s a valid human emotion to feel when you’ve spent a good part of your adult life hoping, planning and trying for a baby and it hasn’t worked out, whilst for others it has. Perhaps it’s because bitterness is one of the faces of anger, and ‘nice girls’ aren’t meant to get angry?…. bull***t!  Anger is part of grieving and suppressing anger doesn’t work anyway – it just goes underground and wreaks havoc on your mind and body. Staying stuck in bitterness could be a problem, but by ‘negatively valencing’ anger (to use Karla McLaren’s insightful work on understanding emotions) we do exactly that – we make our anger ‘off limits’ and thus it’s more likely to hang around in unhealthy ways. Anger is a necessary human emotion needed to correct injustices and to protect ourselves – physically, psychologically and socially. It has vital work to do, if only we’d let it, rather than either letting it fester or explode.  I think bitterness probably has a lot more to do with not allowing ourselves to take the actions and have the conversations (both individually and culturally) that anger wants and needs us childless women to be having!

Silencing ourselves for fear of sounding bitter is much more likely to make us bitter. We need to understand that anger is an entirely valid emotional response to the unfairness we’re having to make our peace with.

Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of grieving the life unlived, the mother we’ll never be and the children we’ll never have is that our grief is hidden and unrecognised. How can you grieve something you’ve never had? is the unspoken (or spoken) reaction to our pain. I write about this in my book Rocking the Life Unexpected in the chapter on childless grief:

What we, and others, often fail to realise is the depth and reach of our loss: that not only will we never have children but we will never have a family. We will never watch them grow up, never throw children’s birthday parties, never get a chance to heal the wounds of our own childhood by doing things differently with our  children. We’ll never be grandmothers and never give the gift of grandchildren to our parents. We’ll never be the mother of our partner’s children and hold that precious place in their heart. We’ll never stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our siblings and watch our children play together. We’ll never be part of the community of mothers, never be considered a ‘real’ woman. And when we die, there is no one to take our lifetime’s learnings onto the next generation.

I read this passage out in my Reignite Weekend workshop and, even though it was me who wrote it and I’ve read it out many times now, it still has the power to shock me and it hangs heavy in the air as I finish…  It certainly doesn’t sound like ‘nothing’ to me; it sounds like a very big ‘something’. And to carry that around on Mother’s Day without ‘minding’ is not to honour our grief-heavy hearts.  And it deserves to be honoured because grief has a purpose – it’s not there to make us miserable and turn us into the ‘difficult one’ at family gatherings – it’s there to heal our hearts so that we can love again. Love our life again; love the path we’re taking again; love those around us again; love ourselves again. Grief isn’t out to hurt us, it’s out to heal us. But only if we honour it, make space for it, listen to it and find others who will listen to what it has to say. Because grief is a dialogue, not a monologue and you need to find other childless women who understand that. And to accept that your family and perhaps, specifically, your own mother may not be able to hear your grief. But that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it or them. Each grief needs its own ‘grief club’, as Melody Beattie calls it, and the grief club for childlessness is Gateway Women. Some club huh? (It’s more fun that is sounds, honest! The dark humour and sisterhood of others who get your grief can be powerfully joyful.)

So, what to do about Mother’s Day this year? Get real, that’s what. Stop pretending to yourself and to those around you that you’ll be fine, you can handle it, it’s only one day in the calendar…

Maybe that’s true, or maybe it will be true in the future (that’s how it is for me these days having come out the other side of my grief). But if it’s not how it is for you this year, don’t fake it!  No matter what anyone says, your grief has a right to be there and the sooner you acknowledge that you are mourning and let other’s know that too, and the sooner you seek out those empathetic others who understand what your grief has to say and can listen to it without trying to fix you, the quicker it will pass.

grief speech bubble

Here are some ideas about how to honour your childlessness this Mother’s Day:

  • If you plan to see your own mother, perhaps either skip the celebrations this year or plan to see her on a day other than Mother’s Day. If anyone says you’re being ‘selfish’, try not to lose your cool – the lack of empathy around this issue is culture-wide and isn’t exclusive to just those around you! Explain that you see it as ‘self-care’ rather than selfishness and that by doing your grief work, you stand a good chance of being able to rejoin the family celebrations next year. If your mother is struggling to understand why it’s hard for you, you might like to share some of the articles on this website with her – often that can be a great way to start a new conversation. Grief is a dialogue, not a monologue yet, because we’ve become almost allergic to grief in Western culture, we’ve lost a lot of our skills in talking about it. Educate yourself about your grief and what it’s there for and help others learn this language too. We all experience grief and loss in our lifetime – often many times – so it’s a skill that’s always going to come in handy.
  • Perhaps this year you could create a ritual on Mother’s Day to let go of your dream of motherhood. You might like to try the ‘Declutter Your Dreams’ exercise from my book (Exercise 8) or create one of your own. It’s not important what you do – it’s important that you do it, and that you honour your dream and create a physical and emotional ritual for letting it go.  You can do this alone, with another GW or perhaps with your partner – it’s hard on them too all that’s not being spoken and felt today.
  • Get together with some other childless-by-circumstance women on Mother’s Day (or a day near it) and celebrate the day together. Consider creating a letting go ritual together such as each of you writing a postcard with the names you were going to give your children, then attaching it to a helium balloon and all letting them go together (thanks to M.W. for that beautiful idea). Afterwards you could all give each other a bunch of flowers and then have lunch together to celebrate all that’s to come. You can connect with other Gateway Women through our global, private online community and even if there’s no-one in your area, you could chat online and share your stories – being heard and understood in this way helps our grief to become unstuck and start moving along as the river of healing it’s meant to be.
  • If you are  attending a church service on Mothering Sunday and dreading it, consider contacting your vicar or priest beforehand to discuss how hard it can be to be excluded from many of the rituals (like giving a flower to every mother) and such like. If it’s a Church of England service, remind them of the origins of this day was about visiting the ‘Mother Church’! Speaking up for ourselves is a powerful way of honouring our grief. Even if it doesn’t make a difference this year, just knowing that you’ve tried will make a huge difference to your grief. You might like to tell them about this website as I would hope that such a growing pastoral issue is one that the clergy would like to understand more about. Single childless women have, historically, found a role within their local congregations but this has become harder in our generation with the fetishisation of motherhood and the increased ‘othering’ of the single, childless woman as something to be shamed and shunned. Childless couples are less ostracised within the Church, although they’ll probably get a lot of pitying looks and prayers for a miracle baby – long after that’s either helpful or appropriate. That can drive you away too.
  • If you’re also mourning the death of your own mother on Mother’s Day, you might like to do something on this day that she would have enjoyed or perhaps to visit places that were special to her. Consider writing her a letter about how you’re experiencing life without her, and then creating a ritual to ‘send’ it to her – like burning it and letting the wind take the ashes, or burying it in her favourite beauty spot, or letting the river or another body of water take it to her. Whatever honours that connection. I’d also recommend that you share how you’re feeling about losing your mother with other childless women on the Gateway Women online community. What grief needs is to be heard and understood in order to complete its healing.
  • Being a childless stepmother on Mother’s Day is a difficult position and not made easier by all the well-meaning platitudes of others that you are a mother. You’re not, you’re a stepmother and no matter how close you are to your step-children, hopefully they also have a wonderful and loving mother in their life too. It’s not your day, and they know it and you know it. Children hate it when adults try to pretend something’s other than it is too. Yes, you deserve a day too, but this isn’t it. It’d be great if that pain could be acknowledged but it often seems that a stepmother’s feelings come last, and childless stepmothers even lower down the list. Let your partner know that you can see that it’s a tricky situation for them too, and arrange to do something special together to celebrate all that you do for their children. Allow yourself to be spoilt! And if that’s not a conversation you’re able to have right now, make sure you can have it with other childless stepmothers on the Gateway Women online community. Grief gets grouchy when it’s not allowed a voice…
  • Take a break from Facebook or, even better, do some serious pruning / hiding of all those friends and family that ‘trigger’ you (you know which ones!) I wrote a post about it last year called Childless and Miserable: You Need to Get Off Facebook which is one of the best read posts on this website! And if you can’t face the possible backlash, (which will be much less than you imagine) just deactivate your account for a while. It’ll all still be there when/if you want to return…. Life without Facebook could be your private gift to yourself this Mother’s Day!
  • Spend some time learning about the many role models that are amongst us and have gone before us – we’re not the first women to be childless and the stories of others can support and inspire us. I’ve created a Gallery of Childless and Childfree Role Models over the last couple of years and am always looking for new nominations… take a look and let me know who you’d like to see added.

Once we learn to acknowledge our grief and to do our grief work, we can experience the healing that is its gift. This year, do something differently and honour yourself and your childlessness on Mother’s Day.


Melanie Notkin, Founder of Savvy Auntie has instigated 25 July as ‘Auntie’s Day’ in the US for the fifth year running.

Laura Carroll, amongst other prominent childfree activists, reinstated 1 August 2013 as ‘International Childfree Day


Photo of Jody Day, Founder of Gateway Women (UK)Jody Day is the Founder of Gateway Women and the author of #1 Amazon best-seller ‘Rocking the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfiling Life Without Children’ (Published Autumn 2013). She set up the Gateway Women friendship and support network in 2011 to support, inspire and empower childless by circumstance women (like herself) as they develop meaningful and fulfilling lives without children. Jody runs private sessionsworkshops and retreats for women coming to terms with the fact that motherhood didn’t happen for them. She speaks regularly in public, in the media and online about issues and prejudices facing childless women in our society today and is becoming known as ‘the voice of the childless generation’. She was selected by the BBC as one of 100 Women that represent the voice of women today in 2013. Neither a bitter spinster nor a dried up old hag, Jody puts her heart, mind, and soul into lovingly and mischievously subverting the stereotype of the ‘childless woman’. She is living proof that your Plan B can rock too! Watch her talk at the Women of the World Festival in March 2013 on “Creating a Meaningful & Fulfilling Life Without Children” in under 10-mins, with jokes!

Click here for forthcoming Gateway Women workshops

Click here to find out more and apply for membership of the GW+ private online community 

27 Comments on Honouring your Childlessness on Mother’s Day

  1. Great article. In terms of the way churches handle Mothering Sunday, all the mainstream churches I know of and have attended on that Sunday are actually much more sensitive around this issue than you imply that they might be. The tradition in most churches now is to A) acknowledge that Mothering Sunday isn’t an easy day for everyone and to remind people of the origins being around the idea of a “Mother church” B) give a small present to ALL women over 18. There is so much more sensitivity in churches about this issue than there ever used to be – possibly because it is known that there are lots of single women in churches. If anyone is “praying for a miracle child” then it is unlikely to be the leadership and more likely to be well-intentioned but misguided members of the congregation.

    • Alison – yes, I’m increasingly hearing of more sensitive approaches and that needs to become the norm, not the exception. However, most of the Church-going childless women I know still avoid church on Mothering Sunday because of past experiences – but let’s hope that the next generation has a better experience! Thank you for your comment. If anyone would like to find out more about inclusive Mothering Sunday services, can I recommend that they follow ‘Salt Water & Honey’ on Facebook who are listing them all in their comments. You’ll find the blog post on the Gateway Women Facebook page too, if you can bear to go near Facebook today! Jody x

  2. Unfortunately Mother’s day is the day of my birthday… Each year I suffer during this terrible date ! It’s terrible for an infertile to be born this day. Sorry for my english, thanks for your helping website

  3. I love the clear statement of the “fetishisation of motherhood” because it captures something that I’ve felt for a long time and makes the job of being childless much more difficult. I remember when being a mother was a natural thing, something most people did, did it often under difficult circumstances – no labour saving devices, a traditional husband and now we seem to be surrounded with people applauding the sheer magnitude of of such an achievement. I wouldn’t mind but there is such an aspect now of the sheer saintliness of mothers, especially from fathers who are grateful their overwhelmed partners take 90% of the load while trying vainly to “balance” everything. And God forbid you should offer practical advice because regardless of the fact you might solve, and handle, huge problems in the workplace, apparently the fact that you are NOT a mother doesn’t give you the common sense to think your way out of a problem. And by the way I know I sound bitter, I just don’t so much feel bitter but just fed up. There certainly doesn’t seem to be a National “Well Done You Hold Down A Full Time Job and are Totally Responsible for Yourself” Day which seems to be the only type of special day I would be applicable for. I will and always do honour my mother on Mother’s Day because I have total respect for what she did for us, and for the fact that she holds some of the same views that parents today seem to want constant awards for a gift they were blessed with and more often then not asked for but that doesn’t seem enough. And regardless of my own bitterness, she also from her position of 5 children born and raised in the 50s, 60 and 70s doesn’t seem to have the experience or understanding to advise her children on making life easier for themselves. I still remember her total bemusement when she watched my sister and sister in law buy huge plastic “bathing” suites that they didn’t have room for when there are photos of me as a tiny being bathed in a common and snug plastic washing up bowl. And as she said, she used it afterwards for soaking whites. We do get to have the fun of sharing meaningful and slightly sniggering looks as carload after carload is deposited in her house for a simple 4 hour visit – toys, 20 changes of clothes, swing chairs, high chairs, push chairs, knowing we will spend the afternoon watching kiddies of various sizes enjoy playing with saucepans and wooden spoons, and given that there are at least now 4 more additional adults who want the fun of feeding the baby from their laps, and the sheer excitement will make it impossible for a smallie to sit still, that highchair will just sit in the corner of a kitchen unused. I remember once my sister ringing from her home in panic after a weekend visit because she had forgotten to take home the massive bathing suite, and my mother calmly taking her through the steps of her choices a) fill your bathroom sink with water and put the baby in, or even better b) fill your bath with water and get in with baby as you are always complaining you don’t get a chance to have a shower you are so busy with the baby. I do believe that after a month my mother asked my sister to either take the suite back or it was going to the charity shop. It went to the charity show! OK this is making me smile. And realise that I share many opinions with the drama that is the fetishisation of motherhood with my own great mother (she is after all the woman who insisted on a girl’s night out once a month when she had 4 four children way back in the 50’s and my father totally agreed), so for me Mother’s Day is going to be about honouring the Mothers I really admire, and not the whole schebang of them. And if there is any small gift I can take from being childless is it that of being smug about how I would have handled it!!! Ain’t no one who can prove me wrong now is there?

    Jodi thanks for doing this, as always I start out with such negative thoughts and the sheer act of writing those down seem to allow me to smooth the knots and frustration away and come out the end with a silkier “just stepped out of a salon” feeling.

  4. I grew up with an abusive father, and after my grandfather died Father’s Day (I don’t know if the U.K.has that) became very upsetting. I remember going to a baseball game one Father’s Day and wanting to burn up in the sun (I was in the outfield section at Fenway, where such an event can be a real danger) because all I heard on the loudspeakers was urging to honor your father, thank dad (I can’t bring myself to use capital letters) for all he did for me, etc. Now as I get older I have noticed the same thing happening with mothers day (getting upset). If there is a silver lining to having had an abusive father it is that I have learned coping methods that have carried over well in to dealing with how upsetting Mother’s Day can be. Namely the realization that is not my fault that I went through what I did an I don’t have to answer to anyone for what I have been through, and that being a parent does not automatically make one infallible or a good person (after all my father wasn’t). It helps that my own Mother (who will likely be around for a while yet) thinks that Mother’s Day has become over commercialized and is happy to have me pay for the ice cream sometime around that time (usually the Thursday before or the Monday after; she feels that the lines are too long on Mother’s Day weekend).

  5. Five years ago at this time of the year I stood in our beautiful garden in the sunshine whilst it was going crazy with spring life – blossom, leaves, bulbs, birds making a racket, lambs in the next door field – and felt completely alienated by all of it. Our fifth round of IVF had failed. My partner, by then, wanted desperately to stop. We were out of money and emotional resources. We did go on to try again 18 months later, but that ended in miscarriage of twins, one at 8 weeks, one at 12.
    But Spring springing in my garden that day felt like an insult. I was not part of it. I was unable to reproduce. I wasn’t even part of nature. I felt like the miserable patch of daffodils in a damp corner that had repeatedly come up ‘blind’, due for digging up and trashing. It was one of the most traumatic moments of my life, because at the time it seemed like I would always feel that way. It was terrifying. It wasn’t just Mother’s Day (but yeah, that hurt) it was Easter (new life) the spring equinox (new life) spring itself (new life), lambs, bunnies, eggs; it was ALL unbearable.
    The ‘normal’ run of things is reproduction and the renewal of life, so it is not surprising that culture celebrates it. It should. Rituals are absolutely necessary for the affirmation of what is good/precious/sacred about life. But I’ve decided the spring ones aren’t really for me. I like the autumn ones, which are about light, power and community. Some years on Spring is easier than it was, but this has little to do with time elapsing. It has everything to do with belonging to a community of women voicing their grief in a culture that often can’t hear it, who are becoming wholly themselves in a culture which considers them lacking. Thanks Gateway-women.

    • Hi Wendy – thanks for your incredibly moving comment. Yes, I agree that the fecundity of Spring can be heartbreaking whilst we are grieving our loss in that cycle. I’m so glad that being part of GW and knowing that you are not alone has helped. And I love the idea that we are becoming ‘wholly ourselves’. Thank you! Jody x

    • Wendy, you have summed up everything I have been thinking in the week since I have found out I cannot have children. Thank you for making me feel normal.

      It feels personal when you see all the flowers blooming and the bees going about pollinating them. The lambs in the field and the nesting birds feel like a slap in the face…

      The double whammy being that Mother’s day is upon us and I will never be able to participate. I’m definitely ducking out of doing anything this year and I feel bad for my mum as she doesn’t know the reason. But this year is for me to be selfish and hopefully in a years time I might feel less bitter and angry…

      • Thanks S. I would say this year is for the unimaginably hard work of grieving. You are absolutely not ‘selfish’. Wx

    • i’m late to this post, but i am new to the grieving. i really appreciate this post, though, as i’m sure i might face some of these feelings next spring. however, perhaps because it is _not_ spring now, but mid-summer, i am somehow so relieved/surprised by the winter amaryllis that has chosen to bloom for the 2nd time on the window ledge! i don’t have a green thumb, and with so much grief lately, i am so grateful for the beauty about to reveal itself for the 2nd time. it makes me hopeful for all the unexpected beauty and resilience the future may reveal.

      • Hi PC
        Thank you for your comment. I’m so glad you found us. We sometimes forget that as human beings we are part of nature, not separate, and that we too can bloom again after winter. Such a beautiful image, the surprising second blooming of your amaryllis – a sensational, extravagant and sensuous flower too! Hugs, Jody x

  6. We are surrounded by mothers and fathers and I have learnt a lot from watching some of them. Some years I send one or two cards to mothers on mothers’ day or fathers on fathers’ day – very selectively – when I want to express my admiration and appreciation of the parenting skills I see them developing or exhibiting. It is a different take on mothers’ day – but it helps me to have a place in it, by contributing to the celebration in a peer-to-peer kind of way.
    If this sounds absurdly Pollyanna-ish – I apologise ! It is also a way of expressing my deep gratitude to my lovely three sisters in law and brothers who trust their children into my care from time to time…..

    • Hi B – I think that’s a lovely thing to do and I’m sure much appreciated. Is there a day when your contribution to their lives is similarly recognised? I do hope so. Jody x

  7. thank you for making the connection between anger and bitterness and why that means that women are not expected, even allowed, to be bitter. I am a woman who always had a “temper” and I have for a long time been instisting that I have a right to my anger (about whatever issue, and while still trying to use it in a way which is not too destructive to others). But I never made this connection to bitter. Recently I have realized that I am very much becoming bitter and I have fought that feeling and felt very bad about it. Although I have read on other related sites that we should “accept” our bitter feelings I have never managed to do that and I think it is because I wasn’t aware of the societal rules that I have internalized: That a bitter woman is something ugly and despisable. It’s actually easier for me to deal with it the same way as with anger: Hell yeah, I am a woman, I am bitter, I have a right to be, even if that does not fit your ideal about females!

    It has also made me quickly think about role models in pop culture, mainly books and movies. And I realized that there are tons of male “hero” characters out there for whom bitterness is a part of their personality and while it may be portrayed as problematic, it is still part of the macho/hero person. The bitter and the anger is combined and drives their characters to their actions which are being portrayed as heroic and therefore positive after all, even if they may produce quite a few dead bodies and explosions on their way. Think about it, it works for James Bond as well as for Thorin Oakenshield.
    I can’t think of many female book/movie characters in whom “bitter” is combined with “angry” to result in “hero”. Maybe Katniss Everdeen. Can you think of any?

  8. Another wonderfully inspiring post to keep us postive and connected through yet another ‘crunch moment’ – and there are so many of those in this child-obsessed world. And I agree with Jane who writes above – what a crying shame that aunts and godmothers have been filtered out of Anna Jarvis’s vision. I read up on her some time ago and apparently she was disgusted with the way America had instantly taken her idea and commercialised it!

    We GW’s need to stand strong against such saccharine and fetishised tyranny. And yes, you spotted it, I’m angry!
    Thank you Jody.

    • Anna I also feel the same about Aunts and Godmothers being left out. I have nieces and nephews that I love to bits! Therefore, here in Alberta, I am starting my own tradition, since I am connected to all of them on Facebook by having Aunty Day Saturday, the day before. Gives me a chance to say how much they mean to me and celebrate the love I have for and from the young people in my life, even if I did not give birth to them.

  9. Hi Jody

    It’s really interesting what you describe about the history of Mother’s Day. What a lovely idea of Anna Jarvis to also include aunts and godmothers, and what a pity that this inclusiveness couldn’t continue what with the commercialisation of this day and the narrowing of who it is supposed to cater for.

    What you said about FB being a trigger is so true for me, as I see it is for the other posters, but sometimes I can’t help putting myself through the pain of it!

    It really doesn’t have to be like that though – and the more we honour ourselves and the other non-mothers around us, as well as also respecting our mothers, the happier and more empowered we will be. We don’t have to define ourselves and each other by this one criteria – despite what powerful conditioning surrounds us – but it is so tough to keep going.

    I am still very lucky to have my mother around and will actually be spending mother’s day with her (for the very first time in many years after getting out of a very destructive relationship – another story for a different website I think). So for me, although there will be inevitable sadness, it will also be a celebration of getting my life and independence back, and appreciating my mum while I still can. Thank you for your very positive and enlightened outlook on all of this and strength to all those who are having difficulties with this.

  10. I am fortunate enough to have my Mum still around but until recently we spent the last twenty years apart as we lived on opposite sides of the world. I detest the commercialisation of Mother’s Day yet I know it means a lot to my Mum. I have a shop which opens on Sundays and my Mum usually works on the Sunday. I will give her the day ‘off’ but it would still mean we couldn’t spend it together. I am thinking of asking her if we could have a ‘Mother’s and Daughter’s’ Day instead, and perhaps on a different day. This would hopefully go some way to helping me feel not as left out at not being a Mum and may help to create a stronger bond between us.

    I think Jody’s suggestions at finding other ways to deal with the day – spending it in an alternative way or with a different person/people, do something significant which helps as well as honouring ourselves as women, despite our childlessness, is brilliant. I hope everyone can find something that helps them too. xx

  11. Thanks Jody for this very timely post.I have never dreaded Mother’s Day as much as this year, being hit by a double whammy of having no mother and being no mum.I also find this day incredibly commercialised and it seems to be invented to just flog products. A a small business owner I feel pressured into using it as another promotion tool, but would love to just ignore it. I have to find the right balance and way to acknowledge it. It’s in a way similar to Valentine’s Day. Maybe we non mothers need to invent our own celebratory day? I think this year I will ignore FB as I know it will be full of happy family image.I don’t need Mother’s Day to think of my mum. I miss her every day.

  12. Thank you Jody, what a wonderfully powerful and incisive post, as always. In the run-up to Mother’s Day with adverts and all the commercial stuff it seems like a month long festival of sadness for me. This post has has made me weep because you speak for so many of us, and grieving is only a good thing as you so rightly point out. I am coming to realise that in burying my grief I’m destroying myself. I am going to howl like the wind at some point, both on this day and many other days to come. And of course I’ll continue to find strength from GW women and continue the ‘conversation’ of grief. I hope this post draws in new members to GW who need help on what is a very very painful day X

    • Hi Em – a bit of howling would do us all the world of good! Grief is so utterly repressed in our culture and it’s not doing us any good at all! Grief is healing when expressed – that’s the whole point of it – to allow us to mourn, heal and move forward again. Hugs, Jody x

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