Important Tips When Mothers Day Hurts

By Val Boyko • May 6th, 2011

Dr Karyl McBride in her latest post in Psychology Today looks at some important tips if Mother’s Day brings you disappointment, pain or sad memories.

She writes: Every Mother’s Day, emails flood into my inbox. You want to be a good daughter and do something kind. But what card do you send her? Is it a mushy card that is not authentic? Is it a card that says how wonderful they were, when they were not? Is it real? The struggle ensues. Adult children of narcissistic parents ask, “What do I do?”

Here is her advice:

Follow Your Value System – Be True To You
If your value system tells you to do something kind because it is what you believe, then go for it. Just be sure you are relying on your own beliefs and feelings rather than what is dictated by Hallmark, culture, tradition, or family expectations.

Don’t Live In A World Of “Shoulds” – Live In A World of “Wants”
“Shoulding” all over yourself will get you nowhere. Operating from your internal desires is best. “Shoulding” can be messy.

Don’t Be Cruel Or Snarky – Rise Above It
If you live in a family that has a tendency to be cruel or snarky…don’t bite the bait. No need to stoop to the same level. Use your strength and kindness to project your message.

Keep Good Boundaries
If you desire to not have contact with your mother or you have your own plans, know that’s ok. You drive your own bus. Just drive with care and stay on a kind pathway.

Celebrate Your Own Motherhood
If Mother’s Day brings you sadness, focus on your own mothering and how you have worked to parent in different ways to break the generational legacy. Look for your own strengths. Spend time with your own children and grandchildren. If you’re not a mother yourself, seek out special friends.

Allow Your Feelings To Surface – You Must Feel To Heal
Know that this day can bring great sensitivity. If this is you, embrace your feelings. Work your recovery. If you are emotionally supporting an adult child of narcissistic parents, don’t tell them to get over it already. It’s not helpful and causes additional trauma.

Muse About Possible Gifts You Gained – They Are There!
Most mothers, even if difficult, bestowed contributions. Of course, the obvious is the precious gift of life, but there will be others. Maybe she was musical, artistic, intelligent, or talented in some way that you inherited or learned. Perhaps she taught you to decorate or cook well. Look for the gold in her and ponder those qualities.

VB comment: Remember that there may also be a legacy for you of valuable self awareness, an ability to face adversity, resiliency and adaptability, and insight into what matters most to you because it was missing rather than given to you. What we didn’t get from our mothers may even be more valuable!

To read the full article – click here


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