For some people, Mother’s Day is a day when they can show gratitude towards their mother for all the things that she has done for them and continues to do for them. This day is then going to be a day of celebration and a special day.

What this may illustrate is that their mother is loving and kind and has more or less always been there for them. She will then have been an archetypical mother and it is to be expected that they would love and appreciate her.

Another Reality

However, for others, it is a day when they feel forced to behave in a way that doesn’t match up with how they feel. But, based on how their mother probably treated them during their early years and perhaps continues to treat them, this is not going to be much of a surprise.

This will illustrate that they didn’t have a mother who was very nurturing and she would have seldom truly been there for them. Naturally, this won’t be a day that they feel like celebrating and neither will it be seen as a day that is special.

Inner Conflict

Now, when someone is in this position, part of them can have the need to forget about what day it is and carry on as normal. Yet, if they also have the need to behave in a way that doesn’t match up with how they feel, it can be difficult for them to listen to this part of them

If this other part of them is really strong, they can end up being driven by guilt and shame. As a result of this, they do things out of a sense of obligation and not out of love.

A New Experience

This is unlikely to be the first time that they have been in this position, though, as they are likely to have been in this position many, many times before. What could be different now is that they might have only just started to become aware of how they have been driven by a sense of obligation.

If so, they may have automatically done things for their mother on this day in the past and not been aware of their true feelings. Due to this, this day will be harder than it was before but, on the plus side, they will have a greater connection with themselves.

External Feedback

If they were to reach out and talk to a friend or a familiar member about how they feel, they could end up being supported. Then again, this could be a time when they will be told that their mother did a lot for them and that they need to be grateful, for instance.

What this is likely to show is that they had a mother who treated them very differently during their formative years. Or, it could show that they also had a challenging relationship with their mother but they are not ready to face up to that fact and are living in denial.

Another Component

To add more weight, the messages that they receive from different media sources could also increase the sense of guilt and shame that they experience. These will be messages that are an outcome of the view that all mothers are nurturing.

Based on the impression that is created, it will be as if mothers can’t be cold and cruel. Nonetheless, thanks to what they went through as a child and perhaps continue to go through, they will know that the widely held view of what a mother is like doesn’t reflect all mothers.

No Different

When they think about treating her well simply because it’s Mother’s Day, what could enter their mind is how they had to continually adapt to and please her as a child. They were then forced to ignore their own feelings and needs and to be there for her.

And, as opposed to being treated in a way that showed that they had worth and were lovable; they were treated as though they were worthless and unlovable. Taking this into account, while their mother could be shown gratitude for giving them life, how she behaved afterwards will mean that she won’t exactly be entitled to be celebrated and be treated like the person that she wasn’t and perhaps still isn’t

Another Element

What could make all this even harder is that their mother could deny that she mistreated them and could make out that she deserves to be given special treatment. This may show that their mother has a personality disorder, with this then being the reason why she mistreated them as a child and is unable to empathise with them and be compassionate.

If this is the case, it probably won’t matter what they say as their mother will be too wounded and out of touch with reality to truly see and hear them. In all likelihood, she was also mistreated during her formative years and developed a disconnected and inflated false self in order to keep it together and function.


On this day and any other day for that matter, it will be important for them to listen to themselves. This is something that can take time; especially if they grew up in an environment where their reality – their thoughts, feelings and needs – were often overlooked, dismissed, and minimised.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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