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Dear Hallmark – Mother’s Day is a bit sh*t for some of us

For many years Mother’s Day was a pretty dreadful time for me and I would have happily spent the entire day in a cupboard with a bottle of gin.
I’m not sure what the worst thing was; the relentless advertising of cards and chocolates or the deluge of ‘treat your mum’ emails from florists and spa day companies, all of which were useless to me.
I lost my mother when I was 23. She had been an active, busy midwife and mum to me and my two brothers. But aged just 51 she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and died within twelve short weeks.
Overnight our family was plunged into the darkest grief and all that comes with it.
As anyone who has suffered loss knows, when the initial shock subsides – which takes years –  you are left with an underlying grief which eases but never quite leaves. Every birthday, engagement, wedding, new job and Christmas Day it is there, like a shadow.
Six years after her death a little miracle happened in my life which transformed how I looked at the world. A nine pound bundle of joy – that to me felt like it had been sent directly from heaven.
My son Harry has the same brown eyes as my Mum and when he smiles he has just one dimple like she had. Having him gave me the ability to embrace and enjoy Mother’s Day again.
It has been an extraordinarily difficult path for our family over the past 19 years and there is not a day I don’t think about my Mum in one way or another.
I do however look back now with gratitude that I had such an amazingly influential, strong, crazy, funny lady in my life for 23 whole years.
As I see friends with mothers who left, weren’t there for them or treated them badly I know how very fortunate I have been.
I am also acutely aware that I won the baby lottery. With multiple friends facing infertility issues or life without children; I know just how lucky I am to be a mum.
So Hallmark et al as you flog your cards, chocolates and flowers this Sunday it’s worth remembering Mother’s Day is not for everyone. There are probably many people across the country searching for a cupboard to escape to – gin bottle in hand.

2 thoughts on “Dear Hallmark – Mother’s Day is a bit sh*t for some of us

  1. A brilliant and perceptive post. I also lost my mum far too early (she was 52 and I was 21). I hated Mother’s day every year until my son came along. I vividly remember my (then) manager taking time in our team meeting to “remind” the whole team to spoil their mothers over the weekend. I nearly cried at the insensitivity. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Brilliant and very true, I think the same can be said for all the over commercialised events during the year

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