When Your Mum Isn’t Here For Mothers Day

mothers day

When your mum isn’t here for mothers day it takes on a whole new meaning, full of feeling, loss, love and grief. After more than 12 years without my mum on mother’s day, there is no question that the sorrow that once overwhelmed me on mothers day instead walks beside me, familiar but bearable. There is still a deep sadness but there is also an appreciation for the opportunity to be loved, and have loved such a wonderful woman like my mum.

My mum died when I was 25.quickly from cancer after a short shocking fight for life. It doesn’t matter how your mum died though. There is no comparing. There are no winners. I only say how she died because at 52,  you would, of course, consider your mum young and you always imagine she will be around for your kids and maybe even catch sight of your grand-kids.

Sadly my mum never got to see me being a mum and she never met her grandkids. She never got to see my sister be the best auntie you can imagine and she never met all the other aunties and uncles who play an important role in my children’s lives. She never got to experience mothers day as a grandma. There are a lot of “didn’t’s” in there.

Those that do Vs those that don’t

a mother quote, unique

Every year I have noticed mums talking about how they will balance their own desire for mothers day with that of their mums and mother in laws. I think how lucky they are to have this dilemma and hope they value their own mums as much as themselves. I want to hold them and say, “Try to remember that your mum came before you and that you grew up so quickly, too quickly and then you left home, you made your own nest and *poof* “it” was over.”

So much invested in making you the wonderful parent you are, and that deserves to be appreciated on this day of the year through the gift of time with both you and your children.

Honour her by making her feel important.

I know you are thinking, it is easy to say this, when your mum has passed. The truth is, this sad perspective just allows me to realise what matters most and that is time and companionship more than anything.

mothers day alone

Tips to cope with Mothers Day without a Mum

  • Accept it will always be a day of reflection and possibly sadness. It just is what it is. I do think your brain just copes a little better each year that time passes, but it is still painful every. single. year. I miss her all the time.
  • Take some time out of your day to think about her. I like to reflect on all things I am grateful that she taught me. I do this to avoid mothers day being sad- I think when you are in a state of gratitude, sadness is wrapped in a hug.
  • Talk about her to your children, especially on Mothers Day. We look for butterflies, a great symbol for their “angel grandma”. We have never spent a mothers day without being visited by a butterfly.
  • Do something symbolic. I do this on her birthday when I have a glass of wine at the spot where we had a plaque placed. 
  • I try not to yell at my friends whinging about their mums.
  • Honour her in grace. Before a meal, we all wish her a happy mothers day.
  • Be the mum you want to be. Make mothers day your own. Enjoy it, relish in it, honour your role as a mother to your own children and in turn, you honour your own mum.
  • Spend time with family. I love my husband’s mum and we make sure we spend time with her on mothers day. Her role is made more special by the fact she will have to lead my children as the sole grandma.

I truly believe your mum is here with you, always. I think when we pass we are always afforded the gift of being with our loved ones. She also remembers you at your best. Always at your best.

Have you lost your mum, Does it change the way you celebrate mothers day?


About the Author
Ngaire Stirling
Owner and Founder of Brisbane Kids, Ngaire grew up in Brisbane and lives with her husband, 3 kids and too many animals. She has marketing and teaching qualifications focused on the early year of schooling. She loves long summer days, bright starry nights and working on Brisbane Kids.

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6 responses to “When Your Mum Isn’t Here For Mothers Day”

  1. Roslyn says:

    Thank you for this beautiful article and for sharing your insight. I am very lucky to still have my Mum with me, my husband has lost both his Mother and his Father, so I have never been able to put myself in his shoes and this has helped. He lost his Dad as a child so Father’s Day is always the hardest, we were very lucky to have his gorgeous Mum meet both of our children even if one was for a mere 9 months. Today our daughter placed 10th in her district cross country out of over 100 kids and we talked about what it would have been like to have Mum there and how excited she would have been, everyone would have no doubt that she was our daughters Nan. This Mothers Day my Mum has left she really wants to not have to leave the house at all and I felt a little sad that we couldn’t have her over to cook her dinner but happy for her to have her wishes come true, now I am going to go out of my way to make sure we make her day special at her house and that we pay a gorgeous tribute to my other Mum, my husbands Mum and my kids Nanny up in heaven. Thank you so much xo

  2. Sara says:

    This will be a first for me and quite unsure how to deal with it. Its still so fresh, losing her to Leukemia in February… sincerely thank you for this article.

  3. Ms_MotorbikeNut says:

    Although both my hubby and I are still around on Mother’s Day we tell our child we will call it Parent’s Day that way it doesn’t matter if you have 1 parent or 2 parents or parents of the same sex or if ur a Auntie etc looking after kids that person is being a parent to them.

    On fathers day we call it Grandparents day that way Grandparents can be thanked for the work they do as well.

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