You can leave early.

Mothers Day can be fraught.

Maybe motherhood isn’t going like you planned. Maybe you’re yearning to be accepted as a mother. Maybe you’re grieving how motherhood is turning out for you. Maybe you’re missing or thinking about your own mother. And then, BAM, along comes this holiday with all its obligations – showing up to events, sitting through blessings at church, responding to comments from random strangers, navigating aisles of pink and in-your-face at the grocery store.

If your motherhood is obvious, you might struggle with being the center of attention – or not being the center of attention though you purportedly are. If your motherhood is not obvious, or if you’re yearning for motherhood, you might struggle with being sidelined particularly forcefully on this day.

Maybe none of this is resonating for you, and if so, that’s awesome. I hope you have a fabulous Mothers Day!

But if Sunday’s approach is irking you, know that you’re not alone. And also, know that you get to make choices to make the day easier for you.

You might feel the need to show up to that brunch, or at church, or at the grocery store. I totally get the strength of social obligations, or the pull of wanting to be there while wanting to be anywhere else. So I want to remind you of an important truth.

You can leave early.

If what you need is space, you can give yourself that while still doing the things you’re required to do, or that you want to do but have to force yourself to do anyway. There is a middle ground, a way to choose between complete avoidance and subjecting yourself to a situation where grief or loss are pummeling you and you don’t have the support to take it. This could look like slipping out of brunch after an hour; like ending a phone call after a set amount of time; like stepping out of mass just before the priest begins the blessing of the mothers. However it looks for you, remember that you have this strategy if you need it.

I really hope you have a beautiful, peaceful Mothers Day.

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