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When Mother’s Day Doesn’t Feel Like A Celebration

For a lot of us, Mother’s Day is a day we bring home flowers and make dinner for mom and go for a walk with our family. It’s a day that we celebrate, not a day that we struggle.


I fall in this group. But I know that not everyone does.


I know that for some of you, it’s a really hard day. I’ve watched women I love walk tenderly through this day, missing and mourning and hurting quietly. And even though it seems like people don’t notice your hurt, I promise we do. I do. And though I’ve struggled writing this because I see the faces of the women in my life and know I could never find words for what’s in my heart, I want to speak to you. From me, and from everyone who sees your struggle.


To all the mama hearts who haven’t heard a yes to their prayer, who want children and have none… you are seen. You are not passed over. I know it’s a hard struggle. I think there is something special in God’s heart toward you, and he feels your pain — he is always longing for children to call his. And then there’s this: I want you to know, the mama in you is beautiful. I’m sure there are those who you have cared for, who you have already become a mama to in some way. Maybe you know, and maybe you don’t. But I have women in my life who have become a mama to me. And I will never be able to thank them enough. So thank you, for your brave heart. You are so loved.


To all of you mourning your children… you are seen. I can’t find words for why you are in this future you never wanted. We want to make space for your grief—and for your hope. Your future is one of redemption, one that Father God cares about deeply. We know your pain is big… and we are holding you up to a God who is bigger still. Thank you for the way you are still offering your heart, your brave mama soul. Thank you for still talking about your children. We see your children’s legacy in you. We won’t forget.


To all of you missing your mothers… your heart is seen. We celebrate your beautiful mamas – we don’t forget them. We see them in you, the way you carry them in your heart. We miss them with you. We know that they would be proud of you. And I’m praying that there are strong and beautiful and selfless women who step into your pain, who walk alongside you, who mother you and befriend you and celebrate your mom with you today – and that you remember that you have hope, that you are loved, that you are whole.


To all of you who have broken relationships and absent mothers… you are seen. I see the ways that this day makes you uncomfortable, makes you compare, makes you wish. You are not alone. You are not unworthy. You are loved. I’m praying women tell you, that mama women come into your life and dear friends fill the places that feel empty—people who speak your worth into you, who tell you how Father God sees you. We pray over your pain and we are cheering you on, because you aren’t broken. We want you to hear it today. You are wanted.


This Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating our moms… but we’re also celebrating the brave mama-hearts in each of you. We’re celebrating and covering and coming alongside of you. Because there is a beautiful reflection of God’s heart that he put deep in the soul of every woman… and we see it in you, no matter where you feel you are at. We are celebrating that today – that no matter what you’ve gone through, or what you carry – you are known and you are loved, and God is dedicated to showing you his heart. We’re honored to be in this with you. Because you are worth celebrating, just as you are.


For those of you who know someone or are someone who felt touched by this message, please share your prayers, hopes, and thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page. We’d love to hear your heart.


Author Abigail

More posts by Abigail

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • I lost my mom almost 3yrs ago. I try to celebrate the day. I am a mom and grandma but it feels like a double edged sword. It is a very painful day for me now. I don’t know how to feel good when I miss my mom so much on special occasions. It is a sad reminder that she is no longer physically here. Thanks for listening. -Jude

  • Joie says:

    I just wanted to say I have been blessed with 4 wonderful children but this year my husband has been taken from us to soon so I’m sorry I won’t be in the celebrating mood but I will put on the smile for my children as we often do as parents. My husband died of a heart attack at a very early age and it is killing me to go on without him but it is what we do. Please don’t take for granted those you have and kiss them while you can as you never know when they will be gone, my husband was taken at just 46.

  • Although my husband and I have 2 grown boys, a granddaughter and 2 grandsons soon to be here from my husbands first marriage (and they are my boys, my daughters in laws, my grand babies), we have never had a baby together and have been trying for over 15 years. Also, back in mid-September of 2015 I had some “female” health issues and Jesus spoke to my heart and told me, “Yes, you were pregnant, and yes you just lost my baby.” Thank you. This truly touched my heart in ways you will never know. God bless you and all the other momma hearts out there.

  • This is a lovely tribute. Thank you. I would add to the section of Mothers who are mourning their children – those mothers who are mourning children lost to addiction, mental illness, and other separating conditions in our world. Your thoughts apply to them as well.

  • I grew up with a wounded & broken mom who was victimized and was told many lies about herself & Jesus not loving her. It greatly affected her life & parenting. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to model a healthy relationship, marriage or sense of self worth to her 3 daughters. So, for all my adult life I have grieved over not having the kind of mom I desired as well as not having the mother-daughter relationship I longed for. My Mom passed away nearly 6 yrs ago so now I grieve her absence in mine & my children’s lives. I am blessed 5 times over with my children & thankful I am able to choose to raise my kids they way I feel God is calling me to – to be a loving, supportive, present mom!

  • Amanda says:

    This really touched me. I think that almost every women can relate to this somehow. Whether they are one feeling this way, or they know someone who is feeling this way. Thank you for this sweet sweet message. I have forwarded it to many of my mama friends. Those who are mourning and I pray it blesses them. God bless

  • Kimberly says:

    I lost my son in 2009 he was 25 years old Mother’s Day is very hard for me but I have to remember I still have a beautiful daughter and some wonderful grandchildren even though I know this in my heart it is still very hard to celebrate Mother’s Day as a matter of fact for two days before Mother’s Day and Mother’s Day I laid in my bed and cried

  • Lynanne says:

    I was married for 27 years. My husband had juvenile diabetes. It affected him physically very young. He couldn’t…
    From a young teen, all I wanted to be was a wife and mother. That didn’t happen. I ended up taking care of other people’s kids for the same # of years. Everyone always said “you’re a mother, you’ve mothered HUNDREDS of kids.” IT’S NOT THE SAME!!!!! I’m a 54 YO widow with having to settle with being 2nd mom to a couple of my good friend’s kids.
    My best “mom” thing that happened was when my BFF’s daughter, who has called me mommy for over 20 years, asked ME to be her maid of honor. And when she did her mom/daughter dance, she danced with ME after her mom. I BAWLED like a baby. It was NOT pretty. LOL
    The other part of this is that this is the second Mother’s Day without my mom.
    My whole life, I’ve taken care of other people’s kids and other people’s moms. I was blessed to care for my mom for 6 1/2 months before she died. She lived by herself until she was 97 1/2. She turned 98 on 3/18/16 and died 3/30/16
    BUT, GOD IS GOOD!!! He has a plan for my life.
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
    ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  • Janet Kos says:

    I think you forgot the mothers out there that have grown children that they raised and did everything she could to tough it out for them. Who endured all kinds of abuse not only from their father but from them in the way they sided with him all the time. I am one of those mothers. I have 3 grown children and 2 of them do not speak to me at all. The oldest son who sided with his father during the divorce and the youngest son that does everything the oldest one does. There are 2 grandchildren involved. I don’t see them either. I am however thankful for the one son that did not side with his father. He loves me and has one daughter. She is my heart. Without him and her I would be more devastated than I am now. But mothers day here will be quiet, I don’t celebrate the day that reminds me I have lost two grown children and two granddaughters.

  • Marlene Delp says:

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart that God gave you these words to share. I struggle on Mother’s Day every year and feel like I am not being grateful for my children and grandchildren but losing my mom is a never-ending hurt that time has not healed. I always feel alone in this struggle but your words have given me comfort that it is okay not to want to celebrate. My children all live in other states so I never see them on Mother’s Day and seeing all the happy posts on FB is hard too. God bless you for this enlightening article.