Mental Health Monday

Parent Holidays For the Parentless

We just had Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is fast approaching. A lot of don’t pay much attention to these holidays. Most of us might just panic about a gift, settle on flowers or a little something nice. But not all of us have two parents.

Whether they left or died, some of us see the holiday and feel our hearts drop. It might be an old wound or it might be brand new with someone passing a day or week before the holiday.

It hurts.

I’m speaking from experience on this one, a lot of experience. My dad left years and years ago. So I’ve spent half of my father’s day angry, jealous, and sad. Really sad. What it gets down to is that when you’re in the moment and when you’re exposed to all these things, you feel jipped. You feel like everyone is getting something that you deserve and what makes them so special? And then you really notice how big the hole is in your life.

And, to make matters worse, you have to think about for a month before the event with signs and ads and all sorts of junk that brings up that hole.

So what are you supposed to do if you are missing one or both of your parents?

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

First of all, ignore the signs.

This has become a lot easier for me now that I don’t watch TV and keep it on Netflix. I’m not unnecessarily exposing myself to things that will make me feel bad. When I go out, I’ll notice the signs and stuff but I treat them like any other ad. Would I pay super close attention to an add for a new drink? No. So why should I let myself dwell on stuff that’ll make me feel bad?

I shouldn’t. And you shouldn’t either. If you’re heading out or watching TV and an add comes on for the holiday and you know it’ll bug you, just leave the room for a second. Walk down a different aisle. Give yourself a break by avoiding things that will make you feel bad.

Second, limit social media.

Generally day of and the few days beforehand, I stay off Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all that jazz. Seeing other people rave about how wonderful their parents are really used to upset me. I would realize that I won’t have this that or the other thing with the person I’m missing.

Everyone seems to love posting all over social media about how wonderful and great their parents are during these holidays. And that’s great that they can share with others! But it does hurt people sometimes. Instead of expecting it to be different each year, just don’t go on social media for a few days.

Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

Next up, keep busy.

If you spend your whole day doing nothing you’re going to feel whatever sadness is inside. Worse, if you decide to maybe just go for a meandering walk, you’re going to see full families everywhere. But keeping busy is important!

Mother’s day for the motherless is perfect to spend with another parent. It’s a perfect time for spring clean. Organize your house. Go to the gym. Sit and binge watch a show! There are endless possibilities. But you do not want your brain to sit and stew. Something that makes you happy but limits your exposure to everyone celebrating is ideal especially in those first few holidays you experience without the parent or parents.

Finally, do what feels right.

Some people who have family, celebrate with their mother on father’s days because their father is gone and vice versa. That might be what’s right for you. Or you might just want to stay at home alone. That’s also okay. You might even find at some point you’re really sad. That’s okay too. Let yourself do what feels right and if you feel sad, don’t feel like you have to hold back your emotions or that you have to express them.


Okay. So now, the rest of this article is for those of you who have both parents.

I’m not attacking your character, but it is okay to acknowledge that you might not think about how painful these holidays can be for people. For you, it’s a normal occurrence. But for others, this is an excruciating reminder of how far from normal their lives are. So, as you head towards father’s day and mother’s day (even though it’s passed), refrain from talking about it.

This is a holiday for our parents. It’s a holiday to appreciate them and show them our love. We do not have to brag to others, share with others, or show others how much we love our parents. All we really “have” to do is appreciate our parents and let them know.

Here’s the deal, unless you really know someone and their situation, I would refrain from asking about the holidays. Even if you know both their parents are alive, that’s not to say they are around or even on good terms with their parents.

Bottom line is to extend some awareness and kindness. Not everyone is having a great time during these weekend, parent holidays. Be gentle.

But either way, for both parties, these holidays are just days.

It’s so important that we remember that. It’s another day that society has just put a title on. If you have any parents, appreciate what you have granted there isn’t something else going on. If you’ve lost parents on good terms, you can use this day to remember them but you can also use any other day to do so if it brings less pain.

But most importantly, be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.

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1 thought on “Parent Holidays For the Parentless”

  1. Beautifully put. Kindness, yes, kindness. Sprinkle it generously on yourself and others. The ripples can be amazing and come back to you in very special ways.

    Like

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