How to Cope With Mother’s Day After a Miscarriage

Updated

Mother’s Day is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate those who bring life into the world and raise and nurture the people in it. Still, like many holidays, it can bring up a lot of mixed emotions, and at times can be triggering. This is especially true for people whose journey towards motherhood has come with some heartbreak, and even loss. 

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Pregnancy loss is something that affects far more people than we realize. Around twenty-six percent of all pregnancies result in miscarriage. Still, we might not realize the little ways that this grief shows up in our lives, like on Mother’s Day.

Coping with a miscarriage is hard enough as it is, without having to navigate potentially triggering days and situations. But life moves on, and these things come up, so it’s important to have tools to handle a miscarriage Mother's Day. 

How Might Mother’s Day Look and Feel After a Miscarriage?

Everyone experiences grief and loss differently, so there’s no one specific way to expect to feel on Mother’s Day after a miscarriage. That being said, certain things may come up, so it’s helpful to know what to look out for.

After a miscarriage, it’s not uncommon to feel a mixed bag of emotions on Mother’s Day. You might feel similar emotions to ones you were already experiencing while healing from your miscarriage but intensified. Some other feelings that might come up are grief, anger, sadness, loneliness, jealousy, frustration, and isolation. 

On the other hand, you might feel totally fine. You might not have much personal significance tied to Mother’s Day, in which case it might not bring up much. Even if you think you might be smooth sailing come Mother’s Day, you never know what might trigger a reaction from you. This is why it’s important to have a set of tools to lean on. 

How to Deal With Mother’s Day After You Experienced a Miscarriage

While hiding under a rock is certainly an option, you’re going to have to face the world sooner or later (when you’re ready, of course). If you’re wondering how to navigate the tough feelings that Mother’s Day can bring up after a miscarriage, we’ve got your back. 

Here are some tips on how to deal with Mother’s Day after you’ve experienced a miscarriage:

1. Create your own meaning 

This is your day. You decide what it means. Mother’s Day is just another day, even if it has some emotional weight to it. You might want to honor the experience you already have as a mother, whether that’s your miscarriage or if you have other children. You also might want to forget about it and treat it like any old day.

Even if you decide that this Mother’s Day means nothing to you, you still might have some uncomfortable feelings come up. Luckily, these next steps are here to help you navigate through them. 

There’s no one way to celebrate (or not celebrate) Mother’s Day. You get to decide what it means to you, at least for this year. If your family has certain expectations for you on these kinds of holidays, be sure not to skip the “set boundaries” tip below. 

2. Practice self-care

This nourishing practice is necessary all the time, but especially when you’re healing from a miscarriage—and even more so when you’re healing from a miscarriage and it’s Mother’s Day.

Self-care is anything you can do that helps you feel rested, nourished, and supported, or just gives you a little bit of a break. It can be big or small, whatever you can fit into your life. Whatever it is, let it be something that helps you feel celebrated (if that’s what you want) and supported. It’s your day.

What are some self-care practices to try out? We’ve got some ideas: 

  • Get a massage, or ask a loved one to give you one.
  • Make or go out for your favorite meal.
  • Take a bath.
  • Go on a little (or big) adventure.
  • Go shopping. 

There are so many ways to practice self-care. It doesn’t have to be special because it’s Mother’s Day. It’s special because you deserve it, every day.

3. Set boundaries

As sweet as Mother’s Day can be, it can also be triggering, especially if nosy family members or other loved ones don’t understand what you’re going through. 

If your family makes a big deal out of Mother’s Day, you might need to tell them that it’s not in the cards for you this year. This year, it’s OK to prioritize you and your needs. You don’t need to go to the family barbecue or a friend’s Mother’s Day brunch. Do what feels right for you and what won’t leave you sad and overwhelmed.

If you do choose to go (or feel like you just can’t get out of it), it’s important to know how to set boundaries at the event. It’s helpful to have a line to turn to if and when someone asks about your miscarriage.

A simple, “I don’t want to talk about it right now, thank you,” or, “I’m just taking it day by day right now,” can be great lines to rely on. It can also help to have someone on standby, whether that’s your partner, a friend, or a cousin that you can count on to distract and change the conversation when it goes outside of your comfort zone. 

You might not know how you’ll feel until you’re there. Give yourself permission to take breaks and step outside (or to the bathroom) for some breathing room, and don’t be afraid to leave early if you need to. People will understand!

4. Be with community

What does community mean or look like to you? A community can be one of the most fundamental pieces of dealing with a miscarriage, especially on tough days. What communities will you lean on today?

It could be big or small, but a community can help you heal, or at least feel a little less alone, which is a common emotion around miscarriages. Some communities you may want to lean on are your immediate family, your partner, or a friend group. You may even want to find a miscarriage support group. These people know what you’re going through, and you can discuss the tricky feelings that are coming up and what you’re doing to deal with them.

How to Help a Loved One Deal With Mother’s Day After a Miscarriage

Miscarriages don’t just affect the person who was pregnant. They ripple out and impact partners, children, parents, friends, and anyone else who cares about their loved one’s well-being.

It can be heartbreaking to watch your loved one navigate the grief of experiencing a miscarriage. That’s even more true on triggering days like Mother’s Day. Luckily, they have you to help support them. 

Here are some ways to help a loved one deal with Mother’s Day after a miscarriage:

1. Ask them what they need

It can be so hard to know how to ask for help when you’re in the thick of it. Your loved one might feel guilty or just too distraught to be able to communicate their needs. That’s where you come in. 

Ask your loved one what they need today. They might not be in a place to explicitly say their needs, so it can be helpful to give them some options. Do they want to celebrate or ignore the holiday? Do they want to be left alone or have quality time with loved ones? Do they want you to make them dinner or go out to eat? Simple things that can help them feel a little more loved today and like their needs are being met, and then some. 

2. Nurture them

This goes along with asking them what their needs are but takes it to the next step. If you know that they won’t be overwhelmed by a little extra TLC today, then give that to them. How can you make your loved one feel nurtured and loved on this difficult day?

The “mother” needs to be mothered too. What we mean by that is that caretakers need the same nurturing support that they give those around them. You get to be that for your loved one.

Here are some ways to nurture your loved one:

  • Get them a massage gift certificate.
  • Make their favorite meal for them.
  • Get them a little present like jewelry or seeds if they’re into gardening.
  • Watch their favorite movie with them.

There are so many ways to nurture. You know your loved one better than we do, so what makes them feel good? 

3. Be understanding 

Miscarriages can be a whirlwind of emotions that change day after day, even moment to moment. Mother’s Day in particular can be a difficult time to navigate. It’s important to be understanding that your loved one may need some extra support, or extra space today.

They may be a little irritable or vulnerable. Part of your job as their loved one is to be understanding of whatever emotions come up, and do what you can to support them through it. They might feel obligated to do certain things on Mother’s Day, so it can be helpful to remind them that they don’t have to. All they have to do is take care of themselves, and let you take care of them, too!

Getting Through Mother’s Day After a Miscarriage 

You’re doing everything you can right now to heal physically, emotionally, and mentally. Some days might be more difficult than others. This might be one of them. While Mother’s Day might bring up some uncomfortable feelings, you have everything you need to navigate it and make it through to the other side. Or the next day, at least. 

Remember to prioritize yourself and your boundaries, do things that make you feel good, and surround yourself with people who make you feel supported. Miscarriage sucks, and you deserve all the rest and nourishment you can get today. Take a deep breath. You will get through this.


Source:
  1. Dugas, Carla, and Valori H Slane. “Miscarriage.” Stat Pearls Publishing, January 2021, Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

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