Yesterday, I wrote about how this weekend is going to be tough for some people – and I’m not just talking about women, there are men too, for whom Mother’s Day is not easy.
So how can we best support the types of people who will find tomorrow tough-going? In this post, I’d like to offer three ways which anyone of us can do.
One of the key aspects I hinted at in yesterday’s post, was to not hide from someone’s pain. It’s a very real part of how they are going to handle tomorrow, and isn’t something which any of us can sweep under the carpet and pretend it isn’t an issue, otherwise it becomes an elephant in the room. No one can see past a giant elephant standing in front of you!
So, here are just three quick and simple ways to offer support and encouragement if you have a friend who you know, will find tomorrow tough.
1. Acknowledge how tough the day can potentially be. Send a message of encouragement, of support, or just to let them know you’re thinking about them. I’ve had this over the years, and can honestly say how much of a blessing it is when I’m hiding under the blankets trying to avoid anything relating to my heartache, to know that there are friends around me who care enough to acknowledge that.
2. Don’t let them be alone. I reached a point when I wanted to stop hiding away by myself, and just needed to be with someone who understood. Over the last two years, I have been so – hand on heart – honoured and encouraged by a friend who totally understands the pain of Mother’s Day, because it is real to her as it is to me. And whilst we may love being in church, and are active in our faith – this actually becomes one of the hardest places to be on Mother’s Day. So, we go where we can not be bombarded with what we know we are missing out on. Go for breakfast somewhere before the Mother’s Day rush. Go for a walk. Go on a spa day. Go anywhere the person knows they can have space to breathe.
3. Honour them too. I was completely dumb-founded when a friend of mine bought a gift and a card from her son for “Auntie Steph”. This is another friend who totally gets it, because she walked the path I am on, and so understands the pain of this day. I have also, in the last, chosen to honour the women in my life who have been an encouragement and a support to me on Mother’s Day, by giving them a single red rose and a card of thanks the day before Mother’s Day. Sometimes, it’s the smallest act of this kind which goes a long way in helping someone deal with what they have to carry – at all times, not just on Mother’s Day.
These are just a couple of things we can all do, just to make one day a little bit easier. Not at the expense of honouring your own mum, but in the acknowledgement that sometimes, life doesn’t go according to plan, and that’s OK.