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5 Ways to Navigate a Strained Mother-Child Relationship This Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is a great time to honor the important women in our lives. It’s a chance to say ‘thank you’ to those who have invested in your life, but it’s not an easy day for many. It can be painful to realize how things should be in this very important relationship. It’s a reminder. It can be difficult for children whose mothers have left to say kind words about their mothers when they have hurt you deeply.

It’s easy to want to forget the complexities of this special day. We all want to avoid painful conversations. It’s just part of how we are made. But no matter what emotions Mother’s Day evokes, the good and the bad, we all need to leave space to process it. We need to refrain from sharing our joys out loud so that others do not hear the sorrows they may be carrying with us.

Here are some ideas on how to spend this Mother’s Day in style, even if things aren’t as they should be.

1. Share your story

son comforting his father

Photo credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/AsiaVision

If this is a tough moment for you, share your story with your loved ones. Don’t walk around alone this spring vacation. Don’t feel stuck because you can’t dote on your child or mother. Some are empathetic, others are processing their own grief. Your honesty can open the door for others to safely share their struggles this year.

The enemy tries to isolate us in despair, bringing more negativity and sadness. By sharing the burden of mothers and children, the burden becomes lighter. It creates a space that brings relief and even joy in this loss. If you don’t have a trusted friend to share the burden with, consider finding a counselor to work through the loss you experienced when this important relationship went awry. We need each other and we weren’t left to carry the burden of being broken alone!

2. Pray for your relationship

Sometimes we experience losses in our lives that feel so great that we don’t know how or what we can do to repair them. Now more than ever, God needs to be on our side. If you find your children moving away and trapped in a dark lifestyle, dedicate their lives to praying for them on Mother’s Day. Only God has the ultimate power to cut off.

If you’ve lost contact with your mother or feel strained in your relationship, pray that God will build a bridge between you and her. Pray for forgiveness and for new, healthier patterns to be created between you. Ask God to restore lost connections and heal lingering wounds.

3. Reach out in small ways

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes

If tension and hurt keep you from being together as a family, pick one small way to extend the olive branch of peace to your estranged loved ones. It may be a note that represents A small gift to love them for your generosity. You can invite them to test the waters by spending a limited amount of time together, such as a short brunch. In the run-up to Mother’s Day, post a keepsake photo of your mom and kids on her social media. Think of something safe and kind you can do to reach out.

4. Set healthy boundaries

They may feel unavoidable to be with a destructive parent or child and fear spending time with them. You shouldn’t put yourself in harm’s way. We need to establish healthy boundaries to protect our hearts and minds in times of abuse, neglect, or other trauma. Don’t feel like you have to say yes to every invitation. Find ways to express your need for love and respect in your relationship. Talk to a trusted friend, mentor, or counselor to determine what is healthy and safe for your situation.

5. Avoid comparisons

Woman looking at cell phone with jealousy

Photo credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/tommaso79

It’s so hard to look at your friends’ beautiful posts and start comparing yourself to others. Discouragement, bitterness, and frustration can grow in your mind when you compare your situation to the image others share with the world. Each person’s story is different. God is always working in the details of our lives. It is dangerous to wish my life was different or better in some ways in order to be in line with others. He uses the trials of our lives to help us grow in God’s love. Don’t trip over the lies of greedy hearts this Mother’s Day.

Strained relationships can become a burden in our lives. As you walk through this difficult situation, find the peace of God and the gracious wisdom of God that surpasses all understanding. We serve a miracle-working God. No situation is beyond God’s ability to repair and restore. He works even when we can’t see him. May he do what only he can do for you.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/fizkes

Amanda Idleman A writer who is passionate about encouraging others to live looks happyShe writes devotionals for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, Daily Devotional App. Crosswalk.comYou can find out more about her Amanda Facebook page or follow her Instagram.

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