Dear Charlotte,

I hated Mother’s Day so much. I missed my mother, felt disappointed by my family, and there was so much pressure to enjoy the day. It was a failure in so many ways. I’m still hurting. How can I handle these horrible days that I’m supposed to like? 


Dear Mother’s Day Sufferer,

I totally get it. Any day that’s pressured to be joyous can be problematic. Birthdays, celebrations, New Year’s Eve, all of it. For this reason, I’m always wary about wishing clients a “happy” birthday or merry Christmas. These days have so many expectations and required performances. Hold onto your authentic experience of these days and don’t berate yourself for feeling however you feel. It’s completely understandable and the best we can do is prepare ourself for disappointment and be true to ourselves in recognising how these days feel. I’m sorry the day was hard, and well done for surviving it. 

The requirement to show your false self may add to the misery of Mother’s Day. You’re brave to acknowledge how this day was for you, and for admitting it to me. Well done! 


Do you have a question for Dear Therapist? Send it to with Dear Therapist in the subject line and Charlotte Fox Weber or Kelly Hearn will get back to you.

Further reading

I'm a mother, but Mother's Day isn't for me

Understanding and managing family dynamics

Celebrating Mother's Day when you don't get along with your mum

Family constellations: the invisible ties that bind us

Coping with Mother's Day when your mum has let you down