Home » HOLISTIC HEALTH » Christian Living » When Mother’s Day is downright DISAPPOINTING — and what to do about it
Christian Living

When Mother’s Day is downright DISAPPOINTING — and what to do about it

I really HATE Facebook on days like Mother’s Day. All those pictures of beautiful families showing their moms such gushing appreciation with all the flowers and the pretty church dresses and the meals out or the meals in, cooked while mom sits in her chair and doesn’t lift a finger…

Mine was McDonald’s take-out eaten in the car on the way home from church so that my husband could get back to work on time.

Were you disappointed on Mother's Day? I was. But there's more to the story than that... Read this to find out how to deal with all the disappointing holidays in your life.

There were no pictures of me or gushing about me. I got the obligatory “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom” from each of the kids. The same from the hubby, except his included a kiss.

No flowers. No breakfast in bed. No extra effort to make me feel valued and appreciated.

And I scrolled through FB and had a meltdown.

Maybe that sounds shallow, but it’s the real me. I want to feel loved and appreciated just like the next gal — probably MORE than the next gal, actually. I want people to think I’m wonderful — and I want them to tell me about it. Frequently. 🙂

But if I don’t get frequently, I’ll settle for the occasional special day when everyone else is saying it. But often even that doesn’t happen.

I think they do appreciate me; we’re just not a picture-taking, every-little-holiday-noticing, gushing family. Probably my own fault, actually. I grew up before FB and didn’t realize it was going to become de rigueur to splash your life in front of the world on every possible occasion. I didn’t train them for that. I wasn’t raised to be that myself.

But there’s more that’s my own fault.

“Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

OUCH. That’s it, right there. If I’m having a meltdown from lack of appreciation on Mother’s Day — or any day — then it’s because I’m wanting to be served. Not to serve.

I’m not wanting to consider others as more important than myself (Philippians 2:3). I’m wanting to be the important one.

I’m thinking I have a right to be, in a word, SELFISH.

Difficult to swallow, maybe even harsh? Very possibly. Especially when our culture says we “deserve” to be served and consider ourselves important for a day.

But still the God-honest truth.

Don’t get me wrong; this is not a slam against the moms out there who received great Mother’s Days. I still want one myself.

But if I don’t get one, when all around me are getting theirs, the ONLY place to find true comfort is in Jesus. To look at His example and remember my job is to be like Him.

To stop worrying and fretting about many things and just be Mary, sitting at His feet, resting in HIS love. He appreciates me. He would gush about me — and does, in His Word. “I have loved you with an everlasting love…”

There is a bigger picture than just one day. There is eternity. When my eyes are on myself and my temporal circumstances instead of on Him and His grand plan, meltdowns will occur.

Dear Mom who was disappointed on Mother’s Day — have you been in His Word enough lately? Have you filled yourself with understanding of His love and graciousness to you? Are you looking for the blessings, rather than focusing on the hardships?

I know you’re out there. I know I’m not the only one who wishes just ONCE someone would treat you like a queen for a day, or even a few hours. We don’t post on Facebook, do we, because we don’t want anyone to see our frustration and bitterness.

Perhaps God wants us to run to Him and Him alone. Perhaps He knows what is best for US — and right now that means living without the flowers and the wonderful words.

Perhaps He wants us drinking in HIS Words to slake our thirst.

Those Words say that He will withhold no good thing from us (Psalm 84:11), which means if He is withholding something, it’s because it would not be good in our lives. Crazy and difficult to accept, isn’t it, that those gushing words and special treatment we so long for might actually be harmful to us — but He knows that, and in His love He is drawing us to depend on Himself instead of on momentary joys.

I don’t have a foolproof solution. Thinking of digging deep to serve others when I don’t feel appreciated for it — especially on a day when I am “supposed” to be appreciated and shouldn’t “have” to serve — is not an easy thing. I’m still crying about it, actually.

But God calls us to no less than what will glorify Him. And being like Jesus, the penultimate unappreciated Servant, glorifies Him VERY much.

Not being a martyr, but serving from a heart filled with His love and purpose. Shored up with His Truth — not the world’s.

Is Mother’s Day a bad thing? Of course not. But for some of us it can be a very difficult thing.

Next year I’m not getting on Facebook that day. Just not gonna do it, wouldn’t be prudent. I can’t expect my family to change, and I don’t need the inevitable comparing that will steal my joy.

But hopefully by then I’ll have a better grasp of where a true sense of being valued comes from. Hopefully I will be more shored up in the Word and have closer to an eternal view. Hopefully I can face the day with less longing for special treatment and more a desire to give of myself to those around me. To be like Jesus.

Which words do I want to hear the MOST?? “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

HUGS, ladies.



Click here to post a comment

  • I’m right there with you! Same exact experience but my son did say ‘Thanks for birthing me Mama!” 🙂 I just spent the day telling myself to keep my expectations low so i wouldn’t be disappointed and remembering that it’s a ‘Hallmark holiday’ and I too have taught my family that that’s not what’s important but to treasure each other in little ways every day, not just the day the calendar says to do so. So I did try to stay off facebook because I was aware that the onslaught of ‘my family is so amazing’ posts would make me crazy.

    Thanks so much for your post and I’m sure there are far more in our situation that we realize!

  • So glad to stumble across this today!! I was feeling like I was the only one in the world who was disappointed yesterday…. Ugh….. Thank you for writing this and pointing me back in the right direction. So good!

  • Thank you! I found this morning harder than getting through yesterday. Now that I’m doing all that wasn’t done , I needed to read this. Thank you

  • Thank You! It helps to know I’m not alone – That there are other moms who had a similar experience and similar feelings. And thanks for the wise advice.

  • Thank you! I completely understand your sentiments of wishing for appreciation. This was helpful, convicting and comforting to read. Especially Psalms 84:11!

  • Thank you for writing this, Ann. My day yesterday was nothing short of disappointing all the way around. My own mother went away with her friends for a girls weekend, my sister made it abundantly clear that she didn’t have time to “entertain” me – but my daughter could come over, and my daughter completely forgot that it was Mother’s Day and I ended up spending most of the day alone. I was so sad. This gives me a fresh perspective and encouragement about what was a very challenging day for me. Thank you again for the reminder.

    • It can be SO challenging. I’m glad we are all finding freedom to admit that — and yet come out of it with a better perspective. Maybe next year we need to form a club and prepare our mindset a week ahead of time. 🙂

      • Yes! Mind prep is so helpful! I reminded myself a few days before that Mother’s day is not about me. It is about my mom! She is in heaven so I have the tendency to then turn back to myself and my expectations as a mom of four!! I posted some pictures on FB of my mom on my wedding day and shared my thoughts about her. So many friends shared memories of her and this was so special to me. I didn’t say a thing about me and I was blessed! This year I picked out a lady who would be celebrating her first Mother’s Day without her mom, a lady who has not been able to have children but would love to be a mother, and a single lady who dreams of marrying and having children some day. I gave them chocolate and a special note to tell them I loved them. Suddenly I was happy because my eyes weren’t on myself and how I was treated, BUT it took forethought.

  • I stumbled on this through a comment of a young friend, who was herself disappointed in the lack of celebrations of the day. I too am a mom of four grown children and grandmom to seven amazing grandchildren. Because of the variety within our family, I’m drawn to think about two of our daughters that have not been blessed as they would have liked to have been to birth children. One has embraced adoption, for that we are most thankful. That’s four of our beautiful grandchildren. The infertility pain has lessened in time, but was very real for a long time. As I was purchasing mother-daughter bracelets for our granddaughters & their mothers, I knew that to give those in the presence of our other daughter would hurt, so that will be done individually. So, we have a great deal to be thankful for to ‘just be a mom’. I think of many childless women that blessed my life and we need to be mindful of them, not just on a celebrate moms day, but often. Make it special day to spend together with your family, not in want, but in service as you suggest and maybe include others that are not so fortunate to be called ‘mom’.
    Then I think of the moms that care for a child that battles for life daily. They too just want for their children to grow and be with them for a very long time, whether they are ever able to buy them a gift or serve them a meal. If our children are healthy, that is a blessing we have to be very grateful for.
    You shared some very wise and endearing thoughts which caused me to think of the words from this hymn:
    “More about Jesus would I know,
    More of His grace to others show;
    More of His saving fullness see,
    More of His love Who died for me.”
    In Acts 20:35, we are admonished, “…and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Isn’t that just simple, yet fulfilling? and a very good reminder for each day.
    May we all be the moms He would have us to be and lift each other up.

  • This is exactly what I needed to hear today, as I’m still brooding over it a day after. Thank you for your vulnerability. I will say that I saw some mama’s post on FB a picture of their kids and share how thankful they are to be Mamas. This is the right heart I believe. To be thankful for motherhood instead of expecting to be thanked for it. So thankful God is patient with us!

  • This is so amazing its perfect. I had such a rough rough rough day – well actually it was great up until the latter part of the day where it all went downhill. After I dropped the kids off with their dad I came home and had a melt-down and cried for like what felt like eternity, and then I opened my phone, not to FB, but to my church’s service that I missed and immediately I felt calm. I needed to come to Him and feel His love and know that I was given a purpose to be their mom and that was good enough.

  • Wow! Thank you for sharing! Not even 5 minutes ago, I shared these exact thoughts with my husband. Got on fb and here was your post! Thank you for truth and for helping me know I’m not alone in this battle!

  • Thank you for this. You wrote exactly how I felt to a T. I’m not on Facebook anymore, but if I had been , I can’t even imagine how much more disappointment I would have felt. Your insight is humbling, thank you!

  • Thank you for sharing you heart. It made me re-think some things and wipe my tears.
    Hugs and blessings to you from someone who understands.

  • Thank you for this post! I’m glad to know I’m not alone. It was a horrible day for me. Made me contemplate a lot of things in my life. I hope I remember to stay off social media next year. It was really rough. Ah yes, to be like Jesus….. sigh.

    • The horrible days do tend to make us contemplate, don’t they? But that’s how learning will take place — at least I hope so. 🙂

  • Wow I feel like you just put into words everything I felt all day yesterday. Last night, after balling my eyes out, blaming my sweet husband, and feeling sorry for myself again for my thankless Mother’s Day , I asked God to show me what I was missing…It’s Gratefulness! Being grateful is what I’m lacking. My heart has been so wrapped up in worldly expectations that I’ve been missing all of my amazing blessings right in front of my face! I was reminded about the story of the leper who went back to thank Jesus. He wasn’t only healed, he was made whole – complete! Gratefulness is the heart of my wholeness in God- that’s where I find the joy of Christ and peace that passes all understanding! Reading this article not only made me feel like I’m not alone in this battle but it also it validated my study and has caused me to study even more. Thank you so much for being real and writing from the heart. You have encouraged me through so many of your posts.

    • Thanks, Cori, for all your kind words! It’s amazing how When God teaches us something, He drives it home in so many ways. Yes, let’s all be thankful for ALL He has done for us — daily and moment-by-moment! <3

  • Yes, Amen we need to be in the Word more and to find our acceptance in Christ Jesus not in made up worldly celebrations. Still hurts though. I shed tears, many actually, this year unfortunately. Lowering expectations definitely helps. And yes to staying off facebook when you know things are going to trigger you. Praise the Lord, I love being a mum and my husband was wonderful and tried to comfort me too which was lovely.

    • It does still hurt. The emotions are real. Whihch is why we must shore ourselves up in the Word to know how to deal with them when they occur. Lord willing, next time I will be more ready. 🙂

  • I do come from a background of sappy holiday celebrations. The traditional card where we all traced our hands on the cover every year until our hands were overlapping each other The cards to grandma. The special after church meal and flowers. My first few years of motherhood I was just so happy to have little ones that I didn’t care that my husband doesn’t do sappy. Everyone was still celebrating their grandchildren and I felt wonderful and motherly. But as my kids have grown and I am now full-time mother and full-time homeschool mom and the job doesn’t go away or get easier and it’s thankless and messy, I look to this one special day in May where “her children will rise and call her blessed.” And that’s a VERY bad idea. Last year was the worst mother’s day of my entire life. I won’t get into the whys and wherefores, but it was awful. I determined this year to give my husband PLENTY of warning about mother’s day. We talked it out, expectations were clear. Then his boss sprung a stressful business trip on him at 4 AM Monday morning and his poor brain didn’t even have room for me. I fought for it though. I wasn’t going to let my expectations ruin anything. We postponed the day. I focused on his needs and making his Mom’s day special. Somewhere in the middle of the day I realized, I don’t want flowers or cards or special accolades. I just want my tank filled. I want to be told I MATTER. I want to feel like it’s all WORTH SOMETHING. I hadn’t taken the next step though to think, WHO give me worth. Is it my kids? My husband? Am I ever going to earn worthiness? No. It’s the one who paid for my life with his own blood. So thank you. It’s hard when everything appears Instagram perfect to find truth in the messy realities.

    • Circumstances can always throw a wrench in things — but if we are grounded in Him, that won’t throw us. But so often I am thrown!! A commenter in my FB group said something about an “audience of One.” That’s who she does things for. Such a great perspective.

  • Oh Ann, this makes me want to give you a huge hug! This is SO spot-on. I have the same “challenge” on Mother’s Day…and I hate sounding ungrateful, but you have truly nailed it.
    Thank you for the encouragement to dig deep and seek the Savior, friend.
    Blessings to you today and every day.
    Love, love, love your heart <3

  • I just wish that my daughter wouldn’t have been downright disrespectful towards me all day. it seems that every year Mother’s Day is the day that she is the worst.

    • YES. This is a thing. I think we are tested and tried often MORE on the “special” days. It’s just another round of the Sunday-morning-before-church scenario, ya know? Family life is just plain stressful. And our expectations — I think as Christians we might have unreasonably high ones on a regular basis, because we think we should all behave the way the Bible tells us to, lol — don’t help… HUGS.

  • Thank you SO much for sharing this. It’s nice to know I wasn’t the only one who struggled with all of the Facebook posts from other moms displaying their gifts and gushing about the love their families showered them with. The handmade cards with the carefully written notes really got to me because what mother doesn’t long for her kids to tell her how much they love and appreciate her? I realize now that I was just being selfish and ungrateful and that I need to love and accept my husband and boys for who they are. They may not make me cards or wake me up at 12:01 am on Mother’s Day because they are so excited to give me their gifts (yes, this is what my best friend’s children did), but they show me they love me in their own ways on a regular basis. Thank you for helping me put things in perspective.

  • I really needed to hear this! Thank you so much for your honesty. I started Saturday night feeling sorry for myself because I knew to expect very little. Oh, the selfishness! Thank you for reminding me of the real Truth of Christ’s word and being a servant.

  • Thank you for your honesty and real perspective. It is very uplifting to see the scripture that can heal a broken heart. I spent hours reading scripture through tears Sunday night but could not see His purpose. The scriptures you pointed out was what I was searching for. Thank you for using God’s word to help solve the worldly struggles.

  • This is great. I have often felt “left out” as well, but have learned to keep my expectations low. I know my family loves me, they just don’t gush over me the way others do. I totally agree with your perspective on looking to Jesus for our satisfaction. That is still a work in progress for me, too. Thanks for sharing.

  • That’s the truth of it right there not just for Mother’s Day, but for our birthdays and anniversary, too. I had just had surgery a week ago, so I have been being treated like a queen since – everyone’s trying to meet my needs without causing too much pain or stress for me. They’ve been so sweet. Some say laughter is the best medicine. Some would say it is chocolate. I say it is friendship. All of the cards, meals they’ve brought, emails, etc. have really made me know how much I am loved and appreciated. I’m so thankful for that. I hope I will remember to be that friend for someone else someday when they need it most.

    On the other hand, I think of my mom. She only has my sister and me, and for whatever reason, my sister refused to even call our mom on Mother’s Day. And that’s all my mom wanted was a phone call from each of us saying “Hi. I love you. Thank you for all you’ve done for me.” She had the same surgery I just had 1 year, 1 month and 1 day ago which later caused complications which put her in the hospital for a month where she almost died twice! I know I’m glad she’s still around and that we have more time to appreciate her. I wish my sister could get over herself and her unforgiving way and just make the one phone call that could make our mother’s day.

    Life is too short anyway. But I’m so thankful that God is good and loving and forgiving. He really does value His children. Thanks for the reminder.

Hi! I’m glad you’re here!

I’m Ann (aka Annie), a veteran homeschool mom of five who HATES complicated!
more about me >>

Improve Your Relationship with your Homeschooled Teen!

Sign up now to get a FREE list of 100 Ways to Encourage Your Teen!
PLUS receive regular encouragement for yourself in your inbox!

Click Here

Click here for homeschooling high school resources to get started!