Balancing Hope and Heartache: Navigating Mother’s Day on the Journey to Motherhood  

Balancing Hope and Heartache: Navigating Mother’s Day on the Journey to Motherhood  

Sometimes the path to motherhood does not run smoothly. For many women they long to become a mother but circumstances mean that it hasn’t happened for them yet. Maybe you are still single at an age that you imagined you would be married with children, perhaps you are struggling to conceive or are undergoing fertility treatment. This can make Mother’s Day incredibly painful, and bring about a mixture of emotions, ranging from sadness to anger and disappointment. 

In the lead up to and during Mother’s Day we are bombarded with images of mothers and their loving children being celebrated by doting partners. These images flood our social media feeds, creep into our email inboxes, and occupy advertising space on TV and radio. All of which shine a light on the fact that you are not where you hoped and expected to be, and likely intensifies the range of complex emotions you feel.  

If this resonates with you, let’s think about how to navigate this tricky time and how to balance the hope for the future with the heartache of the present.  

Emotional Awareness and Self-Compassion: Try and allow yourself time to really identify and connect with all the emotions you are feeling. It might feel like a confusing and complicated range of emotions, that’s ok, it’s normal and understandable. Allow yourself time and space to feel all these emotions, without criticism or judgment. Try to show yourself, and your emotions, compassion and understanding. Many people find journalling is a great way to identify, make sense of and process their emotions, maybe give it a go!  

Seek support: Share how you are feeling with those around you, this might be your partner or spouse, close friends, or family. Let them know how you are feeling, lean on them and allow them to support you.  

Limit exposure to triggering material: Be mindful of what you find most triggering, challenging, or upsetting. Consider how to limit your exposure to this material. Perhaps it’s time to unfollow a few accounts or take a digital detox, even if only temporarily. Many companies now give the option to opt out of emails about Mother’s Day, look out for this in your inbox and take up this option if it feels like it will be helpful for you.  

Broadening our perspective: When we are navigating a tricky journey to motherhood it is easy, and understandable, for us to become preoccupied by this. We find ourselves focusing on all that we long for and don’t yet have. Whilst this is understandable, it means that we often lose sight of what we do have, all that is going well or that we have achieved in other parts of our life. Try to allow yourself to broaden your perspective and think about what there is to celebrate, be proud of or enjoy in your life as it is now. These feelings can co-exist alongside feelings of disappointment and sadness at not yet being a mother.  

Holding the hope: Hope can feel like a difficult emotion to hold during the ups and downs of a long and bumpy road to motherhood. Try and remind yourself that you are not a mother yet, but that this does not mean that you never will be. Remind yourself that you are on a journey, and that everyone’s journey is unique. Your journey might be longer, with more unexpected twists and turns along the way, than some others but look at you, you are managing it. Navigating every twist and turn demonstrates real strength and resilience.  

At Sage Clinics, our clinicians have training and expertise in supporting women, couples and families throughout every stage of their journey to and through parenthood. If you are struggling to navigate your journey to parenthood please do reach out to us for support.  


Written by: Private: Dr Charlotte Cousins

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