The most dreaded day of the year for daughters of narcissistic mothers is upon us. Mother’s day. *insert screams of horror here*
So what thoughts have been running through your mind? Let me guess… something like these?
- Where can I find a card that doesn’t make me nauseous by discussing a mother’s constant, unfailing love? Does anyone sell nice, simple “have a nice day” cards? (Actually, I’ve found the Dollar Tree stores do, just FYI.)
- Should I get her flowers &/or a gift?
- Do I really have to spend time with her? I just saw her 2 months ago…
- What fresh hell is she going to put me through this year? Stories of how miserable she was when pregnant with me, what a terrible child I was or how much I’ve disappointed her?
- Do I really have to do anything at all?! I don’t wanna!
Take a deep breath, Dear Reader… now exhale. Try to relax. You can get through this!
Before you opt to do anything, pray for wisdom, strength, & anything else you feel you need. Once that is done, start thinking logically & calmly about your situation, taking it one step at a time.
Do you feel you should get your mother a card? Yes? OK, then go shopping for a card. Look for something very simple that basically says, “I hope you have a nice Mother’s Day”. Those cards exist! Or, if you can’t find one, then find a pretty card that’s blank inside & write your own simple message.
Do you feel you should get your mother a gift? If yes, then think about something small you can get her. There’s no need to go crazy or go into debt getting her something for Mother’s Day, especially when she was a less than stellar mother. Has she mentioned something she wants recently? A new purse? A new casserole dish? A new clock? Anything? If so & you can afford it, get it. Not sure what to get her? Then how about a gift card from a store she likes? Cash also works. Don’t beat yourself up trying to figure out the perfect gift. It’s not worth the stress or potential debt.
Do you feel you should spend time with your mother on Mother’s Day? If yes, why? Is it because you want to honor her or because you dread her massive guilt trip &/or smear campaign if you don’t? Be brutally honest with yourself on this one. If it’s simply to honor her, then absolutely do it. If it’s because you dread the guilt & smear, then do NOT do it! Giving in to avoid her guilt &/or smear is giving her control. You know how narcissists are- the more you give into them, the more they expect. That whole give an inch, take a mile thing. Another option is a compromise if you aren’t ready not to spend the day with her. Offer to take her to lunch or dinner on another day. If you’re a mom, no doubt you want to spend the day with your kid(s), so do it, then take Mom out another day. She may be mad but tough- it’s perfectly reasonable to put your kids ahead of your mom! If you don’t have kids, make other plans for that day. Lunch with a friend. Pick up an extra shift at work. Something! Anything! You can make it sound like your plans are unchangeable too. Work really needs you in that day (true- they need you more than she needs to abuse you!). Your friend is having a tough time lately or this was the only time your friend has available (both of which are entirely possible scenarios). If your mother starts with her guilt trip, tell her you have to go immediately & will talk to her later.
If you’re no contact, that first Mother’s Day can be rough. Don’t give in to guilt & send her a card or gift! If you do, your narcissistic mother will see that as you having weak boundaries or you feel guilty for being so “mean” to her. She also may take it as the end of no contact & before you know it, she’s in your life again. Don’t let that happen! Maintain no contact for the sake of your sanity!
I know Mother’s Day is a tough day but you can & will get through it. Really! You can do this! xoxo