A Love Letter To Anyone Having a Hard Mother's Day

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

I’m sorry your Mother’s Day is hard.

I’m sorry if it downright sucks.

There are so many moms out there doing amazing things, and they deserve amazing Mother’s Days.

But the world gets so caught up in celebrating that if you’re having a hard Mother’s Day, it can feel really lonely.

If you’re feeling unseen, unheard, and unimportant today: I want you to know that I see you, I hear you, and you are important.

If you can’t be with your loved one’s today, I see you.

If you’re struggling to become a mom, I see you.

If you’ve chosen not to be a mom, I see you.

If you have a strained relationship with your mom or your kids, I see you.

If you’ve lost a child, I see you.

And if you’ve lost a mom, we share part of our story, and I see you.

Today, I’m thinking of you all and sending so much love.

I lost my mom to breast cancer just over 2 years ago. I remember everyone was shocked when they found out, they hadn’t even know she had cancer. But neither did we. She was misdiagnosed for too long. By the time we knew, it was too late for treatment.

I numbed out for a long time after losing her. I didn’t want to talk about her, because I knew I couldn’t hold back my tears. My coworkers were impressed out how quick I came back to work, but really I was just searching for a sense of normalcy and a way to numb out all the pain.

And so my first Mother’s Day without my mom – less than 2 months after loosing her – was just numb. I’m not saying it was healthy, but that’s just how it was. I let myself be numb and let Mother’s Day pass in hopes that the next year would be better.

But the second Mother’s Day without her was worse. The numbness was fading but it was replaced with anger. That day was the most bitter I’ve felt in my life. All I could think about was everyone who was having a great mothers day, meanwhile I felt alone and unseen. And on top of all of the bitterness, was a heap of guilt for feeling bitter toward all of the people who deserved great Mother’s Days.

I hid my bitterness. But inside I was angry. I was angry that an amazing woman had her life cut short. I was angry that people take their moms or their kids for granted. I was angry that I felt cheated out of that ‘best friend’ stage of a mother-daughter relationship that we had been cultivating. And I felt the angriest about never getting a proper goodbye.

The thing no one tells you about pain – whether it’s grief or something else – is how long it can take to get over it. I felt like I should have been over all of the pain, but that’s not how pain works.

Today is the 3rd year without my mom on Mother’s Day. And while most of the bitterness is gone, I still have no desire to partake in Mother’s Day this year. I’ll avoid the Mother’s Day section at the store. I’ll delete the advertising emails. And I’ll wait a few weeks before venturing out to buy flowers to plant in her memory.

This year, I’ll be thinking of my mom, but I’m not at a point where I’m ready celebrate her life.

And you know what? That’s okay.

If you’re having a hard Mother’s Day, I invite you to honor where you’re at.

It’s okay to be angry or sad or indifferent. It’s okay if other people are having a great day but you need to keep your distance.

Today, do what feels right for you. Take a moment to get quiet and tune in so that you can ask yourself what you need today. Now what other people say you should need, but what you truly need.

You might need a day of self-care. You might need to find ways to connect with the important people in your life. You might need to grieve and be alone. You might need to seek joy and gratitude in what you have.

Whatever you need today, take it. This is your permission slip. Honor this season that you’re in and know that it’s just that, a season.

I truly believe that we can find purpose in every season of your lives. But guess what? You don’t need to figure out your anger, your sadness, or areas of growth today.

Today, you can just be, let things be, and know that’s okay.

I meant it when I said you aren’t alone today.

Send me an email at shelby@thebeautifullifeplan.com or send me a DM on Instagram at @thebeautifullifpelan.

Much love,


Hey there! I’m Shelby, content creator at The Beautiful Life Plan!

The Beautiful Life Plan is a guide for intentional living. But to be honest with you, this blog flopped around to a lot of different topics for a while when it was just a side project alongside my day job as an interior designer.

There was a point in my life where I didn’t really know what I wanted out of life. I had graduated college, gotten a decent job with coworkers I adored. But I wasn’t fulfilled by my job, and there were a lot of other aspects of my life that were, quite frankly, on autopilot.

But life hit me like a brick wall when I lost my mom.

Eventually, after the sudden blow, the realization kicked in that I was living a life that didn’t feel whole and purposeful, and that it could end at any moment. The only way I can explain it is that I needed to find purpose and create a life worth living – because otherwise, what was the point of it all?

For me, waking up to life is a slow awakening. I eventually left an unhappy relationship and dove headfirst into everything personal growth. Then, I quit my job to head out on a 7 week solo road trip across the U.S. And the whole time, I only had a vague plan for growing this blog when I returned home.

Right now, you’re meeting me in the ‘grow this blog’ phase. It’s messy, but it’s beautiful – just like life. In everything I’ve learned in the past 2 years of this wild ride, the thing that’s stuck most is the idea of intentional living – living life on purpose. It’s what helped get me off autopilot so that I could start living a life that was full of meaning, and that makes me feel whole. 

It’s not perfect, and it’s not easy. But it’s what truly resonated with me, and I knew I needed to share ideas on intentional living with the world. My intention for this blog is to help connect other people with ideas and plans to help them get unstuck so that they can start living their life with purpose. 

I run on coffee, yoga, and cat snuggles. Most days, you can find me writing with one cat sitting on my lap, and the other curled at my feet. In my office, there’s always a diffuser running, a yoga mat on standby, and a big pile of books next to my great-grandpa’s rocker. 

I’m so glad you’re here and that you want to live your best, most beautiful life.

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Dena Doolin


✨ My mission is to help you organize your mind & optimize your time through digital planning.

📝 Planning + designing + all things personal growth is my jam.

📖 I'm an INFJ, Type 9 & Libra.

🍵 You can usually find me with a chai latte + doodling on my iPad IRL or casually hanging out on the gram sharing tips & behind the scenes on how I plan and design my days.

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© 2020 | The Motherhood Spectrum, Dena Doolin