When Mother’s Day Doesn’t Feel Like A Hallmark Card

When the expectations are let go

We are inundated with Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day pop-ups on Facebook. Commercials express the perfect love for moms. Emails announce the need to be the one to send the right card for the best mom.


Pressure for the mom wanting to be the recipient of the love she so desires.

Pressure for the daughter to be loved for who she is and not what she does.

Pressure for the kids to show mom how much they love her.

Pressure for the husband or loved one to fill in the gaps when expectations are not met.

The pressure is overcooked, the lid has been sealed for too long and ready to boil over and the steam that bursts out is not the intended’s goal.

What to do when Mother’s Day doesn’t feel like the Hallmark commercial that usually makes you cry from happiness, but this time around you cry in loneliness? In rejection? In disappointment?

When the pressure is too much and it threatens to spoil your relationships, the steam needs to seep out. In the right way. In the way that is pleasing and desiring to God instead of being self-centered and self-focused.

Mother’s Day is not my top favorite holiday. I am forced to recognize my inadequate relationship with my own mother, which will never be the kind I desperately have wanted my whole life.

And that’s okay.

I have let the steam out when the pressure has been too hot. God is more than ready to hear my sobs. Again. He’s more than ready to hear a heart that has been broken. Again. God is more than ready to take the heat, take the pressure and soothe my soul.

My aching heart for hurting hearts.

My heart isn’t aching so much for my own relationship with my mother. I have come to terms with what we are.

My heart aches for those who still hurt from an injured relationship with a mom who should love them. My heart aches for those who have been shunned from a mom who has been unable to love their child as God designed them. My heart aches for the little girl that still lives within us. Craving, desiring, and desperately seeking the love of a parent. The love of a mom.

For a few years I put the pressure on my own daughter. What I didn’t receive from my own mother, I desperately wanted with my daughter. The pressure mounted each time my expectations grew and the reality didn’t meet up. Through my expectations I created a relationship that was impossible for anyone to meet. Thankfully, with time and prayer, I realized how unfair my pressure put on my daughter.

I have gradually let go of my expectations and am learning to live freely. Free to love without strings. Free to give without expecting it back. Free to be myself and know it’s okay. And free to let Christ work, separate from me.

5 ways to deal with the day.

Five tidbits from my side of the fence:

  1. Let yourself off the hook. Don’t let guilt rob you of your current relationships. If God is in it, then continue to let Him work while you sit on the sidelines.
  1. Pray. Sob. Pour out your heart. It’s great to have a best friend to console and cry with. It’s wonderful to have a husband who will mourn with you. But even better is our God, who loves you with a mama heart and understands totally your pained past. He wants your tears.
  1. You were created for relationship. God didn’t give us a mom and dad by accident and we are reminded of this in Genesis. God purposed all of us to be in family and to be in familial relationships. But sin happened and the consequence is broken relationships. There are many examples of women in the Bible who have cried out to God in their pain and agony. Reading about Hannah’s journey reminds me God listens to my cries and He wants to give me the desires of my heart. Even when He seems to withdraw and withhold things or people we think we should have, His love is greater than.
  1. Give. Love. Surprise a friend who doesn’t have her mama on earth. Give the gift of a mother dressed as a friend. Pass on your love to your kids, so you can be the mom you wanted. Spread a little love to the young mom at your church. Give a note or a card to one of your neighbors who you know just lost their mother. Pray for an opportunity to meet someone who needs to hear your words of love and encouragement.
  1. And finally, give up on those expectations. Expectations can kill and destroy. The grasp of expecting loosened in my life and have given me more freedom and joy. Yes, joy.
    When the expectations are let go, we are free to enjoy relationships, every positive interaction, and movement toward a healthy relationship as a gift.

As I write, I am reminded of young women in my own life, whose mother isn’t there for them. Oh beautiful women, reach out past your own pain and in His goodness He will use you, brighten your day and pass on some light to others He puts in your path.

Join in community to pray.

As I continue on my own journey and am living a life healed and continuing to give Him my scars, will you pray for me?

And as you continue on your own journey, as God leads and guides you, however that looks in your particular life, will you allow me the privilege to pray for you? Type “pray” in the comments and I will lift you up to our Father who knows.

When Mother’s Day doesn’t feel like a Hallmark card, that’s okay. It’s better than okay. Take the pressure off. Burden God. And then that allows you to be the burden carrier for someone else.


Note: When I asked two ladies if I could take their picture, they were mother and daughter and then the other daughter showed up. A blessing for me to rejoice in their relationship.

12 Responses to When Mother’s Day Doesn’t Feel Like A Hallmark Card

  1. Abra May 5, 2015 at 7:34 am #

    Thank you for this. I would be honored by your prayers.

  2. Aimee Imbeau May 5, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Thank you so much for addressing this issue. I will be praying for you and you can pray for me;)

    • Diane Samson May 7, 2015 at 10:24 am #

      Thanks Aimee. Praying for you. Blessings! 🙂

  3. Tara May 6, 2015 at 7:06 am #

    Diana, such beautiful words. Happy Mother Day to you.

  4. Lisa Jurgens May 9, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    Well put. Thank you for addressing this sensitive subject so many of us identify with. Would love to have you prayers regarding my relationship with Mom. Never know what I might run into with her Alzheimer’s, but know that God is faithful!

    • Diane Samson May 9, 2015 at 10:51 am #

      Feel blessed to pray for you and your mom. It’s hard when you see them transition from a capable adult to a person who is highly dependent. God is faithful and will bring you each day just what you need. Blessings Lisa! 🙂

  5. Lee Anne May 20, 2015 at 12:05 am #

    “I have gradually let go of my expectations and am learning to live freely. Free to love without strings. Free to give without expecting it back. Free to be myself and know it’s okay. And free to let Christ work, separate from me.” This is a very beautiful and freeing statement, Diane! I enjoyed reading your post, and am glad that you approached my daughters and I for a photo 🙂 It was fun to meet you, and also to discover that we have a mutual friend! God bless you,
    Lee Anne

    • Diane Samson May 20, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      It was so great to meet you Lee Anne and your two wonderful daughters. How many times do you get approached to not only have your photo taken, but I really want your hands?! It was my pleasure. Thanks for being so fun and then checking out the site. I hope the hands were approved! Blessings! 🙂

  6. Diane Samson March 7, 2016 at 10:37 pm #

    Thank you Aimee for your honesty. I know it’s not always easy but I love how you are cherishing your own family and being the best mom you can be, even in the midst of your own pain. Blessings! 🙂


  1. Blog round-up #7 - A Work Of Grace - February 1, 2016

    […] Mother’s Day isn’t always what it is cracked up to be.  For me, it is a time to reflect on my own mothering and enjoy my family.  But it is also mourning a relationship with my own mother I’ve never really had – a healthy relationship.  I appreciate how Diane addresses this pain in her post When Mother’s Day Doesn’t Fell Like a Hallmark Card. […]

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