Forget Mom – Forget Yourself on Mothers’ Day

— Elena Michaels PhD, CCH, LMFT

How we remember special days (such as birthdays and Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, anniversaries, etc.) varies on our upbringing.  A client shared that he forgot his wife’s birthday due to hard and long hours getting his business going.  His secretary had reminded him but with late hours and working hard, it “slipped his mind”.

In his family birthdays were “no big deal”, and sometimes forgotten.  If birthdays were remembered at all, his father would drink too much, a screaming fight would take place with items being thrown, and my client would be cowering in the corner….not happy memories.

In his wife’s family, birthdays were celebrated with many family and friends joining in.  Her large, loving family enjoyed these times together and birthdays and other special days were never forgotten.

Discovering how your partner celebrated birthdays and holidays is important in making your relationship work.  Mothers’ Day is this month, and our relationship with our mother affects how we celebrate this day (or if we remember it at all)!

Forgetting to honor your mother on this day could break her heart.  Every woman does the best she can at any given time in her life, and her actions toward her children are filtered through emotional wounds from her own childhood.

A mother who dies when a child is young, an abusive mother (or one who did not protect her child from abusive family members), a cruel, sadistic, or selfish mother…all of these situations make this holiday a painful one.

Deep within all of us there is a loving, maternal part.  Our upbringing and any personal work we have done on ourselves affects whether that maternal part nurtures us, harms us (is abusive to us), abandons us, protects us, and so on.

This Mothers’ Day, honor your mother because she is (or was) a unique woman who gave birth to the special and unique person you are.  Honor her because in doing so, you honor that part of yourself.  And in honoring yourself and who you have grown to become, honors her.  As you honor her, you allow that loving, nurturing part of yourself to be ever more present…and doing so, you give yourself a gift (a “present”).  Enjoy this Mothers’ Day and happy Mothers’ Day to all of you!


Dr. Elena Michaels is a mother and grandmother, Doctor of Natural Health and Holistic Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 661 250-4395, or