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'Be kind to yourself' - Mother's Day reflections from a domestic abuse survivor

This Mother’s Day we’re sharing reflections from domestic abuse survivor and Glow volunteer, Sharon.

Sharon has talked about what Mother’s Day means to her and shared her advice for any other mums struggling to celebrate the day this year. 

For once I’m actually organised for Mother’s Day. Cards and presents have been purchased – I have cheated and bought gift bags because I am too tired to wrap them!

I have three children all based around the United Kingdom who I won’t see, but it doesn’t stop me wondering if any mysterious packages might soon appear on my doorstep.

In previous years I have not received cards or presents for a variety of reasons, which was painful. This year it made me stop and think about all the other mothers out there who will also have a difficult day.

Maybe they have lost their own mothers or are estranged. Maybe some could not be mothers. Or maybe they are mothers whose children are in care or with an ex-partner through difficult circumstances.

Whatever motherhood looks like for us and whatever the day brings, most of us carry a sense of shame or guilt. Thoughts such as ‘I should have done this, ‘I shouldn’t have done that’ or ‘I have let my children down’. 

We sometimes do not realise our strength and expect too much of ourselves. Society and the media often put the blame firmly at our feet and people judge without realising the full picture. 

Our children may blame us and take out their frustration on us as we are the only people that they feel safe to do so with.

When things feel difficult, we must remember to look back at how far we have come. 

We are mothers regardless of our situation. We have done the best we can and continue to do so, despite the circumstances. 

We have not had it easy. Most of our days are about surviving and getting through the day. 

This Mother’s Day, my message is this – remind yourself that you’re amazing, no matter whether someone celebrates you or not. You did the best you could and continue to do so.

Be kind to yourself and do something nice, just for you. Stop berating yourself and stop asking ‘what if?’

We cannot change the past and we do not know what the future will bring, but we do have the present.

Buy yourself the flowers (and the chocolates!). Stay in bed, or on the sofa in your pyjamas, if you need to.

Whatever today brings, you are doing your best and you are not alone. Take one day at a time and love yourself.

Let’s think of each other this Mother’s Day and be kind to ourselves and others.

Need someone to talk to or know someone who does?

If you are in immediate danger please call 999

Get in touch 0330 0945 559

CALL 0330 094 5559, OR 999 IN AN EMERGENCY

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