Mother’s Day When Your Adult Child Doesn’t Celebrate You

The media inundates us with images of loving mom and child relationships, their hands holding beautiful bouquet flowers. We see gifts, cards, and children bringing their mom food in bed while sentimental music accompanies the acts of love. For some moms, the images can bring emotional pain. As Mother’s Day approaches, we may begin to dread the day. Do we go to church feeling sad when we are handed a flower because it reminds us that no flowers are waiting for us back at home? Among the congregation of moms and their children, a sermon to honor us can make us feel so alone. Does that make you not want to leave home and attend church? Every street corner has a special Mother’s Day display, and every restaurant advertises their Mother’s Day special.

Getting through Mother’s Day when your adult child doesn’t celebrate you is not easy.

Some of us feel hurt, depressed, and sad. Others pray for a change that we don’t quite admit because we fear we’ll be disappointed. Some moms dread the text that we figure is coming “Happy Mother’s Day” because it doesn’t match what we feel we deserve. So instead of feeling celebrated on our special day, we find ourselves angry and bitter. Even for moms who have a close relationship with their children, the day holds a sense of loss for their mom who is no longer here. But not wanting to spoil the day likely hold their feelings in.

Getting through Mother’s Day when your adult child does not take the time out to celebrate you requires a mentality shift. What do I mean? Like other events that have transpired in our lives, Mother’s Day brings up all types of “schemas.” In psychology, schema is a pattern of thought in which information is filtered through and interpreted. Honestly, how many Mother’s Day went exactly like you wanted? Although I have had some wonderful Mother’s Day, it rarely lived up to the ideal version. Therefore, if you are dreading the holiday take some time and think about what’s really bothering you and decide that you will take control of how you feel. If the dreaded text makes you angry, choose to be thankful that at least they thought of you.

If you feel sad and don’t feel up to attending church, consider that we are not to allow “any” relationship to take our focus off God and His Kingdom, not even our children. Your child must have their own personal relationship with God. For others, it may help to talk to someone. You would be surprised that you are not alone. You could help another mom get through the day.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Let’s support and encourage each other. Also, what are your Mother’s Day plans?

Author: Kim Petitt

Kim Petitt holds a graduate degree in psychology. She holds a bachelors in communication and a associates degree in business administration with a concentration in office management. She is the mother of a twenty year old male.

The journey of motherhood for Kim is quite unique being that she was a teen mom and living with a physical disability. The challenges she faced caused her emotional pain and loneliness, but because of her faith and relationship with God she didn’t give up and continues to overcome through Christ. Her heart’s desire is to reach out to teenage girls  and young moms and women from all walks of life to teach them how to overcome their own personal challenges that keep them from loving God and themselves.
You can connect with kim by visiting her blog @kimpetitt09

What can you do when your child’s words and behavior communicate: “I reject you, your values, and your God?” In this plan, Kim Petitt shares scriptures for navigating seasons of rupture in parent-child relationships. You will learn how to keep hope alive while you wait for reconciliation and your child’s return to God.


  1. My husband of 40 years celebrates his birthday on Mothers Day this year. It’s only the 3rd time since we were married that this has happen. The past 2, the children made breakfast for both of us. This year we won’t see either of our adult children BECAUSE it’s Mother Day… for them or spouse. I’ll be surprised if they remember it’s his birthday. sigh… We’ll just celebrate the whole day together. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you and your husband get to share the day together. May God give you both peace and joy even in the midst of feeling disappointed. Happy Mother’s Day! 💐

  2. Thank you for the encouragement and the level of understanding of how a mother could feel discouraged on Mother’s Day by their adult children.

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