Surviving Mother's Day and other holidays when family sucks is really hard. There is no other nice way to put it, no sugar-coating or fluff way to say that not everyone is psyched and ready to celebrate Mother's Day. Saying that your family "sucks" might be seen as disrespectful, but it's a generalization for unhappy, unhealthy, and uncomfortable conditions. These types of Hallmark celebrations sometimes create tension and bring up that old family hurt. But, there are some things that you can do to survive Mother's Day when family sucks.

Tips on Surviving Mother's Day

  • Celebrate yourself. Many times when there is family discord there are codependency issues. When codependency is alive and well then family functions can be especially hard to survive.
  • Create boundaries. The ability to set boundaries is a useful people skill. Not only does it come in quite handy as a general life survival skill, but it's really helpful when you want to assert yourself and maintain dignity. Creating and expressing appropriate boundaries is a very healthy behavior.
  • Be assertive. Assertiveness is hard to learn, but so very rewarding. If you can learn how to be assertive then you will have some tools to survive Mother's Day and other holidays and people.
  • Honor yourself before your mother. This is hard for a lot of people coping with codependency. A symptom of codependent behavior is to "people please" which usually looks like taking care of other people's needs before your own. It is hard to stop this behavior because it's often tied in with guilt, responsibility (that's not necessarily yours), and a whole host of other feelings. Some people operate out of a place of fear so they do not want to make waves. To recognize this is a form of fear is part of the process.
Surviving Mother's Day when family sucks can be discouraging or it can pump you up. The best way to survive is by finding your own way to celebrate without putting yourself in harm's way. Not everyone's family is fun and celebratory. These holidays can be particularly hard on people who have had substance dependence problems because family often is a hot button. For some, surviving Mother's Day can be about a literal survival.

On the lighter side there are other ways to get through as well. Someone says that laughter is the best medicine. Make fun of your situation. Rent a funny movie. Go support an open mic comedian. Hang out with awesome friends. Laugh at yourself and the ridiculousness of what's going on. Finding creative ways to cope is essential to survival.

Other simple Mother's Day survival tips include limiting the amount of time spent with family, planning events ahead of time, utilizing supportive people, and planning exit routes. At the end of the day it would be great if we could all celebrate each other. Start with yourself.