Mother’s Day: Self-Care Tips For Adult Daughters Who Have A Strained Relationship With Their Mom

Adult daughters don’t always get the time and attention they need for self-care. This is especially true when it comes to Mother’s Day approaches. The situation can be quite precarious if an adult daughter’s relationship with her mom is strained or estranged.

My Mom’s Unintentional Advice

In her Jamaican patois (pronounced: “patwah”) accent, my mom used to say to me,

“Prevent ‘tis bettah den cure.”

This was my mom’s way of letting me know that it is better to be prepared for a situation.

Unbeknownst to her, however, that sentiment became my approach to interacting with her during my early years. She had a critical eye…and tongue. So, in order to prevent the onslaught of commentary, I would prep myself for key encounters with her.

…especially when it came to Mother’s Day.

Our Society’s Intentional Expectation

Mother’s Day is one of those days when the world is supposed pay homage to “the woman who birthed you.” And while many daughters may experience that warm sentiment, there are many who do not. Instead, that “warmth” feels more like a wringing of their heart.

That wringing makes you feel like a wretch (a.k.a. not a “good daughter”). You feel squeezed into a silent misery because (maybe) your relationship with your mom is not great…not close; but strained or estranged. Then on top of that, there are societal expectations that are pressuring you to just suck-it-up-and-just make her (your mom) happy on this one day – Mother’s Day.

What’s an adult daughter to do?

My Intentional Advice

Many of the moms and daughters, who have sought me out for help  over the past 20-plus years, have told me about their struggles when it comes to Mother’s Day.

I believe much of the struggle is due to their not having really taken proactive steps to practice self-care prior to Mother’s Day. So, in my work as a Mother Daughter Relationship Personal Trainer and psychologist, I encourage and teach adult daughters how to PRE-Ventthe potential conflict/tensions by doing the following:

Prep yourself by…

First training yourself to #PauseToConsider your own needs…first.

Second, you will need to readjust your expectations of yourself; asking yourself what are you able to handle now? Additionally, you will need to readjust your expectations of your mom; asking yourself what is she really capable of doing now?

Third, you will need to express your boundaries and limitations to your mother. If you don’t know how, then sign up for a No-Guilt Consult Call with me and I can guide you through the strategies and process.

Fourth, you will need to planfully punctuate your behavior with the appropriate follow-through on your boundaries. There will be pushback on your new boundaries. But with the right support, it will work and you will experience balance and healing.

Reward yourself by…

Undergoing the process of implementing self-care prior to, during, and after Mother’s Day is just that…a process. So, it will be important to reward yourself by treating yourself to something that fills you up and replenishes/pampers you. And extending yourself some more grace during this time will go a long way in easing any pressure you may feel to “get over this already.”

Encourage yourself by…

You can encourage yourself by verbally telling yourself that you are “doing the best you can under the circumstances” and reminding yourself that you are enough.

“The best way to honor your mom is to be you.”

You are not and were never meant to be your mom. So, just growing, developing into, and being yourself is the best way to compliment her…whether she acknowledges it or not.

Vent yourself by…

Making sure you have a safe place/adult person in your circle to whom you can talk – vent – and share your thoughts and feelings. You can also find such support in a community of moms who have had and/or who are on a similar journey.


As an adult daughter, you’ll need to know how to practice self-care prior to Mother’s Day, especially if you don’t have a great relationship with your mother. A way to do this is to PRE-Vent the potential conflict and tensions  to:

  • Prep yourself
  • Reward yourself
  • Encourage yourself
  • Vent yourself.

If you are an adult daughter and your relationship with your mom is strained or estranged, then CLICK HERE à To Watch This Free Workshop Video by The Estrangement Project™

©2023 Dr. Michelle Deering | All rights reserved.


There is no comment on this post. Be the first one.

Leave a comment