May 6, 2021


What is Mother’s Day without a mum? It’s a sad, empty day for many. But there are ways to prepare and even celebrate a motherless Mothers Day.

Leigh Van Der Horst, a Melbourne mum of 4, lost her beloved mother to cancer in 2008. As a 32-year-old mother to 3 young boys, Leigh felt as though her world had fallen apart.

After picking up the pieces and completely re-building who she was, Leigh set about creating a best selling book called ‘Without My Mum’ for others who had experienced a similar loss in the hope that they would not feel alone in their grief.

Leigh now a qualified Nurse, runs a private Facebook group for Motherless Women, offering a safe space to grieve and be supported whilst also supporting others.

Leigh hopes that by helping women worldwide, they can begin to believe in themselves and to live their best lives.

One of Leigh’s blogs really resonates during Mother’s Day. A day many motherless children dread!

Leigh writes, “OK, so, here we go… It’s the lead up to Mother’s Day again. You know what..? It’s not all bad ladies. Honestly, it really comes down to how you approach it. I know this as I am coming up to my 9th Mother’s Day without my mum. Are you in need some strength? Read on darlings…

Yep, it’s tough. No denying that. The advertisements reminding us of what we can no longer celebrate with our mothers, the gifts everywhere aimed at our mothers, the emails, the catalogues, the stores… It is EVERYWHERE..

My approach once was to avoid the shops all together. It worked for me for a short while but this is the real world. How could I control absolute silence and shutting off entirely? I couldn’t. And I shouldn’t! It is what it is. And I know that many others are in the same boat, sailing this turbulent journey with me. Sometimes the waves are too rough, sometimes they come crashing down on us, sometimes they are smooth but all too commonly they are unpredictable!

It’s all about ‘the triggers‘ darlings.

It’s about knowing your strengths (and weaknesses) and being kind to yourself.

At this time of year, many are feeling more vulnerable than usual. In this case, don’t put yourself through anything that you don’t have to.

Create a space of safety for yourself, whatever that may be.

Know that everywhere you go, you are going to be reminded of what you have lost.

Prepare for the inevitable. Don’t get angry about it. It is what it is and many others are in the same boat as you. You are not alone, truly, you aren’t. If you are a mum, think of your beautiful children and how much they adore you. Allow that love to wash over you. You deserve it.

What are your plans for the big day?

Are they what YOU want to do? Whether you are a mother or not, you really need to honour the day (or at least part of it!) your way. If you know that you will be spending the day how you would like to, the lead up is not so hard.

Are you planning to honour your mother? You still can… Create new traditions. Buy flowers in her honour and display them in your home in remembrance. Visit her favourite spot and just sit quietly in your thoughts. Write her a letter and send it off in a balloon. Visit family and talk about her, laugh about those funny moments. It’s ok. You can laugh…

Be prepared

I know that if I prepare for potential emotional triggers, I am better equipped for them if/when they arise. It may sound dramatic but grief is an unrelenting bastard that hits with little warning so let’s make sure that we are in a place of strength and understanding when it does. Often knowing that I’m not alone is enough to pull me out, hopefully the same may apply to you…

So, as this week rolls on, prepare.

Should you be getting more sleep each night? Plan to have early nights. Spending too much time on social media? Switch off! Is your mind racing? Read a good book. Feeling sluggish? Go on some lovely long walks. Need an outlet? Get crafty! Treat yourself with care and respect…

I truly hope that you are all ok and that this Mother’s Day is a nice one for you. Never forget that your mother would want nothing more than for you to be happy. And she would be so proud of your strength… Try and enjoy being spoilt, you deserve it.”

What are your strategies for preparing and dealing with a motherless Mothers Day? Share your comments below. 

Read more:

  • I’d try and remember the amazing mothers days that we did have to enjoy them when she isn’t around


  • I dread the day I don’t have my mum to celebrate on Mother’s Day.
    I also have the other side where I have a child who passed and Mother’s Day is hard not having him around


  • Some really nice ideas here. Thank you


  • I lost my mum just over a week ago. I’m not looking forward to mothers day without her. I know that she would want me to be happy so I plan on doing something fun and special with my boys. It won’t make losing her any easier but I will have something positive to focus on.

    • I can imagine, it’s still so very fresh ! Take care, xx


  • Thank you for this article. It’s difficult to lose your mum no matter what age.


  • I still have my mother but i try to be company and support to friends that don’t.


  • These days I go to my local hospital to visit the permanent residents on Mothers Day. I always take them a little gift and a cake to share with them. I must admit that they are more like a Mother to me than my own Mum was.


  • I’m fortunate I still have my mother, but my grandmother passes away a few years back and I know all her children spend the day reminiscing about her and spending the day with their own children.


  • My mum has always been an absent mum, I always acknowledge her on mothers day, but I dont think it will be too much trauma for me to have a motherless mothers day


  • My mother died in front of me 2 year’s ago l morned her then & for a year after that Come on People Don’t be Sad Celebrate your Mother think of all the Great time’s you had together you really can be happy on Mother’s Day Believe me l was her last baby Smile l Do


  • I’m sorry and thinking of those for which this is a difficult day xo


  • I wish I’d had a close enough relationship with my mother to care about mother’s day.


  • I lost mum two months ago. It’s so hard.


  • Yes I am one of these Mums who has lost there Mum
    and Mothers Day is a Nightmare for me
    its not the Day itself so much
    its just all the advertisements and every shop you walk into mothers day mothers day
    I really try to avoid the shops around this time of year


  • Bless all those for who mothers day is a painful day ! xx


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating