News Release

May 3, 2005

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

It’s Not Just One Mother’s Day

No Stress Advice from Health Center Psychologist

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Sharing Mother’s Day can be a challenge. For mothers and adult children with an extended family, it can be an anxiety laced day. Balancing time, expectations and emotions can make Mother’s Day the special occasion it was meant to be, said Karen Steinberg, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry at UConn Health Center.

“When we are part of blended families, or have in-laws, siblings, grown children who have moved away, or grandchildren, it's more complicated,” Dr. Steinberg said. ”It can be very stressful to respond to multiple demands from different family members and to deal with complex emotions that may rise up from past unmet expectations, past experiences or recent losses,” she said. ”It’s important to find a balance and maintain perspective.”

“Moms should tell their husbands and children how they’d like to spend the day, which may include plans that include others. Mothers have mothers. Husbands whose wives are mothers also have mothers, and so on. It can get pretty complicated.

Mothers, be sure to do something for yourself,” Dr. Steinberg said. “But, if something doesn’t go the way you’d like, take it in stride – not everything is a reflection of our worth or importance to others,” she said. “Recognize and thank the women in your life who have influenced you. A simple card or phone call will do the trick,” said Dr. Steinberg. “Good feelings will go all around.”

General tips for special circumstances:

  • Remind children who live overseas that Mother’s Day is May 8. There are plenty of ads and commercials in this country announcing the day, but not abroad.
  • If geography or circumstances leave you on your own, organize something for Mother’s Day in advance. Call mothers in similar positions and celebrate together.
  • See Mother’s Day as a time to let bygones be bygones and sort out disagreements, but put off discussing serious conflicts for another time.

“Mother’s Day is an occasion for celebration – have fun, express affection toward those you love, take care of yourself, and for a change, ask for things from others,” Dr. Steinberg said.

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