Don’t get [sun]burned this Mother’s Day (when adult kids cut parents off)

When adult kids cut parents off:
Don’t get [sun]burned by Mother’s Day

By Sheri McGregor, M.A.

when adult kids cut parents offA few days ago, I learned of an annual event called “World Naked Gardening Day.” Held the first Saturday in May, the event encourages people to tan where the sun doesn’t shine (usually, anyway).  The event that encourages getting as naked as a jaybird in the garden doesn’t (yet) pull at heartstrings to make a commodity of the holiday. That isn’t true of another well-known holiday which, here in the United States, also falls in May—Mother’s Day.

Those who follow this blog know the serious tone of my work to help when adult kids cut parents off. However, once in a blue moon, I can’t help getting a little cheeky. So, please bare with me as I use World Naked Gardening Day to expose a little more of that now.

Mother’s Day when adult kids cut parents off

When Anna Jarvis first founded Mother’s Day, she didn’t intend it to become commercialized. The naked truth is that marketers realized Mother’s Day was a gold mine for their bottom line. Especially for greeting card companies, candy makers, and jewelers who cash in on the day. Knowing that may help you to cope as the holiday draws near each year.

While it’s nice to be recognized, we all know that a duty-bought bouquet or a one-line text doesn’t do motherhood justice. As mothers of estranged adult children, you have some skin in the game as to how you respond—even if an estranged adult child reaches out.

Don’t get caught with your pants down. Have a plan!

when adult kids cut parents offWhen adult kids cut parents off, it’s important to prepare ahead for situations that cause parents pain. For many of us, Mother’s Day qualifies. Below, I’ve stripped down to the basics of getting by.


  • While plans help, it’s okay to recognize your heartache. Mother’s Day can arrive like a bunch of wilted flowers on a day you would rather skip. You may feel sad or angry as you mourn the loss and wish things were different. Even gardeners who wear their birthday suits know that a sad, wilting, and maybe wrinkled plant needs attention in order to thrive. Your heart can be like that. Read on about tending to your heartache.



  • Part of your plan must be looking ahead. I hope you’ll get my book, Done With The Crying, and take the time to do the included exercises that focus on your emotional healing and future happiness. When adult children cut parents off, those who have processed the pain and strengthened themselves will be better prepared if or when any reconciliation does occur. It may be the night before Mother’s Day now, but tomorrow will come. Will the world be your oyster?


This Mother’s Day, clothe yourself with preparation by reading through the articles linked above. You can find more about how to cope when adult children cut parents off by using the site’s search box and inputting key words of your choice (Mother’s Day, holidays, etc).

In all Seriousness

I hope you were not offended by this blog post. I don’t typically let it all hang out with silliness. If you look past the puns, my real message is visible to the naked eye. As a mother whose adult son estranged himself, I understand your pain. I hope that this Mother’s Day and every day, you will allow yourself to laugh. It’s good medicine.

Related reading

Mother’s Day 2019 radio interview with Sheri McGregor



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8 thoughts on “Don’t get [sun]burned this Mother’s Day (when adult kids cut parents off)

  1. Cathy C.

    I have 4 children , my 2 daughters have not spoken to me in 8 yrs ! My sons are wonderful and in my life.After my divorce my girls wanted nothing to do with me.I have 4 grandchildren I also don’t see, my heart is broken

    1. Mary

      I share your experience, Cathy. I have 3 sons. Two of them have cut me out of their lives for the past 15 years. I’m not sure why. Their brother, my 3rd son is attentive, but he has his own set of addiction problems. I’ve tried to focus on the good things in my life, two grandchildren whom my husband & I have raised, my husband, loving stepchildren, friends, etc. The pain, however, is always there. Stay strong, believe in yourself!

    1. Beverly

      Sheri, your Mother’s Day email relieved some of my sadness with my only son & his wife & family being estranged from me & my husband (husband passed away 06/24/2021). My son did not come to his Dad’s Memorial. Son is 45 yrs. Old, married with 15 yr. Old daughters. Grandchildren do not know us since they were in 2nd grade. I pray, try to keep busy to ease the sadness and sorrow. Beverly

    2. rparents Post author

      I’m so sorry, Beverly! You must miss your husband dearly too. BIG hugs to you … a brave and courageous woman. I’m angry on your behalf that your granddaughters must miss out on you.

      Sheri McGregor

  2. Deborah R.

    You and your book have helped me so much. I can live again and feel happiness in a life I would not have chosen for the without my adult son.I have not seen him in 5 yrs now and as sad as that is, your messages of ways to cope have allowed me to live again.It’s not a perfect world but it’s darn good.
    Thank you Sheri.

  3. Donna P.

    Thank for being a light in this darkness. I find comfort in your articles and enjoyed the lightness of today’s post

    God Bless


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