Mother’s Day 2021: Cancelled!

mothers of estranged adult childrenBy Sheri McGregor, M.A.

Mothers of estranged adult children are gearing up for a day they’ll be down. They’re making travel plans and deciding what they’ll do to cope in the commercialized climate leading to the first Sunday in May. Generally, mothers of estranged adult children are dreading what, to them, has become the mother of all bad days.

It’s wise to plan, consider sights or events that will make you sad, and devise ways to handle those. Otherwise, triggers can open like trap doors and send you spiraling into the pit of despair. So, while you’re deciding how to stay busy, entertained, or distracted, consider another idea: cancelling Mother’s Day altogether.

May: The Month of Creative Beginnings

Each time a mother adopted, took on a step-kid, or birthed a baby was a new beginning. Motherhood is all about that, so I was excited to discover that May is the official month of creative beginnings. I love the idea of a whole month dedicated to creative starts! Might as well cancel Mother’s Day and grasp that idea instead. What will you do to celebrate the month of creative beginnings? Let’s consider a few ideas.

I recently heard from a 70-year-old woman who had started horseback riding lessons. Her creative beginning is less about the lessons and more about her decision to nurture and bring to fruition a dream of her own. In the past, her life was more about doing for those around her than doing for herself. Trying something new for her own benefit was last on her list. Now, she gets to choose.

Maybe you don’t want to get up on a horse, but in this May month of creative beginnings, at least hop into the proverbial saddle. What does a “creative beginning” mean to you?

For some, this will mean a new hobby, redecorating, or changing the way they eat. For others, a creative new beginning will have more global or personal implications. Putting themselves first for instance. Or deciding to stop (or start) coloring their hair. Is there a spiritual inclination that’s been calling? Now there’s time.

Mother's day mothers of estranged adult childrenMaybe you can relate to the idea of finally embracing some part of your body you’ve seen as a flaw. That’s me in the photo a couple of years ago when I decided to embrace my upper arms (and actually took a blurry selfie on a bad hair day to commemorate the decision!). My mother always hated her arms and kept them covered. As I grew older, I adopted her attitude—until I didn’t. Hating a part of myself was limiting and unfair. My arms have held people close, pushed things away, and generally served me well. I kind of like the way they look now. If someone else doesn’t, they can look away!  And they’ll have to, because my summer wardrobe is sleeveless.

Mothers of estranged adult children: Say “yes” to yourself

Your creative new beginning could have to do with your outlook, how you take care of yourself, or something you finally say “no” to. Any of these are a “yes” to yourself. What will you do to celebrate May, the month of creative new beginnings? Give this a little thought, choose something valuable to you, give “birth” to whatever you want, and then nurture it as something worthy of a mother’s love.

Keep at it

Like most change, creative new beginnings can require work. I still sometimes pull on a tank top, look in the mirror, and think my arms are like faces only a mother could love. But I remind myself that hating my arms doesn’t change them. It’d be better to exercise them than hide them away. Besides, my feelings about them are irrational and inherited—like a lot of the things that imprison us.

It’s the same with Mother’s Day and the idealism we’re bombarded with about the perfect mother, family, and how to celebrate. We’ve learned these things at the mother’s knee of society, but that doesn’t mean we have to hold them close forever.

To let go of ideas that hurt us and work at creative new beginnings takes time and requires some dedication. In this month of creative beginnings, I hope you will commit to try. Choose at least one thing and get started. It’s a creative beginning!

Here’s help

If you’re drawing a blank, I’d like to help. The following links are to books that might get you started (they’re affiliate links, meaning that will get a tiny commission to help fund this website if you purchase any through these links). Even without buying, just reading the write-ups could be a spring board for your your own ideas for creative beginnings. Have a look, and then return here to read on and share your thoughts.

I could probably share a zillion books on everything from trying your hand at ceramics to learning to raise goats. You know what appeals to you, so I’ll keep the list to these three, plus my own book, Done With The Crying, which mothers of estranged adult children (also dads) say has helped them make a turnaround for the better.

What’s your creative beginning?

Give this some thought and share your creative beginning by leaving a reply. Your enthusiasm will encourage other mothers of estranged adult children (dads too). If you come across this article later, no worries. May is the official month of creative beginnings, but new starts can happen all year long. Share now or share later. I’d love to hear about your creative beginning, so don’t be mum about it. Leave a reply.

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129 thoughts on “Mother’s Day 2021: Cancelled!

  1. Vanessa G.

    This was my first Mother’s Day without my son. He is 19. I had sole custody of him and raised him with every ounce of love I had. I made mistakes along the way, but he was always at my side. When he was a little boy he said he would live with me forever. Now he is living with his father, addicted to Marijuana, not working, and blaming every one of his problems on me. His father did not help me when I would reach out, never showed up for the important days in his life, and soured my sons head against me. He doesn’t remember all of the good, and has created a world where I am a terrible parent. We have tried every kind of counselling. As soon as something was said that he didn’t like he stopped going.

    Thank goodness for my husband. I went away the weekend of Mother’s Day with his full support. I came home to have dinner with my mom.

    I miss him so much it hurts. I don’t want to burden my family and friends with it, as it totally consumes me. I have just started reading Done With The Crying as it has been 7 months since he has spoken to me. I hope I am able to learn how to grieve the loss of my son and move on with my life. I am also very thankful to see a group like this where I am know I am not alone.

    Thank you

    1. Syndi

      My Son called me this Mothers Day after months of nothing and 8 yrs of estrangement. We talked over an hour. My Hope’s were to the moon. 5-9-2021. He died the next day. I am nuts

      1. rparents Post author


        I want to express my care and send you a virtual hug. I’m so very sorry this happened as it did. Your son, it sounds like, gave you a gift. Cherish that. Mourn the lost years. Honor yourself by having as much joy and fulfillment you can in this fleeting life.

        Hugs to you dear Syndi.

        Sheri McGregor

    2. Karen O.

      I just read this Vanessa and it made me cry with empathy. I hope you find comfort and support from this group as I have countless times. You will continue to have difficult times but the future also holds good times for you. I hope you can enjoy them. Trust in yourself. You know you’ve been kind and done your best. Life is hard but life is also beautiful

    3. Deborah S.

      I just began reading your book Beyond: Done with the Crying. I am still crying, which is why I am reading your book.. LOL The pain is excruciating. Trying to get rid of self-doubt, as I was a really good mom. My daughter was adopted from Korea when she was only 4 months old, and I loved her with everything in me. Now I am trying to forget her and move on. Hard to “unlove” her even in spite of the slander and abuse she has sent my way. I am hoping that the passage of time will help heal.

  2. Penny M.

    Dear Sheri,

    I probably have written this to you before but from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you so much. You may never know how much you have helped. Everyday I recite The Serentity Prayer out loud and think about your book “Done With The Crying”. I was researching this morning and you are so right–therapists want to always blame the parents but that’s not the case so many times.
    Thanks again—Penny

  3. RW

    My son, 18 sent me a dear John text three days before Mother’s Day this year saying he needed space and has since refused all calls, text and emails. His father and I had a bitter custody history with his father dragging me to Court constantly because he wanted full custody and me sinking my cashed out retirement and living frugally most my child’s childhood to maintain 50-50 custody. I reached out to my ex who let me know their relationship is perfect and basically letting me know I was the odd man out. Right now I am devastated and grieving.

    1. Elizabeth

      My heart goes out to you!! I understand as my daughter is going through this now…her EX constantly causing grief. But in our state, pedophiles are protected it seems… I do hope you can find at least some understanding here…and some hope…maybe you can locate others in same situation you are in now!! It may take some time for your son to figure things out…and maybe he wants more money from your EX. Sometimes when kids finally grow up, marry, and begin having their own children they see things very differently. I hope meanwhile you will go on with your life and find ways to add meaning to it and I hope you have other children. But if not, there are other ways to find “family”. Sending all my best wishes and prayers for you!!

    2. Karen

      I’m so sorry to hear of your grieving. It is painful beyond words as I know myself. But please know there will be good times again. Whatever shape they take

  4. Kate

    To everyone on here, PLEASE don’t waste your lives waiting for an estranged adult child to care or respect you. Heck, if they cared about us, they wouldn’t have thrown us away in the first place! It took me a long time to realize that. Rejection from my now 50 year old daughter has been going on for many years. This last rejection has been 10 years & now I look back on “all the years that I’ve wasted” crying & wondering why. Today, I don’t really care “why” anymore, b/c I’ve given up & should have, long ago! 20 years ago, during the first rejection I once sent her a note & told her that she didn’t have to like or love me but I would appreciate a little respect (like please stop slandering me behind my back to my grandchild & others) but she wouldn’t even do that. So please read Sheri’s book, (it helped me a lot) don’t isolate yourself, do something fun once in a while & change your will. They don’t deserve a reward!

    1. Sharon

      This is the first mothers day without my one daughter and her family. I spent the weekend with my Down’s daughter. Lost my husband 20 months ago. She and I are totally alone. She lives in a group home and visits. I am so far down. I will never get over this.

    2. Angie S.

      I’d like to be at the place in your heart that you seem to be in.
      It’s going on 6 yrs for us, that our oldest daughter(36now)decided she was cutting us out of her life. I’ve heard she refers to us her parents as her abusers. Abusers? I just don’t understand that. If we were her abusers then why did she/they have to cut EVERYONE (family n friends) out of their lives at the same time. Thank you for sharing.

    3. JanPhyllis

      Yes, read Sheri’s books and engage in her workbook!!! I am now on my third reading!
      I also absorb all and everything written on this site and crave more!
      Since I am alone in this estrangement I’ve had to help myself and recreate a new life for myself! It’s not easy! But I will NOT tolerate the abuse that was so violently thrown at me!!!
      My life is now quiet and peaceful since chaos left!! I am reaching out to everything and it’s new and exciting! Yes I still have my moments of longing but I then reach for Sheri’s books or this site!!! It will all come together for me if I keep at it and I will!!! My old lifestyle was tearing me apart mentally and physically!!
      We will all make it!!!! Group hug, and love to you all!!!!

    4. Beth

      Your words really resonate with me Kate. I don’t know why I wasted so many years trying to get my son to understand the hurt done to me by him and his wife. Now I’ve moved on and have had no real communication with him for 6+ months. I recently had a text conversation with him as it was his birthday. Once again it seems my only purpose is to say sorry for whatever wrongs he and his wife accuse me of. As I have spent so much wasted time saying sorry because he/she demanded it I decided I had no more apologies left to give. Guess what, end of communication with him, yet again. Such is life, or my life at least. But the difference now is that I just don’t care.

    5. Sherri H.

      I am so grateful to have come upon Sherri’s book and her wisdom. The stories and wisdom that have come from other other women who have shared about their estrangements have saved me. I’m so glad that I read those stories and the book. I’m so grateful for the wisdom people shared to not sit back and cry for years and years and not live my life while I waited for my child to come back. It’s been two years for me not seeing my son or grand children, but I like you Kate, I am moving on and looking forward to travel with my husband this year as he retires. I know my son will never come back around but maybe one day the grandchildren, but I will go on with life and be happy. Stay happy!

  5. Cassandra W.

    I had a friend refer me to this page after I wrote a bit about my son’ boorish behavior to us. He has made it very clear since he got married 15 yrs ago that we really have no place in his life, or our grandchildren’s lives. Yesterday was the final straw. I hadn’t gotten a card from him as my husband has reminded him of the duty for years. After he did NOTHING for my husband’s retirement on 4/30, I told DH to NOT remind Kid of Mother’s Day. No phone call, no card, nothing on Facebook.

    So I no longer have a son. Oh, we will be here, but there won’t be much in it for him. We are setting it up so that he has as little as possible as duties to or benefits from our will. We will spend the money as we see fit for us. If he needs us, we will respond with the least we can do.

    I know that I will feel better soon. Today, I am still angry and hurt but I do not intend to let this ruin my happiness anymore.

    1. Penny M.

      Hey Cassandra,
      That’s exactly how we feel also—like we no longer have a son. I thought we had a really good relationship until he married into a wealthy family. 4 months later, it’s like talking to a stranger.
      When we have asked him in the past, what we all did all he says is “You all know what you did” Well we
      don”t know 10 years later. I don’t really like who he has become—he is a pastor in a church in Texas. I have grieved all these years for the son before he married.

  6. Ann

    As usual, the days leading up to tomorrow see me losing sleep and riddled with anxiety. It’s a day to remind me of bad decisions, regrets, sadnesss and defeat. I bought some wildflower seeds which I will scatter tomorrow when I take a hike to disappear into the wilderness. It will comfort me to walk in its beauty, and I will feel welcome in its wild and remote world of peace.

    1. Sharon

      My reply is to all the mother’s going through this day saddened by it’s real meaning…I had 2 children both daughters. They are 35 and 40 years of age with families of their own. We are not perfect…but gave “all” we had to give. The problem for me is…just how easy it was for them to throw me away like I was a piece of trash. Is this real love? Everyone suggests going to therapy, which I have done. But I think this is a huge problem…the therapy…everyone wants to put a “name” on this or put this estrangement is some type of category, I refuse that approach. Here’s why…my family history was no picnic either…but we “talked” with one another and found ways to work it out! I would never dream of “throwing “ away one of my parents. This is called RESPECT! In this “digital/technical” world that we live in now….it’s no wonder the family is breaking apart. The intimacy of our families is replaced with phones, computers , and TV. I have no idea how to fix this. I am 64 years old and admit that the future scares me. But I AM going to make some changes….I am going to put me first and not those “snotty nosed”, spoiled, kids who call themselves HUMANS!

    2. Nancy M.

      This is my first Mother’s Day estranged.
      I found this group and I will follow it, reading the stories of other mothers.
      I don’t want to be here but glad I found this space.

    3. Lisa C.

      Hello Ann and good afternoon; I can soooo much relate. This is my first post, so I’m a lil apprehensive, but a nice walk in the woods? Sounds divine .. . .. to smell the earth all around with hardly any sound, other than the critters all about
      and the dimpled sunlight filtering .. i live in the woods and you just inspired me to get out of my wallow and do just that .. . .. thank you .. . ..

    4. Pam Pam

      Hi Ann. I, too, was anxiety-ridden this past week. Going to the grocery store with its Mother’s Day huge balloon bouquets, fancy flower arrangements, cards everywhere, chocolate covered strawberries, etc. made me cringe and I couldn’t wait to get out of the store. Mother’s Day was low key for me. I did reach out to various relatives and friends and wished them a Happy Mother’s Day and they responded in kind. That was nice. My husband’s children sent me cards and well wishes. What I was waiting for though was a card, a loving sentiment, something…anything from my 42-year old estranged daughter. I waited all day…what in the heck was I thinking? Finally, with the day almost gone, at 8:45 p.m. she sent me a text saying “Happy Mother’s Day” with a heart after it. There was no “I love you, I miss you, I’ll call shortly”. Just a plain, no emotion attached text message. I was heart broken. I chose not to respond and today, May 10, the day after Mother’s Day, I’m confused as to whether to respond or not. I’m leaning to just show a thumbs up, or just say “U 2” and not just ignore her feeble and uncaring text. Today I will try to move forward and not dwell in self pity. Next year I will plan a trip to get me out of the house on Mother’s Day so I’m not just sitting there waiting for my phone to ring. Trying to move on. I wish you well, Ann, and all the other parents who have written their thoughts here.

  7. Tina R.

    Dreading Christmas and winter, I picked up my crochet hook after a 30+ year hiatus. It was easy – youtube will show you how to do anything – and it also offers free patterns. I thought i would make 1 blanket – I’m now working on 6 & 7. I give them away with joy.

    I find keeping my fingers busy so helpful! It’s like i’m crocheting my thoughts away.

    I appreciate having this community. I think of you all collectively often.
    We don’t deserve this. We deserve peace. May we all find it, even if it’s just for moments at a time. xxoo

    1. Maria

      Making crochet idems for the preemies is very helpful. We need to replace the void, the sense of loss with doing something charitable, free for others, as mother’s do. Renewing and deepening our spiritual lives. Praying Saint Monica. Read abt her. She never gave up. Accepting being rejected is key. Accepting our mistakes, who is perfect?, I work in amending whatever led to the rejections, my faults and theirs. Can’t cry anymore, I want to keep my focus on Christ, who was dejected and rejected by all, except His Mother and the teenager St. John.
      Keep the good fight ladies. Our broken hearts can be turned into source of grace for us and our broken relationships with our loved ones. Must stop thinking abt ourselves as victims, but as soldiers, working to become our very best.
      Love to all.

  8. Elizabeth

    A big hug back to you too Cheryl…glad you have a wonderful dog!! They surely can be heaven-sent I think!!
    Will offer prayers for you esp. in this hard holiday coming up…and others here…we are all in this together.

  9. Elizabeth

    Speaking of pets, when our last dog died now almost 11 years ago, we grieved for her like crazy…still miss her. She was one-of-a-kind and we will never have another like her. Right now we are not able to deal with a pet, but maybe someday…but you know as my husband said when she died, “SO why not grieve for her like this? She loved us more than any person really.” Tis true. So grateful we have had dogs during the years and the last one helped us through some of the deepest waters we had to live through. (Such as abandonment and being shunned). It does make sense however that dogs are the way they are (and sometimes other kinds of pets)…the word for dog in Hebrew comes from the word for heart…and how appropriate!! Wishing everyone here all the best…

    1. Cheryl

      Just been uplifted by your post. First Mothers Day estranged from adult son. One year prior to Covid we adopted a new dog. We cherish her. She is one of a kind. Silly, very smart and has kept my husband and I laughing with her sheer joy in being a dog and loving us so much. Thank you for sharing. Big hug to you

    2. Michelle M.

      My dog has been a comfort and joy. They give unconditional love. Eleven years ago, I thought I had a wonderful family. Today, I realized that it was so one sided. I bought my self tons of flowers for my garden. Went flower shopping with a friend, then went to a Zumba class. Watched British dramas and had a wonderful meal. Then cuddled with my dog. Planned ahead to avoid the sadness and disappointment.

    3. Tara T.

      In my mom’s last couple of years with Alzheimer’s she wanted a pet, a cat, and we rescued a 10 year old grey striped tabby we named Teddy, and he fell completely in love with her, and she with him. He was enormously helpful in “therapizing her” and the only cat I ever knew who would actually allow you to hold tight to his paw which she did, when they watched TV together. When Mom died I took Teddy over and he obligingly became the love of My life.
      So when my daughter became estranged to me, via the behaviour and attitudes of my crummy spoiled rotten son- in -law, who convinced her we were crummy parents, I didnt have to think long when Teddy came down with a urinary blockage requiring PU surgery, a pricey little item running close to 7 grand.
      In a hundred million years Id never thought Id spend that much on a cat, no matter how much I loved him, but I did, and he is worth every penny. and its 7 grand less my daughter is inheriting.

    4. Annabelle

      I bought a puppy to give me companionship & joy. So true the love they give. Thanks for sharing the Hebrew meaning. I just had the toughest Mothers Day ever just after my husband’s funeral…. :(((

    5. Penny M.

      You are so right—-Dogs bring joy and light into our lives. I am so grateful to have 3 sweet dogs. Wouldn’t it be great if kids could act like dogs sometimes. So glad for this site.


  10. Marsh H

    Seeing all these letters of despair, but new beginnings, makes me hopeful that I can put our hurt out of my mind. My estranged daughter was born on Mothers Day (May 10th) that year. We raised her and her brother with the best values, and material things we could afford. After years of loving them ,giving, doing,sacrificing, for them, Our daughter turns on us. Our son tells her he can’t see why she is so hateful, when he grew up in the same house! Our therapist, says she has a personality disorder, as she has alienated most family members, her ex and husband family. She cannot maintain a relationship, except those she takes from. Our grandchildren are in college and still keep in touch. And we love them, as they tell us also. Still that hurt is there,with no communication, except for hateful letters,and condescending words. She complains that she was “abused” but cannot name any events. ( something a shrink put in her mind) nor could any family, friends teachers etc, substantiate. Makes us feel like crap. We once told her she was not born with directions! And we think despite how “mean” she thought we were, she turned out pretty good. We paid for her college education, wedding and were available for construction projects,baby sitting,landscaping and anything else she could think of. We did these things lovingly, to help. Being around her was like walking on eggshells, as we say the wrong thing,we would be told,she would keep the kids from us. So for years we put up with her abuse,and pretended everything was wonderful. Well ,I guess it will stay this way, as we refuse to be degraded and used anymore. There is no talking, as she is never wrong. So sorry for the tirade, as we have moved on. We live 12 hrs away from her, and our Son and family are wonderful, and we are totally involved with their boys an inlaws. Crazy, isn’t it that we have so many friends, and people that love us,and young couples that are in our lives, whom we treat like our own, but we can be such horrible people too?? So this Mother’s Day, We will send a birthday card, and hope some day she will come to her senses, but no longer at our expense.

    1. Rise

      Thank you for your entry….your story sounds similar to mine……..
      it has been going on 4 years now that my daughter has refused any contact with me. She does talk to her dad but she has made it clear to him that he cannot mention me. I think as you said that her therapist has helped her with this new version of me that she has conjured up…..that I abused her and was horrible to her. I think she just twists any memories she has.
      My daughter had a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and and I believe that plays a part in all of this. She picks and chooses what she wants therapists to know and has been through so many of them, usually she drops them if they do not say what she wants to hear. After going through so many difficult times with her…….in and out of emergency due to her threats of suicide etc. etc. and always trying so hard to support her and then to have her turn on me like she has …’s just so difficult to bear.
      I do believe that she needed someone to blame for her past behaviours and I was the easy target.
      I try to distract myself and just keep going one day at a time. Our son on the other hand was very easy and he is close to both me and his dad, so I focus on that and keep reminding myself that what she now believes is just not true.

  11. Bearswis

    The old ” Hallmark” scenes that tearjerker movies and our whole society keep reinforcing are really such a total Crock!!

    Out of say 10 couples that I know, I would only call maybe three of them really compatible and happy. Most gave major issues with each other and with their kids. Mostly I feel that the whole commercialization of Mother’s Day is just a great way to fill those empty restaurant seats.

    1. Kate123

      Yes it does seem to be more business than anything. We have been brainwashed for sure, so why is it that since we know that, it is so hard to shrug off and ignore. That says a lot about the power of commercials and advertising.

    2. Tara T.

      I hear you. Im not totally estranged….but…the relationship. which just a few short years ago was as close and warm and wonderful as any Lifetime Channel schmaltz you could think of, has seriously degraded thanks to the neuroses of her husband who we loved like our own son and welcomed him into our family when he was still a teen.
      I have a 16 month old grand daughter Im only allowed to see here and there, once in a while, I try to keep busy and concentrate on other areas of my life.

      My best friend has a similar problem, her millennial daughter went berserk at Berkely and decided, at 24, she was neither a male nor a female……she prefers to be referred to as “they”.

  12. Carrie-Ann

    Well Guys, I just read all the posts and feel so much Love, Compassion, and Friendship with each of you…Beautiful Sheri (with the Healthy, Loving, Beautiful Arms), I am enjoying reading the comprehensive, caring, and very empowering posting you have done for this time of year…
    Realizing I may be labeled as “the crazy little ol’ cat lady,” I am sharing my take on this whole “Mothers’ Day” deal…Over the weekend I ordered a huge coffee mug that has a huge sketch of a cat face with the words “Cat Mom” on both sides of mug,…I decided that I Love Being a “Cat Mom” for Benny & Beauty…(Benny is 17 yrs. young and Beauty is 14 yrs. young)…I treasure each moment with them…
    I “Live To Serve” these Angel-Beings that I share my life with…
    Sooo, I am now sipping a delicious “Cat Mom” mug of coffee at the moment, reading all the Wonder-Full ideas and plans that many of you have concerning this “Mothers’ Day” stuff…It brings Great Joy to think of you enjoying your lives…And for those that are still feeling the depths of hopelessness, I am with you in Spirit…Just know I also am shedding tears for me and you…I feel the tears are a releasing, a cleansing of the pain…I let them come and fall…I then become Aware of my Breath…I breath in…I breath out…I come back to my body and myself…the tears stop…I let go…I let God…Each of us, each of our children, have God’s Love…so I let God take care of me, and everyone, everything else…I stay in this Awareness of Peace, Love, and yes, Deep Joy…

    In Gratitude for Beautiful Sheri and Each Of You In This Online-Community…
    In Friendship and Love,
    “Peace Out”
    p.s. I have found that I do not place much importance on any particular holiday…Each Day, Each Moment, Each Breath Is Reason for Celebration…

    1. Carrie-Ann

      p.p.s. After sending my posting this morning, and after re-listening to the book “Done With Crying,” Chapter 5, the old saying, “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee” came to mind…I found myself chuckling as I thought about the “Cat Mom” coffee mug I had just shared about in this morning’s posting…
      Sooo, just had to share it with all of you…I thought, Yes, when one “wakes up and smells the coffee,” life is much more Delicious, Freeing, and Peaceful …I urge you to read Chapter 5 and IF you have any doubts about things, I urge you to “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee,” like some of the parents did in Chapter 5…After so much unkindness and estrangement, one can “wake up and see it for what it really is”…something one does not have to endure, put up with, or experience…(no matter what the reasons, excuses, etc. the adult child person may have…We may never know or understand the “why”…but we can be clear on the “what” negative effects it has on one.)

    2. msbe

      Yes, to acknowledge tears as an integral part of healing is essential for me as well. I do stay hopeful and find staying in what is ‘for now’ helps tremendously.
      Leaving my heart open…

      Sherri, Thank you, however things on the site change going forward, you are a journey guide, I am grateful
      Bless you

    3. Sheila

      Love your attitude about holidays and the importance of each day and living in the moment. It helps to put painful situations with estranged children into perspective. For me, I have decided to let go of what I can’t change. It has taken me 3 years to get to this point and I still my days and my moments but the times are getting fewer and farther between. Thanks for the insight.

    4. Eeyore

      I too am an animal lover. I’m really a cat person but live with five dogs! I tell them this all the time! My estranged daughter has even thrown my love and care for them in my face. She is jealous of my dogs! My husband and dogs are all I have left and she wishes to even take that from me. Just don’t understand the meanness!

    5. Kate

      I am also an animal lover. (At least THEY don’t throw me away if I make a mistake). I live in the country on a little farm and through the years have taken in some dogs & cats that others have thrown away. This helps them & along with my other chores keeps me busy. Eeyore, my daughter was also jealous of our pets when she lived at home. Sure, I loved our pets but I loved her & my family more. But many years ago, she decided I wasn’t worth her time. So (this time) it’s been over 10 years since she & I have seen each other or talked. She’s blocked me on everything. For years I kept hanging onto hope that she’d talk to me again, but she told her ex to tell me that she was DONE WITH ME! And as Carrie-Ann reminds us from Sheri’s book, it’s time to “wake up & smell the coffee” & I HAVE. I’m thankful for what I do have in my life & I am finally “Done With The Crying.” Thank you Sheri & everyone on here, bless you all.

    6. Audrey

      Thank you Carrie-Ann. Beautiful! You lifted my spirit and reminded me I have so much to be grateful for and so much life to enjoy! Blessings to you and yours!

  13. MonaLisa

    I have a son and daughter who I have been estranged from off and on for the last 10-15 years. After this last episode of cutting me out of their lives, I have decided to move on. For Mother’s Day, I will buy my own flowers, I will spend the day at the beach and I will have a nice dinner. For my new beginnings, I have applied to be a foster parent. I have a heart of love to give and there are many kids who would love to have a mother.

    1. Barbara

      Thank you for your wonderful lesson on self-preservation.

      I truly love your perspective on life as it currently is.
      What great encouragement for us all as we learn to manoever the publicity and marketing which Mother’s Day always brings.
      You definitely have a heart of gold.

    2. Wanda A.

      I absolutely love your outlook on Mother’s Day! I have been estranged from my daughter for the past 6 years and I have always struggled every Mother’s Day, watching and waiting for my phone to ring for that call. I am very fortunate that I have an amazing relationship with my son who lives close and an extremely supportive family. (My daughter has cut all ties with them as well)
      Enjoy your “special day” and best of luck with exploring foster care.

    3. Tina R.

      MonaLisa, God bless you, that’s awesome!
      I find i have made my circle very small since my last seperation from my daughter. I used to be much more giving and loving and generous – i took in my teenage nice for almost a year. I cared for a mentally ill depressed sibling my whole life – and found when she passed this year – it was a relief. I’m not ashamed to admit that here. I am just depleted. I feel i’ve given everything i had away.
      perhaps, i’ll replenish. You give me hope.

    4. Charlotte M.

      My situation is a little different I’m the Mother of a 43 year old boy and a 41 year old girl. I walked away from them and have had no contact for 3 1/2 years. Since my Daughter moved out of my home I had been constantly disrespected and treated badly, I would cry constantly after family events, I was treated like the garbage of the family, left out of photos and ignored. The centre of attention was the in laws and my ex and his wife. I was ready to cut them off at my Grand daughters Christening my Mother stood in the Church and leant over to me and said “what is going on here”, I’d been cut out of everything the in-laws were the focus. I told my Mother that it had been happening for years and that I was going to walk away because I was suffering so badly from the abuse, she made me promise I would do it after she passed. 6 months after I cut off everything. May is my birthday and is a bit of a lonely month. I have spent all the major events alone BUT I am not being abused and I make sure I do something special to celebrate my escape from what has been diagnosed as Stockholm Syndrome.

  14. Linda Sue

    Well I talked to my guy about always making a big deal out of this celebrated day. He was telling me I want to show you honor etc. My plea why we have no children together. It makes my stomach hurt when you say Happy Mother’s Day . That’s something I need to hear from my children. I need them to honor me. I let him know he can’t possibly know my hurt. I have 4 grandchildren dangled over my head for years now. That’s not love. I said can we not celebrate it . We’ll see what changes. In the meantime, he struggles as his son graduates from college that day and there’s no ticket for me to attend supposedly. It would be him and his ex wife at a table. He told his son he won’t go and he’ll just take him out to eat later after wards somewhere. It’s a shame his ex has stalled us, tormented us and alienated her own children against us. I guess petty is her middle name. In her mind after 7 years she thinks he’s coming back any minute

  15. Hopeishere

    Mother’s day has been difficult for me ever since my son died 12 years ago. It’s a painful reminder that one of my children is gone. This year, it will be painful because I have lost two children and not just one anymore with the estrangement of my daughter. Mothers day feels more like a cruel joke at this point so I’m absolutely good with canceling it!! I love the idea of making it all about a new beginning. Here’s to new beginnings!!

    1. Lily

      We share a similar story. My son died at age 39 5 yrs ago and my daughter pulled her estrangement routine this time right after his death and moved her family a state away and refuses to even have any contact. My 24 year old grandson calls me now but the other two, nothing.

      My son’s wife decided to start dating before his death and immediately sold the house and took off with her bf and my young grandchildren. I haven’t seen any of them for 5 years now. There were all here one day and gone tomorrow. I hosted all get togethers mostly. I have one 16 year old granddaughter, my son’s, in the area and we are very close.

      We embrace my brother’s loving family, friends, my husband and granddaughter. My husband has 2 daughters that are estranged and we haven’t seen them in almost 20 years now and we have never met the grandchildren. We both were loving and supporting of our family and tried to reach out many times only to get defeated every single time. You would think that death in the family would bring people together but some individuals carry the moving on thing to another place.

      I will be 70 in a couple of months and my husband is 72. Our new beginnings will be spent in our garden together bringing new blossoming life and beauty into our heartbreaking past. I have been into genealogy throught the years and I name my trees and beautiful bloomers after my parents, grandparents, and beyond. Some of my ancestors and their stories of strength and love for their families are why I hold onto hope. Sorry, I know this is getting lengthy. Love and peace to you and all going through this.

      1. rparents Post author

        Lily, what a beautiful way to honor those that have gone before us! I understand your feelings about your ancestors and their strength. Me too.

        Hugs to you. Enjoy your garden.

        Sheri McGregor

  16. Mary M.

    I read these stories and my hear breaks all over again. I’ve been estranged from my two adult son and daughter for 18 months and it has broken my heart so many times I can’t count. I always thought I was really close to my kids and that we had good relationships with them. I was proud of that. People admired our relationships.
    Then my son got married and our relationship got hit/miss. He got really friendly only when they needed something. It was like he became bi-polar. I never knew what kind of person I would see when he and I got together. It started to be that he wouldn’t talk to me for 6 months or a year at a time. Then he would make up for a while. Then the cycle would repeat itself and he would be estranged again.

    Then 18 months ago he blew up and started a huge fight about nothing (on Christmas Day). He got my daughter to take his side by telling all kinds of lies about me. End of day they haven’t talked to me in 18 months. I have done nothing wrong but we have been estranged since.

    They refuse to tell me what I did that was wrong, they won’t go to counseling, they won’t discuss anything. I haven’t seen my 3 grandsons either. The two older ones call and tell me how much they miss me and love me.

    What do I do. I am moving on with my life. I have sold my home and move to another state. It was killing me living so close and not being able to see my grandsons.

    1. Dee

      You are not the only one.
      I had a great relationship with my daughter or so I thought until she moved in with her partner and slowly started visiting less and less, then she didn’t respond to my messages or did not even open them and then all of a sudden, on my birthday after not seeing her more than 5-6 times in 14 months, although se lived down the road, she told me terrible things… all of a sudden like we never had a great relationship, like I imagined it…I was so shocked I left her and her partner in the restaurant and walked home 10km and once home o could not remember which way I came home… I would not be able to retrace my steps except for 2 intersections but nothing in between, all I know is that it took me about 90-100 minutes to get home and although I was hurting so bad. I felt like dying, I could not cry…till now, 24 hours later.
      My daughter did this the second time, first time she did it also in front of her partner 3 years ago…but she was on medication then…so I forgave her although half of what she said were blatant lies I said absolutely nothing…just sat there coping the abuse but this time was worse, far worse…on my birthday.
      I feel like she died but before that she broke my heart beyond repair .
      I will never recover from this.,.I’m 68 and there’s not enough time left to be able to recover from this…
      I wish you the best.

  17. Ruthanne

    My own mom died eleven years ago today, the week before Mother’s Day. My mother-in-law turned 100 last month and has dementia. My only child, my daughter, estranged herself gradually after she graduated from college and completely after she got married three years ago. I am grateful for my husband, who is the kindest, most understanding man I know. I will spend the day on Mother’s Day with him. We will probably go hiking and do a tough enough hike that there won’t be many happy families (I’m sure that you all get that part.) I won’t look at social media or television or even email, which is likely to have “Mother’s Day specials,” etc. I have survived holidays, birthdays, her wedding, and other important occasions without my daughter. I miss her, but I will survive this year, too.

    1. Suzanne W.

      I thank you for your sharing. I relate so well, as my only child, my daughter, cut off all contact with me a little over seven years ago shortly after my mother died. It has been a long nightmare of an adjustment. I am better than I was initially, but I do have some deep wounds and residue from the trauma of estrangement that is still concerning to me. I feel it has affected other aspects of my life. I took the step of making an appointment with a therapist and we shall see if that helps. I do believe we deserve peace and sanity. It is the most hurtful thing I have ever gone through and it doesn’t seem to get resolved. It is a dance with acceptance, that never quite gives up. Thank you for your inspiration.

  18. Kayle M.

    Today has been a hard day, not sure why but really miss hearing my daughters voice. It has been like this for a year and a half, but today it just hit me. I just don’t understand and wish i could. My daughter got married at.17 and I have.not heard from.her since . She and her husband ate away… myself. All i.ever.wanted.was a.child and.she has totally shattered my heart.

    1. Donna D.

      The “WHY” is so extremely painful‼️ I used to live with it everyday but then one day, I reflected on my past and visited my memories as a Mother. I realized , that I was a great, loving Mother❣️ Then I stopped and thought again, I AM a great Mother and I refused to let anyone take that truth away from me. That gave me great Peace I prayed God would send other daughters and sons in my life, and he did… the massage therapist I see often, the young man across the street and the list goes on. I love on them and pray for my own that chose a different path. I pray you too will find others to share your incredible ,Mother’s Love❤️

    2. Joan

      Hi Kayle: I understand your anguish; after my son got married 9 years ago, that was it for me…..she decided she wanted him all for herself and wanted me out of the picture altogether…she got what she wanted, he is a narcissist and went right along with her……I have done nothing to either of them, even after all these years I am still in shock and disbelief as to how and why this has happened…..all these wasted years……I am full of anxiety all the time, meet twice a month with a psychiatrist who can do nothing to help me…….it’s so heartbreaking, let’s do something we enjoy on Mother’s Day…hard with Covid but still not impossible. God Bless. D

  19. Quietlady

    I will spend Mother’s Day working with the four year olds during our church service. I love our pastor and my wonderful church but I know I will feel extremely sad if I go to the special Mothers Day Service. I decided to not torture myself by comparing myself to others this year.

  20. Kelly

    I will spend Mother’s Day working with the four year olds during our church service. I love our pastor and my wonderful church but I know I will feel extremely sad if I go to the special Mothers Day Service. I decided to not torture myself by comparing myself to others this year.

  21. Sue

    I am so excited I have a new puppy! A puppy is a blank slate, so much potential and opportunity. He needs me to take care of him, teach him his manners and raise him to be a good well adjusted dog. I am up for the challenge. This is my new beginning.

    1. Bearswis

      Our companion animals are truly a balm for our souls.

      My therapy dog and I are scheduled once again to go to a large college campus during finals weeks so that the stressed out students can have some quiet communication with my very wise and understanding 13 year old dog.

  22. Jess

    Thankfully my husband is very understanding. He tries to help make the day better. I love the idea of canceling it all together. My mom hates it because she didn’t really have a mother. My sister hates it because her husband of 17 years left Mother’s Day last year (after a lengthy affair she found out later). Then there’s me… I have one daughter who I haven’t seen in almost 4 years now. I have a granddaughter who I haven’t seen since she was just over a month old. Haven’t even seen a picture, or ever heard her voice. I HATE Mother’s Day with a passion. I hate shopping during this time, I hate watching tv… I hate everything about it. I get physically sick when I walk into a store and see those displays or hear commercials about how great it all is. My husband asks me occasionally what is like to do that weekend… is crawling into a cave and option? I have 3 step-children who are good to me, but it’s just not the same. They have their mothers to dote over. I’m fine with that. They always recognize me in some way on that day. It’s all just so complicated and sad. We remodeled our dining room yesterday and today. I guess that’s a start at creativity for the month. I have plans to make candles and wax melts at some point, but that reminds me of my daughter too. It seems everything does.

    1. Carol B.

      Hi Jess, your story sounds a bit like mine. I have three children and estranged with my two son’s. My youngest son is angry with me and becomes verbally aggressive towards me. I have stopped contact with my son due to his behaviour. My other son has withdrawn as well but I can make contact via email. My daughter is supportive but is also supportive of my younger son, so feels caught in the middle. I have decided to cancel Mother’s Day and I was relieved to find I was not alone. My second husband is a wonderful man and wants me to celebrate. I have three step daughters who I love and my step grandchildren. They have a mother who they want to spend time with and I am happy about that. My husband wanted to arrange a special day with his kids for me. It is just not the same and cancelling Mother’s Day and look at pampering myself and my husband in May sounds great! I have just got myself out of deep depression due a health scare my husband had and the constant abuse from my son. So yes let’s look at new beginnings

    2. Joan

      The media and advertisement firms have such an influence; we can’t get away from this day no matter how hard we try it would seem. My daughter is very good to me but lives in another state so I can’t see her and with Covid, we can’t see anyone really. Everywhere we look we are reminded but it is just one day; I find Christmas to be a lot harder, it just drags on and on and on. I have a little grandson who I can\t see, yes, Easter and Christmas mornings are just torture for me…..I feel like running away, but where would I run to?

    3. Mary

      Dear Jess,
      Right now stop punishing yourself. Sometimes life is cruel to us.

      I am estranged from a son for the last 4 years and a daughter for the last 3 years. There are 7 grandchildren involved in this complicated estrangement. In fact, the youngest grandson is now 17 months old and I never been notified of his birth, met and held him, or even seen him. The estrangement was beginning to affect my mental health and decided I had to let go, talking with a counselor helps. I choose to send cards for special days, I don’t care if the card is opened or discarded, but it is my way of saying I still care for son and daughter and their families.

      You are so lucky to have a loving husband by your side. Invest your time and energy in your marriage to enjoy being together. Try remembering happy times, think about it, don’t dwell on it, and then move on.
      Caro Carson, a romantic books author, once wrote, “There’s enough in the world without you adding yours to it.” When I feel sad, I think of the quote and then I do something very positive, even if it just a phone call to check in on a friend to say “Hi.” It really helps to lift the sadness we feel due to the estrangement. God Bless, take care of yourself.

  23. Scott M.

    I am an estranged dad from my 2 sons. Their mom , my ex-wife passed away last March. Last summer they both filed restraining orders against me to let me know they want no contact. I have not seen or spoken to my sons since seeing them in court last August. It’s a long complicated story but I have always done my best even though I have not been perfect. Their mom and I spoke daily and I supported her 100% for 20 years before she passed. We just could not live together. Our boys never could understand our relationship. I am remarried but I miss my boys who are now adults and I miss talking with their mom. Your posts have helped me during difficult days. Thank you

    1. Kayle M.

      None of us are perfect….I have come to believe my daughter expects me to be….I have been nothing but a disappointment to her….her dad committed suicide in 2012….I am her only living parent….I have come to believe I don’t matter and never did….thank God for my fur kids….

  24. Rhonda

    My mom passed in 2007, but I think of her every day. I will spend this Mother’s Day honoring my mom, and cherishing memories of her. She was also a beloved grandmother to my now estranged only son, but I am going to choose to make it her day, and not dwell on the pain of losing my son. I know she is waiting for me to meet her again in Heaven. Thank you for letting me share.

    1. Suzanne W.

      I like the idea of making it a celebration of our mom. Changing the focus from the estranged child and the sheer torture and disappointment of it all. Thank you for the change in perspective.

  25. Linda sue

    Well he insisted on going out to eat for the day of slaughter so I agreed . But when he says happy Mother’s Day it makes my stomach hurt. I have no children with him. Too old ha. But , I don’t know how to nicely say let’s just make it a celebration about a new summer or something. On a humorous note I’ll say I got some chickens around this time last year. I jokingly said internally oh maybe they’ll be like children who appreciate me ! But nope, they eat a lot, I clean up after them, they run away when I call them and poop on me. Sounds and feels the same! But , I decided the ideal was bad so I took another route- I steal their eggs everyday and eat the eggs or give them to someone in need. It worked out

  26. Clare

    Today has been a difficult day. Not sure why some days are OK and others are painful. I live near the coast so I find great solace in doing a brisk walk along the promenade. I find this cathartic and allow my thoughts of why me, to run wild, while walking, have a little cry and feel so much better. My favourite thing to do nowadays is help the rest of my family in any way I can and enjoy every moment I have with them. Just enjoy the people who do love me! People are not around for ever so you have to savour every moment with them.

    1. Singingbirds

      This is my first post and can so relate to the pain we all feel. I am estranged from 2 daughters and a verbally abusive son. I could no longer cope with being used and abused time and time again. I changed my number after my sons latest verbal attacks and blame a year ago now. I have had to go through awful grief that seems to never end. I have good days but the bad days are very difficult. I have no supportive family they are cruel and suffer their own mental health issues and as the family scapegoat been treated terribly all my life. I live by the coast and try to go for walks when I can just to surround myself with people, even a simple smile and hello to people passing helps. I am trying to look for kindness in this seemingly cruel and uncaring world. I suppose this estrangement has took its toll on how I see life and how cruel it can be. I keep trying each day and have read Sherri’s lovely book which has been my saviour. It is so comforting reading all your loving parents posts that I don’t feel so alone in my grief. I hope one day I can be done with the crying. Love and Hugs to you all ❤

  27. Kay K.

    As a retried professional counselor, I too, along with many have an estranged son who won’t talk to me or see me for the past six years. My first year without his presence in my life, two very close friends who know me and the situation well sent me letters containing all the ‘people they knew I had ‘mothered…loved’ into healing and a list of many ways I expressed a deep love for them. I still read that letter every Mothers’ Day.

    1. JanPhyllis

      Songbirds, you couldn’t have picked a better place to find love and compassion!!!
      Estrangement is abuse in the worst way!! As with any death it takes time, and courage and a belief in your faith!
      3 days after my oldest son came back from estrangement the younger one left????? But because I didn’t want to loose him
      I took his abuse!!!
      My first was gone 21 years, I don’t have that many years any more!! So I have had to find my peace fast!
      You do for yourself in all you do! You do what makes YOU feel good! They are adults, they make their own decisions but we can make them also!!! Decide you will not be a scapegoat as I also was, not anymore!!! I actually enjoy the holidays without him and his other!!! He used me for soooo many years and I was stupid! But he will not win anymore!!!
      I count, I’m a good intelligent person, who was demeaned by a brat that I raised!!!
      Done!!!we are happy to support you in this hardship! With this site and Sheri books we all will survive!
      I hope you find your peace and contentment!!!!!

  28. Katherine

    My new beginning is getting back into roller skating. I just bought a brand new pair of skates and joined a group that meets every Sunday to skate outdoors. I’m meeting so many fabulous people and doing something I love feels good! I had forgotten how much fun it is. I pray daily for all of us that are having to go through this difficult and emotional struggle. I want you all to know that you are beautiful souls! Sending love and hugs to all!

  29. Bridget

    Hi. I’m almost through reading your wonderful book, “Done with the crying.” I like the way you give examples of how mothers deal or don’t deal with their pain. At this time in my Life, I believe I’m doing pretty good dealing with being estranged from my daughter and her family, it’s been a lot of years of see-sawing, up and down. I still work full time, Blessed to be in a Loving relationship with a man I’ve been with over 20 years. In 2020, I made a Bold decision to buy a house that I wouldn’t live in. I closed in February, 2021, and offered it to my daughter, her husband and my three grandsons – to rent. I knew about their issues with housing from afar and sometimes helped with paying for hotel rooms. They had to pay first months rent and a deposit, I typed up a lease and they know what they need to do to stay there. I’ve been in the house once since I closed before they moved in. I don’t feel the need to go back, I’m at PEACE, and that’s the way I like it. I’m MOVING ON.

  30. happy

    Mothers Day and then couple weeks later my birthday. I have learned to not expect anything. I do usually get a call or text and I have learned to accept that. We are not close like I would like but I got sick and tired of being unhappy so I am finding my way back to acceptance and life in the present moment. I am focusing on WHAT I CAN CONTROL. I do love May weather and the flowers. I usually go for a walk on the trail nearby or my house and lucky to have a husb if I want to eat out. Yes I realized I had to move on. I have grieved the loss of my illusions, dreams and hopes for that great life with my kids and our life together. So make yourself a good Mothers Day. Celebrate yourself. We are not alone here, so many in the same boat. Great having all the support, ya have made me so much stronger.

    1. ilovedogs


      I might get a text saying Happy Mother’s Day or I might not. I’m not going to let it ruin my day if I don’t. It hasn’t been easy the past 4 years dealing with my ES but I have grieved the loss of my hopes & dreams too and I am moving on. Nothing I can say or do will change him so I might as well make myself happy. I try to appreciate those people in my life who choose to be there for me. I’m blessed to have a sweet husband and daughter. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your posts. I’m glad that you’re feeling stronger. I hope you have a great Mother’s Day and a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY next week! Celebrate You! Sending Hugs! xo

  31. Teresa.

    Thank you Sheri. I am new to the group but my alienation has been for 4 years already. Miss my grandsons so much. But I have decided to embrace myself and who I am at 58. I’ve never Been good at accepting my body but I decided that I better accept it before I try to change it. Also been making a list of all the good things about me. No one will make me feel like less .I’m working on my insides and working on being emotionally strong and accepting that non of this is my fault. Thanks for teaching us to be strong.God bless you Sheri and all the other moms reading this. It is not your fault. You are exceptional.

    1. Tina R.

      I was thinking the same thing while reading everyone’s posts this morning and read your comment.
      “God bless you Sheri and all the other moms reading this. It is not your fault. You are exceptional.”

  32. Dianne

    Thank you so much Sheri for all your wisdom and your emails. I haven’t read your book yet but that is on my next list of reads. I like your up side / positive outlook on Mother’s Day.

    I figure everyday is Mother’s Day for me. I still have 3 other children that love me and and their 7 kids. I’m bless with the rest of my kids and of course my hubby of over 40 years.

    Our estrange son’s 33rd birthday is on Mother’s Day this year May 9th, 2021. The process of disappearing from our family was 3 years ago. Last week I text to see if we could see each other once a year and that text messaging was pretty sad and the answer was no. We were very close and what happens when he married his wife or actually before is … let’s say he is loyal to her and has changed against us all. There was acceptance of her but that was not good enough. For me God is my strength and with God gives me peace and assurance. Yes I miss our son, who he used to be. I have never calmed ownership of my children but borrowed from the guy above. I was blessed for the 30 years we had a great time as family. Loves and Prayers to you all. Happy Month of May!

  33. Sue

    I wish I could exercise away the pain of having my adult son estranged. I keep trying to “rewrite” my story without him but I can’t. It’s been 10 years now and hurts more than ever. If I k ww what I did to deserve this rejection, maybe I could better accept it.

    1. Annie

      Same here, my 30 year old daughter & 28 year old son, devasting still after 12 years. Cannot move on though do manage to get through each day, always struggling though. Missing them is an ever present trauma, heart broken but somehow still breathing .. will it ever end ? Gut wrenching to loose our children

    2. Pamela S.

      My oldest daughter is estranged from me and like you I don’t know why. I asked my younger daughter if she knows but always says she doesn’t want to talk about it and doesn’t care about her only sibling.
      I find myself not talking or thinking about my oldest daughter anymore because I’m 64 years old now and I am so tired trying to figure out what happened. So sad.

    3. Joan

      Hi Sue: I think a lot of us feel that way – what did we do? And they won’t tell us, it’s like some well-kept secret…..I don’t think most of THEM know….I have been estranged about the same length of time as you have and it hurts every single day and it hurts a lot…….life could have been so much different, I used to dream of being a grandmother and now 8 years have gone by and I have missed most of my grandson’s childhood…..that hurts terribly……I have a lot of bad mental health problems now, life has worn me down…….nobody understands either unless they have been through this……God Bless. J

  34. Tara L.

    Gardening!!! Takes me away. It’s my happy place!!! I love my flowers , vegetables. This brings me great joy! When I’m sad or down over my daughter and grandkids

  35. Reva M.

    Thank you for the thoughtful article and great ideas to start something new! I will involve myself with gardening, planting new flowers and purchasing a fuschia plant for our hummers. They stay year round and we enjoy them immensely and have even named them! Being in the garden is my peaceful sanctuary. When the estrangement began I returned to Bible study and listening to podcasts. This has healed me in many ways. I chose to cancel Mother’s Day and nurture nature this year. Hugs to all

  36. Terri

    Thanks Sheri. My mother and father both died when I was in my early 30s. I have lots of caring friends whom I speak with a lot, so I will probably be okay on Mothers Day. I have gotten pretty good at mothering myself, as you suggest. 🙂 I will probably get at least a Happy Mothers Day text from my daughters – they do the minimum, but I doubt they will call me. I just keep praying … God DOES know what is going on with them, and I hope someday I find out. I stay very close to God, and I find consolation in Him.

  37. Rhonda

    Throughout the year i choke down all of my feelings when it comes to my son who i haven’t had contact with in a very long time…but when this month – mothers day – comes along, it all comes back with a vengeance, getting closer & closer to destroying what’s left of me…no matter what ive read or heard i can’t seem to even attempt to get through this…it hurts my soul…

    1. JanPhyllis

      My sons sudden estrangement almost took away my life!!
      Honest!! I wasn’t eating, sleeping was in a real funk until I went to see my PCP. He told me I was killing myself! At 73 I was!!
      Now with Sheri’s books and everyone telling there stories and renewing and restoring my faith in the Lord and Holy Mother, I am on my road for recovery!!
      I raised a spoiled rotten, entitled son who I really don’t want back unless he keeps his abuse to nothingness!!!! He was chaos! Now my life is quiet where I can live my way mostly, I do consider my husband once in awhile? But he betrayed me in my sons estrangement and took his side in something that I do not even know how it got to estrangement! My daughter in law did a good job and was a driving force behind this estrangement!!!
      So be it to all three! I live for me, my wants, my needs, my joy and my peace!!! My Lord and Holy Mother! I buy my own gifts
      And make myself content! Once in a while I try to pull the arrow they put into my soul…….but can’t get it out yet! There
      Are days my son still hurts my soul because with each special day he pushed it in more!! It will get better it just takes awhile
      And with so many of us going through the estrangement and don’t know why I am not alone!!! What a comfort!!!
      Thank you Sheri and all my co-estranged parents and this
      Beautiful site!
      I am prepared for silence on any holiday, are you?❤️

  38. Diane

    Thank you for all your comments. I was looking forward to Sheri’s Mother’s Day post for I knew this would be hard for me. So much commercialism surrounding it. I bought myself a gift, a heart necklace. A reminder that I can love myself. I did email my daughter one last time. I mentioned that not knowing the reason for my estrangement from her and my three grown grandchildren was very unkind. She wrote back but about everyday stuff. Nothing was mentioned about my email. Now, I have to sit on my hands when I get the urge to email her. My son started talking to me quite a bit during the COVID outbreak. Now, he’s being silent again. Won’t reply to my emails or phone calls. So, I’ll just leave them all be. Yes, it’s time to focus on me. I think I will be creative in fixing myself better meals. Eat more fresh fruit. I have a problem with food and body image but I’m working on that with a counselor. I do not eat well. Will try to eat better now. Have a good month and I look forward to more of your ideas for being creative. YOU MATTER! : )

  39. Karen

    “Get a hobby”….my husband said to me a few months after my mother’s death (age 96) in 2019. I had been her fulltime caregiver and now had time on my hands. So I bought a small loom and began to learn to weave. Little did I know the very next spring would bring a lockdown and isolation. So that little loom has been a good source of peaceful activity for me. Mother’s day has been tough for nearly 20 years now following my first estranged child, with another estrangement in 2019. My first mother’s day following my mom’s death we went to a hotel at the beach where we’d taken her the year before, so that was healing and took all responsibility for mother’s day off my daughters. This past year with Covid I ordered some take out and dropped all expectations. This year looks a bit gloomier to me as one daughter has moved across the country and the other is busy with three kiddos and deserves to be honored herself. I feel the loss of the relationships with half of my kids, of course I feel like a failure in many ways, and I miss my mom! I do send a small gift to my daughters to honor them as mothers and I’m grateful for any expressions of love they share back. I love the idea of this being a month of creativity and new beginnings so I think this year I will buy some flower plants and create some beautiful planters for my deck. A small step to bringing beauty into my everyday life.

    1. Jane R.

      I lost my Mom on September 10, 2019. Towards the end she would say very hurtful things to me, such as your father never wanted kids (he was already gone, so I don’t know if that was true) but in any case, being an only child and hearing this was devastating. Also, I never could please her growing up. But she was my Mom and I still loved her just the same, even when she would insult and ridicule me.

      I have two grown daughters. One is married and that is the one that I am estranged from. My younger daughter is nice most of the time, but lately she has been nasty to me too. She is not married and has a very successful job.

      What I don’t understand is that I still miss my mother (warts and all) and yet I never was that mean to my kids, and they treat me badly. I see really bad parents being treated well and really good parents being treated badly.

      I did get a bit more depressed this year, but I have a lot of hobbies and I try to keep busy and not think about all of this. I really think that these young adults nowadays think that they are better than we are and smarter than we are. I feel like I don’t measure up!

      It helps to know that we are not alone in this and judging from all of the replies, this has become what is to be expected, unfortunately.

      When my Mother was in the assisted living facility, I would visit her at least three times a week. I saw lots of lonely people there who had nobody, and they were more pleasant than my Mom.

      Being a mother is a thankless job. Hopefully we will be rewarded for this at some point .

      The older one got married and after

  40. Julie

    Mother’s day maybe the 2nd Sunday of May, but to me it’s always been our ED’s birthday. The day I became a mom, and by her choosing I’m not her mother nor a grandmother anymore.
    I usually do something special for me that day to stay distracted from other families who celebrate their love for one another. It’s easier for me and my heart to see the day that way.

  41. Nancy C.

    I found Mother’s Day cards intended for special woman and have sent several to friends and relatives who may not have children and/or have been important in my life. Doing things for others lifts my own spirits. I send cards to my over 90 relatives on holidays.

  42. Deb

    Thank you for encouraging us to find and enjoy our own path. My Daughter has made her own choices and leaving our family is one of them. I can’t change her but I can chamge myself. I am embracing your advice and plunging further into painting, rescuing squirrels and my friendships.

  43. Grace G.

    Now and then I spend several days feeling deeply sad: ruminating on events related to estrangement, crying often without provocation, feeling like a failure–unworthy and guilty–you all know the drill. I am so grateful just knowing there is a community here. Trusting that I’m not alone and that my feelings are reasonable! What helps is that I know the sad days will end and I will be that much stronger and wiser for it all– more willing to listen to others, less judgmental, more compassionate….

    Sheri, you are so right about new beginnings—about doing something meaningful and inspiring. I started and completed an MFA, and I’ve found new goals that allow me to bring to the page stories that are rooted in my life, my self, apart from my estranged ones, parts of me that have always been there but to which I am just learning to turn for new ways to understand myself and others.

    The other thing that resonated, Sheri, is the arm shame. Listen, I saw the picture you posted, and, trust me, your arms are just fine! You wanna talk about problem arms, I have problem arms. And I am going to go sleevless this summer, too; you inspire!

    I read the posts here and wish I could sit and have coffee with all of you. I shall think of you all on Mother’s Day and imagine a party where we celebrate each other and the growing, learning, constantly getting better beings that we are.

  44. Toni C.

    I have started taking online travel/cooking/ history seminars during COVID times. I find that splurging for the cost of a class or one time talk is something just for me. It helps me to cope with knowing that my son will not be doing those thoughtful things for me like I thought it would be so I am treating myself.
    Just signed up for ROMAN HISPANIA and Chicken Paprikash

  45. Elizabeth L.

    My new beginnings are three walking groups. So far, I’ve seen beautiful new places, met loads of new people, who, I’m sure, will become friends in time.

    1. Lauren

      Good for you Elizabeth! It’s great to discover an enjoyable (and healthy!) way to spend your time. Best wishes to you!

  46. Gracie2021

    Sheri, thank you for the Mother’s Day alternatives for 2021. This is not really new but wasn’t possible until the weather warmed up. Starting water aerobics this next week. Love the water even though we only have lakes around us (and pools). Better than nothing. Love your photographs and your arms ! You go, girl!

  47. Sue Z.

    My new beginnings – will go back to working out. Found a 30 day workout for women over 50 – cardio and weights. Each workout is about 30 minutes long. I am proud of myself when I can make it through the whole workout.
    Starting to redo one of our bathrooms. Taking it down to the studs and building up….so excited
    Will spend the weekend packing for out trip to Mexico…spending the money that would have went to the gks on US!
    Will stay off fb and social media on Mother’s day and probably for a couple of days, so the posts dont show up.
    Hugs from the fram

    1. Gigi G.

      Good for you, it has been an estranged relationship with my son since I left their dad and starting dating. My son saw some things, and no longercrespects me or wants to be around. When with their dad that was mentally sbusive…I was good, took care of my kids.

      I love him so much he is my only son and I can’t move on, just he is in everyplace I go, I see things he liked as a child..I just dnt know

  48. Adriana

    A dear friend sent me the link to when I became estranged from my son, my one and only child, after I became sick with a chronic illness. His birthday was yesterday and now I brace for Mother’s Day, like we all do. The searing pain rips through my heart and chest and I still can’t seem to find a way to find any sort of peace with it all. I feel like a compass with no N.

    1. Shawlana

      Dear Adriana,
      Save your heart and become your own compass with a N to find your way to a new happiness.

    2. Trish


      I feel your pain as I am in a similar situation due to a chronic illness. I have two daughters. I am estranged from my youngest daughter because of my chronic illness. I got sick when my youngest daughter was in 8th grade. Ironically my youngest daughter is now in her first year in medical school, but she believes I made a “choice” to be bed/couch-bound. She told me my genetic illness has nothing to do with it. Not even discovering a part of the cause was a structural issue – significant instability of my cervical spine. Needing two fusions, C1/C2 and C2-T1 did not change her mind. Of course, her father (now my ex-husband after nearly 30 years of marriage) fed her anger.

      My friends and family told me my youngest daughter would grow out of her anger in college. My ex-husband recommended I apologize to her, and I did numerous times. It just got worse. Since her college graduation, I may have talked to my daughter a couple of times.

      Just reading your reply brought tears to my eyes. I want to let you know that I understand, and I am so sorry that you are going through this too. Take care.

    3. Julie B.

      Hi Rhonda I feel the same as you. My son doesn’t want to know me and Iv heard that he never calls me mum he refers to me as Julie which is my name. That’s hurtful too. X

    4. Elaina M.

      I am deeply sorry for your pain especially since I know it too. I’ve been estranged from my only Son for almost 3 years. One in awhile he’ll text, but then months go by without a word. We were so close and the craziness is we never had an argument or anything. He got married and he did a complete change towards me. Thank God for my daughter and Son-in-law who do appreciate me and take me out for Mother’s Day, but with my Son missing from the picture still hurts deeply. My heart breaks for all of you. I don’t want to cancel Mother’s Day especially since I was a single parent and devoted my life to my children. We all deserve to be acknowledged especially on that day. I wish you all peace and my prayers for reconciliation continue.

      1. rparents Post author

        Have fun on Mother’s Day Elaina. Pit your estranged son out of your mind and have fun with the ones who love you! Enjoy!

        Sheri McGregor

  49. Colleen F.

    My heart has been broken for more than six years for my XX, my middle child and now my son, my youngest. I get on my knees every day for my eldest. My XXX. Song of Joy but I miss her sister and brother and I know she hurts too. The pain is too much .

    1. Donna

      I feel your sadness and will pray for us all. I’m still bewildered by this. My daughters had a loving nurturing childhood and began these accusations of mistreatment long after they left our nest. It’s hurtful and unfair but we will support one another through communication like this. I have joined a local support group as well. God bless.

    2. BaaRamEwe

      Oh Ladies, I read all your messages, and your strength in adversity is amazing and beautiful.
      We can never change anyone but ourselves, please know that every one of you are special and beloved, by me.
      I wish I could show you the beauty inside you, and reassure you that you did nothing wrong, all of you were created in the image of our most highest G_d, and are beautiful and perfect just as you are, and where you are.
      We must take the love and nurture we long to give our children to ourselves, you are worthy and more than enough, and deserve to spend your time happy and fulfilled.
      Do something special for yourselves, on MD, spend your time making yourself smile.
      So much love, Luna

  50. Terri

    Reading your book and joining your group is my new beginning. I have lost my husband to death five years ago, all my activities and church because of covid, and now my children and grandchildren it seems, for unknown reasons. I thought we were always close but the world and possibly our differing beliefs about covid (they don’t believe it’s real) have alienated them. I got vaccinated and wanted to visit – they are 30 minutes away- but they were not available and suggested no alternate time and didn’t seem to want to see me after more than a year of covid separation. I have God and good friends that keep me breathing.

    1. StephanieBryant

      So sorry to read this. I had a daughter I “lost”. I’ll be celebrating with my own mom on this day. Can you do that? Maybe a mother figure or a friend without children. If not mother yourself. Do something that brings you joy, even if it’s for a little while. I do this to get through the rough days, birthdays and holidays. ((Hugs))

    2. Kay

      I relate to everything you said, except I still have my husband. My youngest daughter and her 3 children were always very close, or so I thought. Her ideas about covid were such a shock . This is all so recent and I have hope that things will one day be better. I do miss seeing my grandkids. We used to have them over every week.


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