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The Gift of Permission

As a loss parent, there are several dates on the calendar that we anticipate a bit differently than others...Christmas, birthdays, Halloween, etc. But there is no date more haunting to a loss parent than Mother's Day.

Mother's Day can strike a cord with a lot of people who may have lost their mother, are estranged or have a complicated relationship or have had maternal relationships change over the course of our experiences. This is unfortunate, though not uncommon.

But mama, let's talk about you and your motherhood. For the mama who:

  • Is experiencing her first Mother's Day after the loss of a child...

  • Is dealing with infertility desperate for a baby of their own...

  • Has had to end their pregnancy of a much wanted baby...

  • Is living through neonatal loss...

  • Has lost her baby though ectopic pregnancy...

  • Is trying to parent the siblings of a baby who has passed away...

  • Is living with childlessness...

  • Is dealing with the reality of having a stillborn child...

  • Is living through reoccurring miscarriages...

  • Is grieving the loss of an unplanned pregnancy...

We see you. We love you (and your baby) and offer you the following:


This mother’s day, perhaps the most important gift you can give yourself or a loved one is permission to grieve. No one wants to feel sad, especially on a day when happiness is expected, but feigned happiness is not very helpful in the long term.

In order to deal with emotions properly you have to give yourself permission to recognize them, and accept that they are there for a time. It is so important not to shame yourself for what you are feeling. Telling yourself, “I shouldn’t feel this way” does nothing to resolve the situation and only adds the burden of guilt. Find healthy ways to express these emotions, perhaps through writing a letter, creating a work of art, or talking with a loved one.Mamas, you have permission to do or not do anything your heart doesn't want to.

This means you have permission this Mother's Day to...

  • Stay in bed all day

  • Stay off social media (remember, we are in charge of what we consume digitally!)

  • Call a family member or friend to talk about your baby

  • Do a loving act of kindness in your baby's memory

  • Cry, scream and be sad

  • Create a special tradition on Mother's Day to carry your baby's memory with you

  • Avoid places and spaces filled with children and "regular" mom's who just can't or won't validate your motherhood/pain

  • Share with others in person or on social media about your baby, your motherhood and experience

  • Be kind and gentle with yourself. None of this is easy and we do not get a rule or guide book on how to deal

  • To do what you want to do (or not want to do).

  • To do what your heart feels is right - cry, smile, laugh, sob, share, connect or disconnect. Only you know what is in your heart.

This Mother's Day, you have permission to simply be. Whatever that means for you. Three Little Birds is here to support you.

If you live local to the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region, join us for our monthly-in person support group for loss parents. Details are below. If you are in need of support and peer connection, please join our closed/private Facebook Group, Mama Bird Healing Nest for more information our events, discussion videos and more.

Thinking of all the loss mamas in our nest who hold their babies in their hearts instead of their arms. Sending you all extra love and light.

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