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A Small, Beautiful Way to Cope With Mother's Day if You Don't Have a Mom

Jenn is perhaps best known as the author of the popular parenting blog Breed ‘Em and Weep (2005-2012). She’s written for many magazines, newspapers and websites, including Brain, Child Magazine, Literary Mama, and The Boston Globe. Jenn’...

Mother's Day can be brutal if you don't have a mom

For many, Mother's Day is a tricky holiday to navigate. So Modern Loss — a website and chat community for those who are grieving — is hosting a Mother's Day gift swap for its members who are struggling with maternal-related losses.

If you're missing your mom or a mother figure, a child you lost or the mother of your children, Modern Loss wants you to know you're not alone. Not by a long shot.

"We hear you, we know how much it sucks, and we want you to be able to give and get something special from someone else who is, too. It’s as easy as downing a Mother’s Day mimosa to participate. Sign up here by Friday, May 5 and we’ll match you with a swapee who could also use a little Hallmark holiday TLC."

More: For stepmoms, Mother's Day can be pretty painful

We just plain love this idea. No, of course a gift swap isn't going to ease the pain entirely when Mother's Day ads are blaring on every TV screen — but sometimes, it really does help to know you're not alone in your sadness. (Also: Modern Loss says if their first Mother's Day gift swap goes well, they'll be doing a Father's Day swap as well.)

Modern Loss attributes the gift-swap idea to Kate Spencer, a comedian who at 27 lost her mother. Spencer is the author of The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir About Death, Grief, and Surviving the Mother of All Losses, which is coming out this fall and is sure to be an amazing, bracingly honest read.

So if you're struggling this May and missing someone keenly, consider signing up at Modern Loss and swapping a sweet gift with someone who truly understands. You might make a new friend while you're at it. Sign-ups are open through May 5 — which is today, so hurry.

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