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Kellie Pickler had a traumatic upbringing beginning with her mother abandoning her when she was two years old. She was mostly raised by her grandparents as her father was in and out of jail. This song, which Pickler penned with her songwriter husband, Kyle Jacobs, poignantly addresses the painful memories of her mother's neglect. "With 'Mother's Day,' I think that's really going to be an 'I Wonder," she explained. "That was my story from more of a younger perspective. 'Mother's Day' is the woman singing the song ... I think when people hear that song, that's going to be when it clicks and people are going to go, 'Wow, she's not the little girl on American Idol anymore. She's a woman now. It has been a little tricky transitioning into the adult."
Pickler came up with the idea for the song when she realized Mothers Day was a day that she had never been able to celebrate. It came about before she and Jacobs were engaged. They'd spent the earlier part of the day together but after he'd dropped her of home she found herself struggling. Pickler recalled to The Boot
: "He pulled in his driveway, and I called him and said, 'Baby, can you come back over here? Today's just really hard.' He said, 'Yeah, are you OK?' I said, 'Yeah, I just feel like we could write a great song today. I feel like today is the day we're gonna write a song.'"
So Jacobs came over with his guitar, and the pair "went through all the feelings, all the emotions, all the thoughts that I have and go through on Mother's Day, and why it's so difficult for me." She described it as, "one of those things where it's like a slap in your face."
Pickler and Jacobs put as much as they could of the way she felt into the song. She said: "That was really therapeutic, and really amazing to get to write with him, especially when you hear the song, and you get to the second verse - that was so special to write with him."
Filming the song's music video brought back painful memories for Pickler as she revisited some of her childhood moments. "Seeing my father struggle with his alcoholism and drug addiction ... He was always in trouble with the law. Always," she recalled to The Boot. "So it was a battle to have to go and visit him in the penitentiary as a child, but that was so normal for me. Looking at it now, as an adult, that's not normal. That's not the way it's supposed to be. I got to hit a whole lot of places, a whole lot of my past in shooting this."
Pickler originally wrote the tune just for herself. "When Kyle and I wrote that song we had no intention of playing it for anybody," she told Billboard magazine: "I needed closure and I needed something to lift me out of a dark place. We wrote that song for that reason. It got heard through the grapevine and now it's on the record."
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