Mother’s Day is on Sunday. For many different mothers, the day can be a difficult one. Even outside of adoption issues, various moms have emotional complications with the day. From death to custody battles to relationship woes, the day can be difficult for so many mothers! We know that within the adoption world, quite a few birth mothers have mixed feelings about the holiday in general.
For birth mothers who are actively parenting other children, the day can be one of mixed feelings. A longing for the child you relinquished, a sadness that they are not present mixed with the joy of hugs and kisses from those under your own room. There is joy in being acknowledged for the mothering work you are doing but a variety of other emotions (anger, sadness, ambivalence) at the lack of recognition given for your role in your relinquished child’s life.
For birth mothers who are not yet (or have chosen not to) parenting other children, the day can be very difficult. Whereas those who are actively parenting at least get some recognition, some of these birth mothers will spend the day without a card, a hug or any recognition. If these birth mothers are involved in an open adoption or reunion, it’s still not a guarantee that a card will be sent or a phone call will be made. It can be emotionally devastating.
The good news is that in the day of the Internet, we can support one another. A thread on the Adoption Forums has birth mothers talking about the weekend, what they can do for themselves and other things. I find it very supportive to see others struggle but still find it within themselves to lift one another up. Even if you’re not a regular poster on the forums, you can use the Internet to make sure that no birth mother you know goes unrecognized this weekend. Take a moment on Sunday (or late Saturday night if you have plans on Sunday) and send an e-mail, Facebook message, blog comment, twitter reply or general means of Internet contact to every birth mother you know. Let no birth mother endure this weekend without some kind of recognition. We all deserve it.
In the end, take the advice of some of the commenters over on the support thread: do something for yourself this weekend. And, mostly, be kind to yourself. This weekend can be fraught with doubt and grief for many of us. Allow yourself to feel those feelings but remind yourself that you are a human being worthy of love and compassion. Give those things to yourself as well as others this weekend.
And, really, Happy Mother’s Day.