My children are all adopted and will often say things to me like, “You’re a nice Mom” “I like that you are a good Mom” and “You’re the best Mom I’ve ever had.” Yes these are nice little compliments to my mothering capabilities, but they are also reminders. Little reminders that my kids know the difference between “good” and “bad” mothering because they’ve experienced both first hand. This is one of the reasons that makes Mother’s Day different for adoptive moms.
Mother’s Day at my house usually involves a roller coaster of emotions from my children. I literally NEVER know what to expect. I will get handmade cards and boxes of half eaten chocolates, but I also get tears and sadness brought on by thoughts of birth mom and anger brought on by attention being given to me. A lot of adoptive parents ask how to handle Mother’s Day with their kids. My thoughts are this. Your birth mom is the person who gave birth to you. Your mother is the woman who raises you. Take a moment to reflect with your child about their birth mom. Allow them to share their feelings and have positive things to say in response. Then remind your child that this day is meant to celebrate all of the hard work YOU put in to raising them.
Note to Adoptive Moms - Mother’s Day can be like a “self destruct button” to your child. Recognize this emotional trigger so you aren’t frustrated.
For me Mother’s Day is about celebrating my sacrifice as a mother. I’ve learned to lower my expectations about celebrations and being treated like a Queen for the day. Instead, I use this day as a yearly reminder of the conscious choice I made to be a mother, of the challenges and rewards it brings to my life and how I wouldn’t change a single one of my children.
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