So we’re supposed to be in Spring apparently – clocks have sprung forward, daffodils are springing up all over, people’s moods are lighter as the days are longer and there’s that general feeling of a new season emerging. However just like our unpredictable weather it’s struck me this week just how surprisingly fast that can change – as the clouds appear, wind builds up and then of course the rain falls – our moods can change as quickly.
I was surprised myself this last week by the feelings that Mothers Day brought into our house – I started to write a blog that I wasn’t going to post but in the spirit of honesty and authenticity I will include my thoughts here, in hope that others can identify with it and maybe feel that sense of solidarity and community on this sometimes isolating journey of adoption:
Mothers Day was a surprisingly difficult day for me this year. I’m not sure exactly why it was a surprise. When I think of all the emotions associated with Mothers Day – for me personally being a Mother through adoption has very mixed emotions. For most Adoptive parents it probably wasn’t their first choice, that doesn’t mean to say it hasn’t been a good choice but still there is some loss associated to it. Not just how I’ve come to be a Mum but also the nature of the kind of parenting we have to do as a result of my children’s early start in life and what an impact that has on them now. When I look around at other Mums it’s hard not to be jealous sometimes of the things that are different. It’s always the case of course – that we look at others and think their lives are so much easier than ours – of course someone may be looking at me and saying the same!
Then when I think of how difficult this day is for my children as well that hurts. I know as they are getting older that their thoughts run to their birth Mum – where is she? Is she OK? Does she still think about them? Does she still love them? I so wish I could take that pain away for them and I can’t….it will be with them for many years I know.
What struck me this year was that every other day of the year (well most days) I can cope with the fact that my children have so much going on inside of them that my needs as a Mum go to the back of the queue. On Mothers Day, because of the hype and expectations I guess, we assume that they will be able to turn off the needs they have every other day and miraculously be aware of our needs and wants – bring me tea in bed, stop fighting with each other, make a big fuss of me and tell me what a great Mum I am! Of course for them even though I know they do love me there are mixed emotions about treating me as their Mum. Mothers Day is probably a big trigger of loss for them and the realisation that in acknowledging me as their Mother they are somehow being disloyal to their birth Mum.
The emotions are still quite raw as I write this but I do know that we will get through this as we seem to with most things. It’s all part of the process of growing as an adoptive family. One thing that did make me smile was my children had to speak on a video saying what I did for them as their Mum – one said “She’s embarrassing”, another said “she helps me know the things I can watch on TV and the things I can’t” and finally “she helps me grow”. So at the end of the day whether they can show it in the ways we would like them to or not it doesn’t really matter. I have decided though that next year I will meet with other adoptive Mums and do something special to acknowledge what we do as Mums and accept the fact that we are doing a good job.
There are many seasons still to go through as a Mum and I know there will be unpredictable weather at times but I will take time to bask in the sun when it comes out and to remember when it rains that eventually the sun will be out again.
Happy Mothers Day and Happy Spring!