When I think of all the emotions associated with Mother’s 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 – someone may be looking at me and saying the same!
Then when I think of how difficult Mother’s 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 Mother’s 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 my 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. Mother’s 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.
Days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day may be difficult but It’s all part of the process of growing as an adoptive family. One thing that did make me smile on last years Mother’s Day 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 “she helps me grow”. So at the end of the day, whether they can show it in the ways I would like to see it, they do see the things we do that are like any ‘normal’ Mum.
I’ve had these questions in my mind this year though – what it is about this country and these special occasions days? Why do we insist on making a big deal of just one day? I know the idea is that we take the time to appreciate people and show them how much we care for them but should we just do this on one day of the year? We joke in our house when the children say “why don’t I get a present on Mothers Day?” my response is usually “everyday is children’s day”…..that shuts them up a bit. BUT actually every day should be children’s day! It’s so important for children to feel and know that they are loved, special and important to the people around them. Children who’ve not experienced that in their early years struggle to understand how anyone could care about them later in life. Every day was not child’s day for them – it was parents day most days.
What if we actually showed people every day the things we esteem about them? How much we appreciate and love them every day….to show kindness, gratitude and affection for those we love whenever and however we can. And what of those people who don’t have loved ones around them for whatever reason? Could we show them that we appreciate them also? My prayer is that I would be able to show my family, friends and those I meet every day kindness, acceptance and appreciation. Without people the world would be a sad place. So today is Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Children’s Day in fact everybody day.