Mother's Day has been a real high and a real low in my 19 years of being one. It is such an amazing experience...becoming a Mom. I was excited to become a mom to all of my children. But that was my excitement, my desire, my plan - not necessarily theirs!
Mother's Day is a bittersweet day. In my family, it is a reminder of love and devotion, but also loss and confusion.
There have been many Mother's Days that were awful, but they were only awful because I didn't get it! My perception of Mother's Day was one that included feeling like a GREAT Mom because everyone in my house said and showed that they thought that I was a GREAT Mom. Unfortunately, everyone in my house was not able to think of me at all. Their pain and confusion about their birth mom came into full view on that day; they could think of nothing else. That pain and confusion spread to all of us.
At some point, my heart finally understood. The hard behavior and ugly words may have been given to me, but they were not about me. In essence, my adopted children WERE treating me like their Mom. They were laying their deepest pain in front of me. They were asking for help. They were being vulnerable in hopes I could fix it. They were taking a risk with their deepest fears. They were giving me their heart!
I realized that Mother's Day doesn't (and shouldn't) mean you get a day off of being Mom. Mother's Day is often the day we, as adopted and foster moms, earn the title of Mother! We are still the teacher, the nurse, the cook, the holder of memories, the heart, the healer, the unconditional love, the soft place to land, the boundaries, the planner, the counselor, the reader of souls, the guide, the fixer, the problem-solver, the safety net!
So...as we approach Mother's Day here in the states, remember to meet your child where he/she is, ESPECIALLY on Mother's Day. This is where HEALING really happens!
Know that his behavior is sadness and confusion and that in most cases your child blames himself for his loss. Meet him there. How painful for this child. This day all about mothers is a trigger and he can't get away from his distress. Honor his grief. Honor his Mother. Remember that they are both real and part of the load your child carries.
We have to mother differently - we share the title. Whether we feel the woman we share it with deserves it or not, her child does not feel complete without her. It is a hole, an ache at his very core. When we became his Mom, we were charged with helping to heal that hole and it takes a long time! It takes doing it differently and adjusting our needs on Mother's Day.
Take pride and joy in knowing that you ARE a GREAT MOM, whether or not your child can get past his pain and suffering on this day. You are doing an AMAZING thing - healing a heart!
Happy Mother's Day!