I Was Thinking…
Since we adopted, Mother’s Day has been a mixture of pain and pride, love and loss, and confusion and finally, clarity. It is important to me to speak the reality of this holiday for those of us trying to parent and love hurt kids, kids who lost their mom, kids who feel let down by their mom. Mother’s Day really takes on a new meaning and many times not a pleasant one. The world says Mother’s Day should be all flowers and fru-fru with everyone sharing their gratitude and love for this special person. The world doesn’t have a clue about what most of US experience on Mother’s Day! They don’t have a clue about the confusion and pain that OUR KIDS experience on Mother’s Day! It is many times a hard day for children and moms alike!
In my quest to be a more Intentional Parent, I have really focused on “hearing” the experiences and feelings of adopted adults. These words have been invaluable to me as an Intentional adoptive mom! I really want to share them with you, especially as we are nearing this holiday. Many adopted adults speak to the fact that Mother’s Day and their birthday were two of the hardest days of the year for them. The general feelings were that while they loved their adoptive mom, the PAIN and CONFUSION over the loss of their birth mom was very intense on Mother’s Day and it “got in the way”, so to speak, of their ability to be able to “do” Mother’s Day! This information speaks so clearly to us - we need to listen and as Intentional Parents we have to take this information and not just KNOW it, but…LIVE it!
I have learned over the years that the definition of Mother’s Day is all wrong. I got caught up in feeling like a GOOD MOM if I was treated like a GOOD MOM on a special day with special events and special food and all that stuff. The reality is that I AM a good mom with or without a day that says so! I am a good mom whether or not my child can say so or behave like she thinks it. When my belief in myself changed, my focus was able to change. My focus widened. Being an Intentional Mom meant that I chose to continue to meet each of my children where they were - especially emotionally – especially on Mother’s Day! As my focus widened, Mother’s Day became about all of us, not just me. I was able to see everyone’s perspective. I realized that I can’t imagine the pain and confusion my children must feel. The questioning about their own worth. The confusion of what loyalty is and whether they have to choose only one mom to be loyal to. The pure, unaltered sadness that must be triggered by this day.
Mother’s Day has changed for me. In my own brokenness, I used to think that if only my children could just behave better, the day I “deserved” would be perfect. In all honesty, it wasn’t theirs to change; it was mine. I redefined mother for myself. I am now an Intentional Mom. I believe that this is the true definition of Mom…one who clearly sees how others need to be loved and then loves that way, no matter what!
Our kids need to be loved the way THEY need to be loved. Typically, that means meeting them where they are when they are there. In the case of Mother’s Day, it means putting it all into perspective. Taking all that we know and LIVING IT! It means that we choose to look at what is ours: our expectations, our beliefs, our short-comings, our fears, our grudges, our pain and then choose to wrap them up in a pretty little package and move them aside – ultimately widening our focus. This is our gift to ourselves! This is our gift to our children!
Mother’s Day IS a day to celebrate mothers - there is no doubt that we all deserve it. I say we should all celebrate and be celebrated! As we do that though, let’s be intentional in our expectations, intentional about what defines us as a good mom, and intentional about widening our focus!
Celebrate, especially within yourself. You are doing something so important - you are healing a person’s soul! YOU are a great MOM!
Happy Mother’s Day!
With Love and Gratitude for what you do….remember you are NOT alone!