How to Cope on Mother’s Day

by | May 3, 2024 | Birth Parent Blog

Depressed woman seated by a river in the cityOn Mother’s Day, we honor mothers’ endless love and recognize the sacrifices they make for their children. Adoptive couples can’t celebrate Mother’s Day without also acknowledging their child’s birth mother, who made the greatest sacrifice of all.
 
By choosing adoption, birth mothers not only gave their children life but also gave them a future full of opportunities through adoption. Through a birth mother’s choice, many adoptive couples have the opportunity to become parents.
 
That’s why every year, the Saturday before Mother’s Day is celebrated nationally as Birth Mother’s Day. This year, Birth Mother’s Day will be recognized on May 11th. It’s a special occasion to honor and appreciate the selflessness and strength of all the birth mothers who have chosen adoption for their children. It takes an incredible amount of courage and love to bring a child into the world and then entrust their care to another family.
 
This day provides an opportunity to recognize the sacrifice and immense love that birth mothers have for their children. It is important to acknowledge their bravery and the difficult decision they made, which has given many adoptive families the gift of parenthood.
 
On Birth Mother’s Day, many adoptive parents will honor the women who helped make their families possible. Even though families in open adoptions honor this special holiday, this might be the first time you’ve ever heard of it. 
 

Considering Adoption

We understand that adoption isn’t a simple decision. It’s a sacrifice that requires strength, courage, and, most importantly, love. Many women who are thinking about adoption for a child have mixed feelings about Mother’s Day. We want you to know whatever you feel, Lifetime’s caring professionals are here to listen or talk if needed. Just call or text us at 1-800-923-6784.
 
Making a plan is one of the best things you are already doing for your child. Whether your plan is adoption or to parent, your thoughtfulness is already noticed. I know there is a lot to think about; asking questions and finding out what options you have is the best way to make the right plan for you and your baby.
 

Coping With Mixed Emotions

If this is your first Mother’s Day since choosing adoption for your child, you may be facing a variety of emotions. No matter what your situation looks like, you may have mixed emotions about the upcoming holiday.
 
“It’s coming up on a year since I became a birth mother and I think about my daughter every day. Sometimes I cry. Other times, I think of how blessed I am to have found Lifetime and ultimately her new parents,” says Ashlee, a birth mother.
 
Most birth mothers experience ongoing feelings of grief and loss after placing their child for adoption. These emotions, including grief, anger, loneliness, and guilt, can persist for years.
 
Mother’s Day can be particularly challenging for birth mothers, as reminders of the holiday are everywhere, from TV ads to grocery store cards, intensifying those emotions.
 
It’s important to recognize that whatever you’re feeling is valid and normal. There’s no right or wrong way to feel on Mother’s Day weekend as a birth mom. Allow yourself to experience your emotions without pressure to have a good time if you’re struggling. Remember, Mother’s Day is just one day among many, and you’re not obligated to celebrate this holiday if you don’t feel up to it.
 
Find healthy ways to occupy your time and focus on self-care during this period. It’s okay if you feel at peace on Mother’s Day, too. Take the opportunity to celebrate yourself and acknowledge the positive impact of your decision to place your baby for adoption.
 

Surviving Mother’s Day After Adoption

Navigating Mother’s Day as a birth mom presents its challenges. But during those tough moments, remind yourself that you made the best choice for your child. That’s the essence of Birth Mother’s Day—honoring your decision to prioritize your child’s well-being.
 
Perfection isn’t the goal for Mother’s Day. Instead, focus on self-care and spend the day in a way that brings you comfort. Ultimately, your child understands your love is unwavering. They’ll forever cherish that you did everything to ensure their better future, just like any mother would.
 
Getting through Mother’s Day can be tough. Dealing with feelings of grief and loss isn’t easy, especially when they keep coming back. But there are some things you can do to help yourself:

  • Hang out with friends and family: Your loved ones care about you and want to support you. Don’t hesitate to talk to them when you’re feeling down. Spending time with them during this weekend can really help.
  • Take care of yourself: Sometimes, focusing on yourself can make a big difference. Do things you enjoy, like watching a movie, getting your nails done, or treating yourself to your favorite food. Make this day about you and what makes you happy.
  • Connect with other birth moms: You might feel alone, but there are many other women who understand what you’re going through. Joining a birth mother support group, either online or in person, can help you find support and connect with others who share your feelings. No matter where you are, you can find people who can relate to your experiences.

Birth mother in an open adoption visit with her daughter

How to Celebrate Birth Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day can feel tricky for many women. But there are ways to make it your own, especially if you’re celebrating Birth Mother’s Day. Here are some ideas:

  • Keep something special: Do you have a photo or a keepsake from your child’s birth? Today’s a good day to hold onto it. Even if you can’t be with your child in person, these memories are yours to cherish.
  • Treat yourself: You’ll likely see ads for flowers and Mother’s Day gifts everywhere. While it might feel overwhelming, remember you can still make this day special for yourself. Treat yourself to something small that brings you joy.
  • Write a letter: Writing can be therapeutic. Consider jotting down your thoughts and feelings in a letter to your child. You don’t have to send it; it’s just a way to express yourself. You can even include Birth Mother’s Day quotes and save the letters for the future if you’d like to share them with your child someday.

Our Birth Mother’s Day Blessing for You

Lifetime Adoption’s prayer for all birth mothers is that you find comfort and peace of heart this weekend. You are truly precious and so loved! From where we stand, we know how many adoptive families count a birth mother in their blessings. There are no perfect words to lift up the brave and beautiful women who lovingly choose adoption for a child, but we recognize you today.
 
After all, for many mothers, there’d be no “Mother’s Day” without a Birth Mother’s Day! Know that we’re praying special blessings for you this Birth Mother’s Day.
 
If you need someone to talk to, you can call or text Lifetime Adoption anytime at 1-800-923-6784.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 10, 2019, and has since been updated. 

Heather Featherston

Written by Heather Featherston

As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.

Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.

As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.

Read more about Heather Featherston

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2 Comments

  1. Julie McGue

    A beautiful reminder of how Mother’s Day is a difficult day for mothers who make difficult and life-changing choices.

    Reply
    • Lifetime Adoption

      Thank you, Julie!

      Reply

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