Did you know that birth mothers have a holiday entirely devoted to us? That’s right; Birth Mother’s Day is the Saturday before Mother’s Day.
So, how does a birth mother even begin to celebrate such a day depending on where she is at in her healing process? Some birth mothers still feel shame and guilt even years after choosing adoption, while others are coping with those fresh emotions immediately following placement. Regardless of their personal journey, many birth mothers celebrate Birth Mother’s Day as an opportunity to empower themselves and feel peace regarding their adoption decision.
Whether you feel like celebrating or not, please give it at least an honest shot. I recommend that every birth mother celebrate all the blessings of adoption on Birth Mother’s Day, including and especially the sacrifice that was made by her out of love.
Tips on How to Celebrate Birth Mother’s Day Alone
I encourage even a woman in a closed adoption to celebrate Birth Mother’s Day for herself. There is so much healing power in finding gratitude in any situation. Even if we can only come up with one reason to celebrate ourselves, it’s enough to make a start.
So, if you are celebrating this day alone, please consider some of the following tips on how to celebrate:
- Write your child and/or yourself a letter every year on Birth Mother’s Day. The letter can discuss where you may be on your healing journey post-placement, what you dream about for your child in his or her future, or what your future goals are. The point of writing this letter is to hold on to it for yourself and/or for your child in the future. You might be surprised at the power of an old pen and paper.
- Treat yourself with a little pampering or a special gift on Birth Mother’s Day. Self-care is crucial in the healing process. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we will have nothing to offer to anybody else. So, here is a reason to treat yourself: birth mothers deserve a special day, too! Maybe you want to go to the spa, maybe you want to see a concert, or maybe you want to buy that dress you have been eyeballing. No matter how big or small it is, go ahead and treat yourself in a way that makes you feel happy and healthy.
- Make Birth Mother’s Day a time each year to reflect on goal-setting and a future life vision. New Year’s resolutions usually fade out within a few months, but a great plan to meet goals is where true success in achievement can be found. Think about where you want to be on the next Birth Mother’s Day and set a few goals that you can reach for that will get you there. Remember that goal-setting requires planning and strategizing. Maybe take Birth Mother’s Day as a day for mapping out a plan moving forward.
Tips for Celebrating Birth Mother’s Day with Your Child
Celebrating Birth Mother’s Day with the child whom you placed for adoption is an amazing way to spend any day! If you are one of the birth mothers who are able to enjoy this, please don’t take it for granted.
Depending on your post-placement relationship with your child and his or her parents, celebrating this holiday with your birth child may or may not be an option. If it is, then consider these ways of celebrating:
- Start a tradition with your child to celebrate the holiday. For example, every year you could have photos taken together, or you always bring your child a special cake, or you go to the same restaurant every year. Whatever tradition you start will be a great way to make lasting memories with and for your child.
- Have a party with your child’s adoptive family and his or her birth family on Birth Mother’s Day. This could be a great opportunity to show your child every year how much he or she is loved, and how big their family really is. Can you imagine giving a greater blessing to yourself and your child on Birth Mother’s Day than to offer pure love?
- Spend some alone time with your birth child on Birth Mother’s Day. Think of something creative the two of you could do together, whether it’s a craft you could make or a fun game you could play. Whatever activity you decide that you will engage in, make sure it’s age-appropriate. Then, just enjoy some time with your child. Be together, take a few silly pictures, and rest in the joy of that moment.
Tips for Celebrating Birth Mother’s Day with Supportive Friends and Family
First of all, notice how the above title mentions the word “supportive?” I used that word with the intention to bring notice to it. Don’t spend Birth Mother’s Day with anyone who doesn’t support you in your adoption decision. Trust me, I know firsthand that putting expectations on others for even just one day is the repeated insanity of a fool.
- Make a list of all of your loved ones who have chosen to support you and consider having a party of some kind. Celebrate in style with your supportive friends and family! Enjoy your special day!
- Have a night out on the town for Birth Mother’s Day. Engage in a special activity you may not normally participate in. For example, you could plan a trip, go to the ballet, or just have some fun dancing. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you think you will enjoy and remember as a wonderful year spent on Birth Mother’s Day.
- Get involved in volunteering with friends and family for an adoption cause. Many local organizations support children in foster care and adoption, and they may need volunteers. Consider having your friends and family commit to volunteering at the charity with you. This is not only an altruistic way to spend one’s time but also an opportunity to advocate for yourself as a birth mother.
Birth Mother’s Day will look different for every birth mother as she creates her own traditions and walks down her own path of healing. Just remember that the following choice is yours: You can take Birth Mother’s Day as an opportunity to share in gratitude, or you can use it as a reason to dwell on painful and sad memories.
While this holiday is not always easy for me, I am choosing to turn into a happy one. Are you ready to celebrate Birth Mother’s Day with me?
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption seven years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.