Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Childless Mothers Day

Ever since about this time last year, I have been DREADING mothers day weekend. I thought it would be the worst weekend ever. I figured I would spend the whole weekend crying my eyes out. A few months ago, just the thought of mothers day made me cry and let out a string of not-so-christian words. It's been on my mind non stop for weeks. What's going to happen? How am I going to handle it? Will anyone say anything to me about it? Will they wish me a happy birth/mothers day? Or will everyone pretend I was never a mother?

Well, Mothers day weekend came and went, and I was actually very calm all weekend. No crying, no hysterics, no super pissy mood swings. I have no idea why I was so... relaxed. I wasn't exactly Mrs. Sunshine, there was a twinge of sadness here and there, but not much. Perhaps it's because Mothers Day has been hard for me for three years now, ever since I had my miscarriage in 2007. Maybe I am just getting used to it? I know Mothers Day of '08 was very hard for me. I cried and stayed to myself all weekend. Not only was it supposed to be my first Mothers Day, the miscarriage was still fresh in my mind, and everyone in my family pretended like it had never happened (they still do.) My grandmother went as far as to say, "Oh well, it's for the best." I promise you, if she had been anyone but my grandmother, I would have socked her in the face for that comment. I mean, how is it "for the best" when a child dies?

Months ago, probably in October, M and I had a conversation via email about what to expect from each other and for visits and holidays. I asked about the dreaded Mothers/Fathers Day, and she replied that they liked to keep those days for themselves. So I brought up birth Mothers/Fathers Day, which she had never even heard of. I told her it was one of the Saturdays before the Mothers/Fathers day holiday, and I would get back to her when I found out which one. Well, I never got back to her on that subject, so I figured she wouldn't remember it, or maybe just choose not to celebrate it at all. (I know that makes her sound really mean, but trust me, she isn't! It's just hard for me to not have a pessimistic view when it comes to Aparents. It's kinda like "if you expect the worst, you wont be let down" kinda thing. And it's not with just Aparents and adoption. I'm that way with almost everything.) Any way, I got all caught up thinking she wouldn't recognize me at all, and it made me really mad and I decided I wasn't going to do anything for her for Mothers Day unless she acknowledged me on Birth Mothers day (yeah, I know. Real mature, right? Trust me, it's hard for me to admit this to you all). Originally, I was going to do a whole little video/slide show for her of all of our visits from the past year, set to this awesome song I found called "From Gods arms, to my arms, to yours." It's set from a birth moms side and it's to the Adoptive mom. It's very sweet. Well, once I had it made up in my mind that she wasn't going to recognize me, I decided I wasn't going to do it. I mean, I didn't just trash the whole idea all together. I just figured that maybe I would do it for her birthday or something instead (and I probably will-I really like the idea).

Well Saturday I was cleaning up the house and my phone started ringing. It was M! I answered it right away,thinking maybe she was calling to finalize birthday plans for later this month. You want to know what I heard instead? "I just wanted to call and wish you a happy birth mothers day and let you know that you are appreciated....(and so on)" I couldn't believe it! One, I had temporarily forgotten it was birth mothers day, two, she had remembered! She even knew the right day and everything! We had a nice conversation, and she filled me in a little about what all has happened since our last talk (Unfortunately, both the boys seem to be coming down with something). The conversation left me feeling elated, and it coasted me through the rest of the day.

On Sunday I told my family I was working, even though I really wasn't. I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the whole Mothers Day thing, so I decided I would take some of the day to do whatever I wanted and use work as an excuse to not be with my family all day. That might sound horribly selfish, but what if I hadn't taken things so well? I wouldn't want to sit around with my family and let them watch me have an emotional break down. Especially because not all of them know about Robbie yet. So R and I went down to the Tanger outlets and did a little shopping, and then stopped by Taco Bell so I could get some of my beloved chicken chalupas. I spent the evening with my family, eating hot wings and Chinese (Yes, I know it's a random combination). Over all, it was a good weekend.

Of course, no one in my entire family wished me a happy Mothers Day or Birth Mothers Day. But that's where friends come in! I had four people wish me a happy Bmom day (M, and a few of my dear friends Heather, Jade, and Marilee), and five wished me a happy Mothers Day (my moms boyfriend, and then Heather, LauraAnn, Raymond, and R). Heather is an adoptive mom in an open adoption, and she sent me an email to wish me a happy birth mothers day. After doing so, she went on to explain that she and her husband don't celebrate their sons Bmom on Birth Mothers day, but instead they celebrate her on Mothers Day. I am going to copy down part of what she said, and I do hope she doesn't mind that I quoted her.

"After all, she is still his mother...just not his mom. Her love for him is no different than less than mine...and no less important than mine. So, for us, we celebrate her on Mother's Day as she deserves."

I couldn't have said it better myself. These are my exact feelings on how things should be. I honestly don't like Birth Mothers day. I feel as though it, in a way, cheapens things on our side. It makes us even less of a mother then we already are. It reinforces that feeling of being baby ovens and incubators. At least, it does with me. However, I realize that Birth Mothers day makes it possible for both mothers to be celebrated without any ones toes being stepped on, and no one has to share the spotlight. As I told Heather, I would rather be celebrated on Birth Mothers day then not at all :)

How do you feel about Mothers Day and Birth Mothers day? If you are a member of the adoption triad (or if you are a foster parent), how do you celebrate the weekend?

This is the song I plan to have as the background for the video/slide show. I wanted the video with Marie Osmond, but apparently it has been deleted so you will just have to settle for this. Enjoy :)


Leah W said...

I am glad you dropped by my blog, I wanted to see how you are doing.

Glad things went as well as could be expected, and, from the bottom of my heart, Happy Mother's Day.


LeMira said...

I really like your perspective on this. Thanks!

Meadowlark said...

I have probably an odd perspective on this. I'm an adoptive mother, born in the US, living elsewhere in the country of my adopted child's birth. Here they don't have Mother's Day. They think it is really commercial and sappy. I've never been very attached to it either, because it wasn't celebrated in my family even in the States. So, maybe I just don't feel the emotional pull of other adoptive mothers. But I always felt that if Mothers Day was to have meaning, it should be a celebration of motherhood, not of a person who is a mother. If you want to pat me on the back and make me feel good, wish me a happy birthday at the right time. But mothers day isn't just for me.

I'm not trying to say, oh, I'm so not threatened here. I definitely have my feelings of being threatened in my place as a mother. I am really clear about this. I am my child's mother. If someone wants to quibble about it, I'm my child's "real" mother, in so far as that means the relationship is the primary relationship. All I am saying here is that my child's birth mother is a mother too, a full mother who should be honored by society and spirit as a mother. The tears a birth mother cries flow into the same river of tears that mothers have cried for so many reasons throughout the centuries, the same river my tears flowed into when I could not have a child for six years and thought I might never. To say that you shouldn't be honored on Mothers Day misses the whole point of Mothers Day for me, the spiritual and historical side of Mothers Day. It isn't just an extra birthday for mothers. I'm glad you have a reasonably open adoption. I'm jealous, in fact, because I live in a country where that is incredibly taboo and I think we will all suffer for it. But this part sounds rough.


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