6 Ways to Find Support as a Birth Mother during the Holidays
The holidays can be tough for everyone, especially birth mothers. For some birth mothers, this can feel like your loneliest time of the year. It’s the time for family to gather and be happy, but that isn’t always possible. You might picture yourself around the Christmas tree, everyone awake, tired, and waiting for presents. But there’s one thing missing: your child. During the holidays, it’s easy to fantasize, to want everything to be the perfect fairytale. To imagine a world in which raising your child was the best choice. Around the holidays, everything should be perfect. But this ideation of perfect doesn’t mean that you should doubt your choice.
It’s a good time to remind yourself why you placed your baby for adoption, and why it was the best choice for you and your baby. You are doing your best and deserve to be reminded of that! You can still find a way to include your child in your holiday celebration, even if you can’t be with him or her. You can find the support you need too, in whatever form that is, to help you cope during the holidays. At Adoption Choices of New York, we are here to support you during the holidays and around the clock.
- Reach out to your child or their adoptive family
Depending on the openness of your adoption plan, it may be helpful to you to reach out to your child during the holidays. Just because you placed your baby for adoption does not mean that you have to leave him or her out of your celebrations. You may be able to make plans to see your child and their adoptive family. Even if you don’t meet on the day of celebrations, you can still have your own time to celebrate. If you can’t meet up, you can extend your well wishes with a card, a phone call, video chat or facilitate communication through ChildConnect. Especially if reaching out is something that would make you feel better during this time.
If you cannot see or connect with your child, do something that represents or acknowledges your child, like speaking about him or her to other family members. You may start your own small ritual during the holidays, like recognizing your child during prayer or leaving a small trinket for them at the Christmas tree to remind you of your child. You may have a special ornament, picture, or candle out along with your holiday decorations. Simply acknowledging your child to yourself or other people may at least make you feel like him or her hasn’t been forgotten just because you chose adoption.
- Send a gift or card
One concern a lot of birth mothers have going into their adoption journey is the fear that their child will feel unwanted and unloved by their birth mothers. Despite knowing this scenario is unlikely, the fear can still gnaw at you. Something that could help you cope with this anxiety is to include your child (and even your child’s adoptive family) in your holiday gift planning. You may send a card, message, or a gift to show your child that you still love and care for them. It doesn’t have to be anything big if that isn’t in your budget. The gift could be something small or handmade, just enough to show that you are thinking of them.
- Keep in contact with your family and friends
Nothing is better than family and friends to keep good cheer during the holidays, even if you’re feeling down. It may be helpful to talk with your close knit network of friends and family about how you’re feeling, or to just be with them. Sometimes it’s nice to not have to think about your worries, and make good memories instead. These are people who understand who you are as a person and can always make you feel supported, especially during traditions and holidays.
- Reach out to your mental health or adoption counselor
While friends and family are great, it’s not always good to burden them with your concerns. Professionals are there for a reason and will be more than willing to help you out. Adoption Choices of New York can help you find a great adoption counselor for you who will help you cope during the holidays and throughout the rest of the year.
- Take time for yourself
The holidays are all about friends and family, but it’s important to take time for yourself to destress. One way to find support as a birth mother during the holidays is to give time to yourself. You may find it helpful to keep a journal and sit with your thoughts for a bit. Remember to speak kindly to yourself and give yourself the time to do the things you enjoy, whether it be hiking, watching TV, or rereading a favorite book. If you know you are going to feel stressed during the holidays, planning a few distractions for yourself could be a great help.
- Speak to other birth mothers
Speaking to people with shared experience is a great way to find support as a birth mother during the holidays. This can be through your support group, a national organization, or even a Facebook group! It doesn’t have to be a formal meeting, but those can be helpful for a lot of birth moms. It’s important to remind yourself that you’re not alone in your struggles. Other people truly understand what you are going through. On top of that, other birth moms might give you great ideas for not only how to cope, but how to include your child in your holiday celebrations.
Birth Mother Support during the Holidays
At Adoption Choices of New York, we are here to support you during the holiday season and around the clock! The holidays should be a happy and carefree time, but that expectation can leave us stressed, especially in 2020. As a birth mom, it’s possible that you’re going through feelings of guilt and loneliness for your child. But you can find support as a birth mother during the holidays that will remind you why you chose adoption.
We hope you have a happy, stress-free, and supportive holiday season!
Meet the Author: Tara Giuffre has always loved reading and writing and grew up in the worlds of Narnia, Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Taking this passion for stories, she received a degree from Rutgers University in Journalism & Media. Besides writing, she likes long walks on the beach, spending time with her family (and her cat, Sansa), and baking the perfect loaf of bread.
She enjoys sharing vital information about adoption and birth mothers choosing adoption to families making important choices for their future family!