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Navigating the Holidays as a Birth Mother

The holidays can be bittersweet for birth mothers. It’s a time of happiness and celebration, but it can be hard to feel celebratory when you have placed—or are in the midst of placing—your child for adoption. You are not alone. Many birth mothers struggle with their child’s absence during these special moments. As the holiday season approaches, you can take care of yourself by making a plan to honor your child and selfless love. 

  1. Take care of yourself by allowing yourself to grieve. The decision to place a child for adoption is monumental, and the emotions will linger for a lifetime. That doesn’t mean that you can’t seek happiness for yourself. Focus on the things you’re grateful for and practice self-care by removing yourself from situations that overwhelm or don’t serve you. Share your coping strategies with a close family member or friends, so you have support in moments where you’re struggling. 

2. Honor your child during the holidays. Depending on your adoption arrangement, you may be able to call your child or send them a special gift to open. If your adoption is closed, and you’re not in touch with your child, honor them differently. You can make an ornament to hang on your tree or donate to a charity in your child’s name. If you’re comfortable involving the family, you can plan an activity that honors your child and invite everyone to participate. 

3. Surround yourself with support. You cannot underestimate the power of a support group or professional help when you’re feeling low. You may feel like nobody understands your grief and mourning—and that’s okay. By allowing yourself to express your grief—through friends, family, and outside community, or therapy—you are giving yourself the necessary tools to heal and grow. 

Your decision to create a better life for your child should be applauded and celebrated. The Lifetime Healing Foundation and Big Tough Girl are two organizations working to create more support accessible to all birth mothers. 

The next time you are experiencing grief or loss, let yourself feel it. But don’t forget: your selfless choice was one of deep love. Your choice deserves respect, and you deserve space to heal.