5 Tips to Surviving the Holidays as a Birth Mother
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, the holiday season is a time to enjoy spending quality time with those around you. These traditions often include: food preparation, decorating the home, listening to traditional holiday music, watching holiday movies, and giving and receiving gifts.
Though many families enjoy this time of year, the holidays can be just as stressful as they are pleasant. This is often caused by financial and emotional pressures, social commitments, and unrealistic expectations.For a birth mother, the holidays can be just that — stressful and overwhelming. Whether you are able to see your child this season or not, it may be challenging to figure out the best ways to get through the holidays as a birth mother.
Fortunately, Adoption Choices of Arizona is here to help.We have compiled this resource of helpful tips for surviving the holidays as a birth mother that will relieve some of the pressures this time of year often brings.
1. Connect with Your Support System
Though motherhood is a special experience, everyone reacts differently to the tasks it comes with — especially, if you are a woman who made the decision to place her child for adoption. When you find yourself going through difficult times, it can be helpful to surround yourself with those you trust and can rely on. It is also a good idea to connect with people you can relate to.
Consider the ways you keep in touch with your friends and family. Phone calls? Email? Texting? Video chatting? Knowing you are not alone makes any difficult experience easier.
You could also introduce your support system to some of your favorite holiday activities.
2. Reach Out to Your Adoptive Family
Though birth mothers cannot always be a part of every holiday event with their adoptive family, reaching out to them could serve as a positive holiday surprise. Whether you call or video chat your adoptive family, it would let your child know that you are thinking about them. Additionally, it gives you a fun opportunity to put up your holiday decorations in the background, so you can share in the festive feel of the season.
3. Incorporate Your Child into Your Holiday Traditions
Just because you and your child might not be spending the holidays together as you had hoped, there are still ways to incorporate them into your favorite holiday traditions. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Decorate holiday cookies with your child’s face or name on them. You can get creative with shaping the cookies, and using different toppings and frosting colors to resemble their face. Feel free to use different colored icing to write their name on a cookie.
- Hang a Christmas stocking with your child’s name on it. Just because you are unable to share the holidays with your child does not mean that they must be excluded from your favorite traditions. Hanging a stocking for them will help remind you that they are still your family.
- Make an ornament in honor of your child. As the birth mother, you are still able to take part in your favorite holiday traditions, even if your child is unable to celebrate with you. Creating a special ornament in honor of your child serves as a positive way to sense their presence.
4. Practice Self-Care
When you find yourself struggling emotionally, you must remember to take care of yourself. We understand how difficult the holidays can be for a birth mother who has placed her child for adoption. It is best to remember that self-care is an important step in the healing process.
- Read or Write: No matter if you prefer reading fiction, non-fiction, poetry or self-help books, diving into a good story is a great way to expand your knowledge and explore new worlds. Reading can help a struggling mother distract herself, step out of reality, as well as find spiritual enlightenments. In addition,putting your feelings down on paper will surely assist you in releasing any pent-up feelings you are struggling with. You can also go back to reread what you wrote, looking back on how different your feelings have become.
- Exercise: Physical activity can serve as a strong activity for surviving the holidays as a birth mother. Exercising can bypass many mental distractions that often stop you from enjoying yourself. Consider going on a walk or jog through your neighborhood, dance to your favorite songs, go on a bike ride, participate in at-home workouts, or give yoga a try.
- Music: Listening to empowering music has been known to refine your overall health. If you are feeling alone or are in need of social interaction, music is a positive option in bringing people together. If your desire is to be in a quiet, calming environment, you can always have a solo jam-session with your headphones, radio or CD player.
Between snatching presents up from under the tree, baking cookies, and setting the table for the holiday dinner, you might be able to squeeze in a few hours of giving back to those less fortunate. Every year, there are millions of families constricted to hospitals, shelters, and treatment facilities. You, your friends and family are more than welcome to pay a visit with a card, flowers, a delicious meal, or homemade holiday present.
Through Adoption, Remember Why You Enjoy the Holidays
We know how difficult the holidays must be at times for you as a birth mother, but it is beneficial to focus on everything you enjoy and admire about this time of year.Look back on how decorating the Christmas tree boosted your spirit. Maybe your father used to lift you up to place the star on the top of the tree.
Though birth mothers are not always able to spend holidays with their adoptive families, what’s great about learning to survive the holidays as a birth mother is that you can not only remember the reasons why they enjoy the holidays, but also spend the holidays knowing that your birth child is surrounded by people who love and adore them.
For adoption resources or to begin your adoption journey, birth parents can visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona or call or text us at 1-480-900-5520. If you are an prospective adoptive family hoping to adopt a baby, please instead, visit us here!
Meet the author: Amanda Glover is a recent graduate from Savannah College of Art & Design in Atlanta, Georgia. She has earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Writing. Amanda is currently editing her first novel. Besides being a published novelist, her dreams include singing in a musical, becoming a figure skater, and traveling to Europe.
When she is not writing, she is reading a good romance or suspense book, painting a landscape on canvas, watching a comedy or thriller, or spending time with her friends and family. She loves fashion, books, music, pets, and all things Whimsical. Amanda currently lives in Decatur, Georgia.