Since we’ve just finished the holidays, also known as The Giving Season, I thought I’d mention today how giving can be instrumental in your own healing journey since placement.
Those of you birth moms out there reading this that have participated in the Birth Mom Buds Secret Sister Stocking Exchange will most likely attest to the power of giving a gift. I participated this year as well, and though the stocking my sister sent me was fabulous beyond measure (Thank you, Leigh!), that’s not why I participated. I participated to be able to give of myself to someone else. There’s a reason why there is a dollar limit on what is included in our gifts to each other. Though most people who have participated regularly don’t stick to the limit, the idea is that even relatively small gifts can be meaningful to the recipient and the effort the giver puts in finding the gift(s) to include will benefit the giver as well.
Some of you might be thinking that your budget wouldn’t allow for you to give gifts anytime you need a healing boost. Frankly, my budget doesn’t allow for that either. However, gifts don’t always have to have a monetary value. The gift of time can be huge. Help a friend in need with a move. If you have friends in school, offer tutoring or proofreading services. Give a friend a manicure or a pedicure just because. All of these things are free or extremely low cost.
Time can also take the form of listening to a friend in need. When I go to my local birth mom support group, it’s not about the others listening to me cry about how much being a birth mom hurts sometimes. For me, it’s a chance that I get to listen and support others who are hurting. We all know as birth moms that no matter how good our relationships with our kids and their parents, it still hurts at least occasionally. Even if I’m in particular need that week of an understanding ear I’ve found that focusing on someone else provides much more healing power than talking about how bad I feel. It takes the focus away from my own negative thoughts and feelings.
I’ll end this post with a challenge. The next time you’re feeling low, reach out to help someone else, either with a gift of time or an actual gift of something they need or want. I can almost guarantee that doing so will cause you to feel much better. Can you think of other ways to be a giver instead of a taker?