Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Don't Keep Your Emotions Bottled Up

Do you allow yourself to express and experience the emotions you are feeling as a birthmother or do you try and hold them all inside?

There have been times in my life since becoming a birthmother when things are very overwhelming emotionally and sometimes instead of allowing myself to experience what I was feeling, I’d push it away. I would tell myself to be strong, thinking that crying and the other emotions I would be feeling pertaining to adoption were signs of weakness or perhaps even signs that I made the wrong decision. So, I’d hold all those emotions in and create a very unhealthy and destructive pattern. Then something would happen, and it could be tiniest little thing, and I would loose it, all those emotions would start rushing forward and flowing out of me like water from a dam.

Those breakdowns would end up being much worse than they would have been if I had dealt with the emotions as they came up initially. I have learned a lot about myself, my feelings, and how I process things since becoming a birthmother. I am learning that it is ok to experience the emotions and to release those emotions should it be crying, screaming, or laughing, depending on what I am feeling. Experiencing and releasing emotions is actually healthy!

So, my advice to fellow birthmothers out there is to let yourself feel! Don't keep your emotions all bottled up inside! Heck, we are women, aren’t we supposed to be emotional?

If you should become overwhelmed with your feelings, here are a few suggestions on how to deal with them.

1. Journal. I know I say this a lot but it really is a great release for many people.
2. Cry, yell, laugh – whatever release is appropriate at the moment.
3. Talk with a counselor or therapist if you have one.
4. Talk with a trusted friend or family member.

Emotions are healthy!

Do you keep your emotions bottled up or do you allow yourself to feel? How do you cope when you are feeling too much?

Photo Credit

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quote of the Week: Lead and Learn

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." - John F. Kennedy

Friday, November 25, 2011

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Red

Red and her parented daughter, Cookie
Today's featured spotlight blogger is Red of One More Day....A Birth Mother's Story.  Let's find out a little bit more about Red....

First, please tell us a bit more about yourself (name, age,where you live, what led you to making an adoption plan, and anything else you feel comfortable sharing).

They call me Red, mostly because I am a redhead, but also because I sometimes (ok, most of the time) have super rosy cheeks. I used to cover it up with makeup but lets face it, when you are the working mom with a rambunctious toddler at home all that "pretty" stuff goes out the window (yes, I know the picture is gorgeous, that is what lots of makeup and good photography will do for you). I am a 25 year old birth mom and single mom all-in-one. My son, Dawson, was born in January of 2003 and placed with his family 3 days after he was born. I was 16 when he came along, and my main reasons for choosing adoption were based on the lack of trust and adulthood between myself and his birth dad. I had planned on parenting, but realized late in my pregnancy that I was unprepared for the reality of being his mom, and his bio-dad, J, was even less prepared. I knew my baby would need steady and mature parents who could handle giving him what he needed. You can read the whole story on my blog. I am happy to have an open relationship with Dawson and his family, I try to talk to them often and we visit about once a year.

Seven years after placing Dawson I managed to find myself once again single and pregnant, the father was no more than an outlined hole in the wall once he found out I was expecting. This time being a mature and able adult (although still scared of leaving my baby without a father) I chose to parent. My daughter, Cookie, is now a rambunctious and squawking19-month old tornado who I pretty much live for. We met Cookie's "real" dad when she was already 6 months old, A is my boyfriend and another reason why I advocate for love over blood any day. We all live together in a house filled with love and the low-pitched bark of our boxer, Heidi.

When and why did you begin blogging?

I started a blog back in 2009 for my family to keep up with my adventures. I never was very good at keeping up with it, but I ran across several other blogs about adoption that I began to follow. My sister (who is an adoptive mom) had me write a post for her blog late in 2010 and I found a graet release in the writing. A few friends and family members started asking me to write about my other experiences. I decided to just start with my story and then write when I felt the need. Lately that has been more and more.The further I get into it the more I delve into areas I never expected to go. I find myself seeking out other birth moms and wanting to express more of my emotions as well. It's been quite a journey so far, and I'm sure there are many more things for me to learn.

Tell us more about the title of your blog.  Why did you choose it?

"One More Day" was the name of a song by Diamond Rio that was a favorite of mine. It always stuck in my brain, and helped me to express how I felt after placement. When choosing a name for my blog it was all that kept going through my head. I always wished I had one more day to spend, but also knew that another day would simply leave me wanting more and more.

Has the response to your posts been mostly positive, mostly negative, or a mix of both?

Definitely positive, I haven't seen the negative responses yet. I am sure there are many people who disagree with the way I see things, but I will always try to foster a spirit of cameraderie on my blog. I am ok with people disagreeing as long as they are respectful about it. 

What post on your blog do you consider a “must read” for people visiting your blog for the first time? Or what post(s) from your blog is (or are) your favorite(s) and why?

I think they are all very close to my heart, but the one that seems to get most people to respond is called "What NOT to say to a Birth Mother." It was the original post I talked about that I wrote for my sister. It was the post that started it all.
Do you have any advice for someone thinking of startingtheir own blog?
Be honest, even to yourself. Actually that works for pretty much everything. :D

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope each of you has a blessed Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quote of the Week: Support

"'Tis not enough to help the feeble up, but to support them after." - William Shakespeare

Friday, November 18, 2011


Image credit: girlfriendology.com
With the holidays fast approaching, many of us are struggling with our grief more than usual.  It makes sense, after all.  Holidays bring into sharp focus the fact that we’re not with part of our families.

So what can we do to help ourselves get through the holidays?

Surround yourself with supportive people.  It doesn’t have to be other birth moms, though having others around who are in the same boat can be wonderfully healing.  Just don’t allow yourselves to fall into the trap of hating adoption in general due to your shared pain.  My daughter’s 2nd birthday was last Thursday, which just happened to be the day when my normal birth mom group meets.  Though we didn’t spend much time talking about my daughter at all, it was healing to be around other people that know the pain that I was feeling.  If you can’t be around other birth moms, find people that know your situation and can be sympathetic.  Distraction via other people can be a great thing too.

Celebrate your child.  Even though your child may not be physically with you, you can still “include” them in your celebrations.  Set a place for them at the table.  Light a candle for them.  Have a piece of pumpkin pie in their honor.  Part of group last week was having a carrot cake (my favorite “flavor”) in my daughter’s honor.  It was nice to celebrate her existence and to sing her a happy birthday song even though she wasn’t there physically to appreciate it.  I know that even if I’m not part of a support group next year that I will have or make cake (or a cupcake or 2) for her birthday.  You can do the same thing for your own child. 

But I also know this may not be appropriate for everyone.  Celebrating your child so literally may either not be possible due to the circumstances you find yourself in over this holiday, or it may cause more pain than it alleviates because it can rub the fact you’re not with your child in your face.

Be thankful. Focusing on the good in our own situations no matter how many negatives threaten to overwhelm the positives can make the bad seem not as bad.  Even if you don’t get contact or your contact’s been closed, you can be thankful that your child is being raised by the people you chose for them.  You can be thankful in the trust you have in yourself for making the best decision you could make at the time.  No matter what may change after placement, there’s no way to guarantee that the same things would have changed were you raising your child.  I’m personally grateful that my daughter is being raised by the wonderful people that are raising her, and that she fits in personality-wise with them and their extended families so well.  I can focus on that even if sometime in the future our relationship encounters a rocky road or two, and I can focus on that during this family-centered holiday.

Do you have any traditions of your own to share that you think would be helpful for someone else?  Do you think that you’ll start any of these traditions listed in your own celebrations?  Please feel free to post in the comments below.  We’d love to read them!