Mother's Day: One of the most awkward days of the year

*I am not speaking for all foster moms. This is only my perspective. 

Tomorrow will be my second Mother's Day. Both years have been spent with foster kiddos and my husband soaking up their sweet celebratory actions. However, I can't help but feel awkward each year when the holiday rolls around.

First, I never know how to respond at the grocery store during mother's day weekend when kind people ask before handing you a rose "Are you a mom?" I kind of just shrug my shoulders or if I have children with me, I give a mumbled "yes" before quickly passing.

Secondly, I never know what to expect of my children. Last year, I had a toddler in my home and he didn't know much about Mother's Day at all. However, this year its different. One of my children is very aware that she won't be spending Mother's Day with her mom. I am always diligent about making time to make a craft or buy a gift with my children for their mothers to help them to acknowledge and honor their birth mothers. This year my two older kiddos painted handmade cards for their mom and displayed them to her on a video call. I could tell their mom didn't expect it, but I was surprised when her response was "That's cute" before changing to the subject to talk about her weekend adventures. In my head I was mad that she didn't have a grander response.

Last and most importantly, it feels awkward to be celebrated on a day where my position to be honored surround traumatic situations involving children being ripped away from their mothers. I love my kids and every kid that has ever lived in my home, but my love isn't the same as the love that their moms had when they held them in their arms after birth. What grief! In my cases, these mothers didn't make the choice to give their children up. They were taken from them. Though that decision was for the good of the children, the mothers feel robbed. I am sure that Mother's Day brings memories and pain for birth moms who cannot celebrate with their little ones and for that I am burdened.

I think about the moms that didn't out rightly abuse or neglect their children. I think about how oppression and poverty play a part of children being out into care. I think about generations of untreated mental illness that steals the capacity of mothers to take care of their children well.

I want to have a different kind of Mother's Day in the future, but right now, it just feels awkward. To be celebrated through someone else's pain feels awkward, but when the songs of Happy Mother's Day come, I will still smile and be grateful for all the children that have allowed me to be mom in some facet of the word.

Today: Happy Birth Mother's Day! Ya'll matter and will always matter. 


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