How are you feeling this holiday season? Throughout the months of November and December, I have spoken with a handful of other birth moms to see how they are dealing with the holiday blues. Some birth moms are struggling with a lot of sorrow, some have a lot of joy, and many have a confusing mixture of both. It's important to know however, that no matter where you happen to be on the spectrum of sorrow to joy, your feelings are valid.
I know some of us will see pictures of our babies opening up presents on Christmas morning, and some of us will simply have to imagine it. But the fact of the matter is, we don't get to be there. And that's what sucks. You might be sitting with family on Christmas Day, but we don't get to sit with all of our family. For us, there's a big hole in our heart. We may see children opening gifts and getting excited, but one of our babies isn't there with us. It's HARD. But don't let it control you this year. Say it out loud, and stand face to face with that truth. You may feel that way and it is what it is.
Decorating my house this year was kind of sad, I have to admit. This is the first year I have lived by myself since placement. I've always loved to decorate for Christmas, but this year I discovered that doing it alone is not so fun. This month I had a visit with my birth son and they gave me an ornament with his picture on it. I hung it on my tree and realized it's another year where he's not with me. That is a deep wound, and it cuts deeper throughout this time of year. But then, combined with the sadness, I feel so many other things.
I am excited to get a video or picture of my son opening his presents on Christmas morning. I am so happy that he gets to spend another holiday with his mom and dad! For every moment I have mourned this season, it has warmed my heart to think of his joy. This doesn't 'fix' my grief, of course. It just adds another layer. It's not all bad. It's normal to feel any variety of emotions, all at once. Welcome to grief, friends.
I know this post may seem sad. You may be skimming towards the end to see if there's a quick fix for feeling this way. There's no shortcut through our grief. We have to feel the feelings and walk the journey. The longer we delay it, the longer it takes us to travel through. If you are feeling like you're going to break down this year, take a little time for yourself and just do it. Find a shoulder to cry on. Find an empty room to sit in while you are alone with your thoughts. Write it down in a journal. Look in the mirror and tell yourself what is upsetting you. Give yourself time to grieve this year.