How Mindfulness Helps Manage Life

Life is overwhelming. Even without birthmotherhood attached, the journey is tough, demanding and taxing. For a few months now, I’ve been in a rut. Dominic’s birthday in May really set me off track and I’ve struggled to get back on my path. As discussed in last week’s post, mindfulness is often an effective tool when grieving, […]

How Being a Birthmother Makes Me a Fraud

So much of life as a birthmother is a Catch-22. I was reminded of this at my last visit, when I took Dominic to the largest playground near his house. He clambered around on the playground equipment, looking so proud as he descended the slide by himself. Children of all ages swarmed the equipment, while […]

What to Remember in the Shame of Everyday Life

Mothers often feel a lot of shame. Whether it’s the voices of friends, family, society, or themselves, mothers constantly hear about how they should parent, how they should look, how their kids should behave and perform, what they should feed their family, etc. I have a lot of compassion for mothers. I know what it’s […]

How Regret Can Be Divisive

One of the recurring themes of being a birthmother is regret. The topic has surfaced in many of my conversations with birthmothers. Some of them regret their decision to place, while others regret the way in which the placement was handled or certain details about the adoption. Still other birthmothers, like three of the women […]

How Birthmothers Can Find Peace — Part One

Author’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on finding peace. The conclusion will be published next week.   Two weeks ago, a large wildfire raged about 60 miles north of where I live. The fire began on the outskirts of the little town of Lake Isabella and spread quickly. Officials ordered evacuations […]

Five Things I Wish I’d Known When I Chose Adoption

Everyone needs to make big decisions at some point, like what to do after high school, when and who to marry, where to live, and so on. One of my most significant decisions was whether to choose adoption for Dominic. As with any choice, unknowns swarmed my decision-making vision. Research quickly changed my view of […]

Why I Struggle with My Motherhood

“Am I a mother?” The answer might seem apparent at first. But I have asked this question many times, and I’ve heard other birthmoms ask, too. The website “Your Dictionary” offers this definition of motherhood: “Motherhood is the state or experience of having and raising a child.” I think the dictionary definition would be more accurate […]

How I Invalidated Adoption Consequences

Do you hear it? That voice, the one in your head. It starts small, with just a whisper, but straining to hear the words only encourages the voice to grow into a loud, mean hiss. My little voice cycles through various accusations of incompetence, selfishness, fault, stupidity — whatever the insecurity of the day. When […]

How Speaking Shame Defeats its Power

Keeping a diary is a favorite pastime of mine. As a pre-teen, I wrote my most secret of secrets in a journal with a lock. I kept the key hidden in my jewelry box; but that didn’t matter once my brother figured out how to pick the lock. One reason I feel motivated to keep […]