Our latest PAC-UK guest blog offers a reflection on Mother’s Day, for mothers separated from their children by adoption and was written by our North Adult Services Regional Manager, Emma Crowther-Duncan, with contributions from our amazing PAC-UK North West First Family Group. A huge thank you from all at PAC-UK to Emma and our group for writing this piece.

We premiered 'The forgotten voices of birth families’ at our 'Voices of birth parents: Loss, hope and change' event that took place during National Adoption Week 2021.

For some, Mother’s Day can be a painful, difficult and upsetting time. For those mothers who live away from their children and are separated by adoption, Mother’s Day can feel overwhelming and amplifies feelings of loss that they experience on a daily basis.

At PAC-UK we offer both support groups and individual support to birth mothers (and fathers) to assist in processing their loss by building strong relationships and creating safe spaces for discussion and reflection.

As Sunday 27 March draws upon us, discussions around Mother’s Day has come up regularly within our work with birth parents in our First Family Service North West over the past few weeks.

The reminder of Mother’s Day is everywhere; shops are filled with pastel colours, bouquets of flowers, an array of pink and red cards with doting messages about mothers - which makes it incredibly hard to escape from for some.

For some this is could be their first Mother’s Day without their child, for others it may have been years and it doesn’t get any easier. With specialist support from PAC-UK, parents have been able to access individual sessions as well as peer support through groups, that allow them to share their experiences and offer words of comfort to each other. For many, having a space to acknowledge being a mother with other mum’s has been incredibly powerful.

The mothers we support have a range of different experiences and feelings around Mother’s Day, after discussing together at our recent group meeting, below are some of their reflections.

One mother shared that:

“Mother’s Day is a really hard day for me. I just stay in bed, put music on and avoid the world” and that “The run up to Mother’s Day is just as hard – there is Mother’s Day adverts, cards and presents everywhere”.

One mother suggested ways that help her cope:

I always get cards out she made me at home and try and remember the good times, and that I know she will be thinking of me. Sometimes I go to the place where she was born or a favourite place we had”.

For one mother in our group, Mother’s Day is particularly difficult:

“My daughter was born on Mother’s Day so it’s a double kick in the teeth for me”.

One mother has spoken of how her children’s adoptive parents would support the child if they wanted to “to write mummy a card to put in the child’s memory box each Mother’s Day” and how this small gesture and token meant so much to them; to still be recognised as a mother and to still be kept in mind.

The differences in experiences can bring women together to support each other, to build each other up and to champion one another. Mother’s Day is a celebration of women and the commercial aspect of Mother’s Day loses this message. The peer support between women that we, as workers witness, is powerful. We experience this during support groups, on our Facebook support group and during one-to-one sessions with mothers who have shown that being a mother does not simply disappear after adoption.

The strength and determination we see in our mothers all year round is both humbling and inspiring and drives us to continue to provide spaces for reflection. To all the mothers on Mother’s Day we see you not just on Mother’s Day, but every day. Thank you to all the mothers who have shared their thoughts and reflections on Mother’s Day.

Emma Crowther-Duncan | March 2022

If any birth parents are reading this, please get in touch with us, and let’s look together at how we can support you. It can be really daunting making the first steps to talk about your child’s adoption, but we are patient and we are here just for you.

You can contact us by emailing firstfamily@pac-uk.org or by calling our free and confidential PAC-UK Advice Line on 0113 230 2100 - we will respond to your request as soon as possible. More information about our services for birth parents and relatives can be found at www.pac-uk.org/our-services/birth-parents

Become a PAC-UK 'guest blogger'

Please note, all content published on this page is provided by our guest blogger/s, based on their real-life experiences. We invite you to discuss this blog via PAC-UK's Twitter profile and ask you to tag @PACUKadoption in to your posts and use the hashtag #PacukBlog

This blog is the twenty-first of our regular 'guest blogger' platform which we started in 2019. We would love to hear from adoptees, birth parents (and relatives), adoptive parents/carers, special guardians and professionals who are interested in taking part in future blogs. If this interests you please email leon@pac-uk.org.