Friday, May 10, 2013

More Mother's Day Coping

I received this lovely email the other day from the Infertility and Adoption Counseling Center and knew I had to pass it on.

I'm not sure how I feel about #4, but I understand how it can be helpful for people.  Warning: The Stuck documentary is extremely emotional (even the trailer); be prepared, if you watch it.

I hope you find some of these things helpful for Sunday.

Feeling chicken about Mother's Day? You are not alone.
Mother's Day is difficult if you are struggling with infertility or had a miscarriage or pregnancy loss... are waiting to adopt... placed a child for adoption...are an adopted person thinking about your birth mother.
And unrelated to family building and adoption, Mother's Day may also bring up feelings about difficulties in your relationship with your mother or your child or about having lost your mother or your child.
10 Tips for Coping with Mother's Day 
  1. Avoid restaurants as many give out roses assuming ALL women can handle Mother's Day.
  2. Avoid family gatherings if seeing siblings' pregnancies or children trigger feelings that are too painful.  Keep in mind you won't be missing Mother's Day every year, so it really is OK not to go if it is too much for you this year.  
  3. Social survival tips if you must go to family gatherings - Keep the 'celebration' brief; have a code word with your partner or a friend that you need help changing the topic or to take the proverbial walk around the block.  
  4. If you are dealing with infertility or waiting for a baby through adoption, focus on the fact that you will become a parent if you stick with the process and get the support you need.  Sign up for a baby care class. These classes are uplifting!  IAC Center offers 3 different kinds of baby care classes and private classes are offered as well.
    1. Baby, Toddler and Child Care for Parents through International Adoption - June 2nd in Pennington, NJ
    2. Baby Care for Adoptive Parents of Newborns - August 9th in Montclair NJ
    3. NEW Baby Care for Intended Parents through Gestational SurrogacyMay 18th and September 21st in Montclair NJ
  5. Help children that do not have mothers - This spring there are 2 amazing events posted on the IAC Center Calendar under FYI: Special Events
    1. Attend a benefit at the beach:  The Alliance For Children Foundation is honored to present nationally acclaimed Singer-Songwriter Lori McKenna to benefit homeless Haitian Children at the historic Dreamland Ballroom in Oak Bluffs, MA this July 27 
    2. THIS WEEK you can see the award-winning documentary film STUCK and participate in the movement fostered by  Both Ends Burning, a non-profit dedicated to international adoption reform.  The film tells the stories of four orphans from Haiti, Vietnam and Ethiopia and their heartbreaking struggles to come home to their families. To learn more about how you can help, to view the trailer, purchase theater tickets, or download the film for personal viewing, visit
      The film is being shown for one day in each of these locations: 
      1. New York City, Thursday May 9, 2013 at the Clearview Chelsea Cinema
      2. Princeton on Saturday May 11,2013 at The Montgomery Theatre 
      3. Cherry Hill, NJ on Mother's Day, May 12th, 2013 at 7 p.m. at AMC Cherry Hill Theater
  6. Take care of your self.  Tend to your own needs and feelings both physically and mentally. Exercise, get enough sleep, eat healthy, relax or make the time to do something you enjoy. Stress begets stress if we don't take care of ourselves.
  7. Have a support system of people that 'get' you and with whom you can be real. This may be friends, family or a support group of like-minded people. See:IAC Center Support groups  Even a small dose of validation can be extremely uplifting. 
  8. You may prefer private counseling to sort out your feelings, improve relationships or choices you are really comfortable with. Sometimes just a few sessions are necessary.
  9. Master Flow time: We all need some activity in which we can literally lose ourselves, stop thinking about our concerns, and just have a good time. I love cycling along the Delaware River, baking, reading or just about anything outdoors when the weather is good. Taking time away from what bothers you can work really well to refresh your perspective.
  10. Tap into your creativity: Writing, art, music, dance, creative movement, drumming, etc. are all ways to access your deeper feelings and ideas. Taking time out for the creative arts may even help you to find solutions to problems and to connect with what is really important to you. Look for our next newsletter in which I will talk all about a brand new IAC Center Program calledThe Creative Circle that I would love to start this summer. My vision is we gather together at the Center - indoors or outdoors depending on weather - and people pursue the creative art of their choice. Sharing the work would be optional as some people would enjoy it and others would prefer to keep their explorations private. Both choices are fine, whatever works for you.  In addition we would bring in specialists to stimulate and teach the participants - memoirist, a yoga teacher, etc. If you are interested please email me directly as I am beginning to assess interest, format, etc.  

Signing off thinking about chickens, my wonderful long-awaited daughter raising hens and a rooster, and that if you are coming to the Center in Pennington and want some fresh as in laid-that-day eggs, let me know that too. We have lots!!
Wishing you all a Happy Mother's Day!


  1. Hi from ICLW. Hoping you were able to make it through Mother's Day okay.

  2. Happy ICLW! I agree on #4, don't know that's an awesome idea. Being around a bunch of pregnant bellies in the middle of a wait for adoption, or fertility treatments was the last thing I ever wanted to do. The rest are pretty good though. I had to make myself realize that it was ok to miss a Mother's Day or two (conveniently by going on vacation...)

    1. Yeah, still not sure about #4, but I do have a theory...I'll be writing about it soon. YES! it is okay to miss a Mother's Day! "Oops, I accidentally scheduled vacay that day." ;-)

  3. Here from ICLW, i agree... #4 sucks as advice. Unfortunately it doesn't always happen for everybody.

    1. This is very true...while statistically it does happen for most peeps, it's not 100%.

  4. I'm a big fan of #6-10, and completely agree with you about #4. It might help some, but personally, overt optimism to that degree isn't helpful. There are no guarantees, and for me, it's important to be realistic.

  5. Agreed; I'm an eternal optimist for sure, and even *I* got a little not in my stomach reading that suggestion. I think balance is the trick for everyone; and everyone's balance will be different.


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