It’s been a couple of months now since I’ve written and I have to say I’m feeling a bit insecure these days. Of course this conundrum I have is not anything new for me; just ask my husband who will tell you about this cycle I go through where I question my life’s purpose on regular intervals. But admitting this openly, to the public is hard, especially to the birthmother of my child who I’d like to appear as if I am secure in my situation in life. But I’m an honest and open person, and life is not perfect, and this is how I feel at this given moment in time.
So what’s the problem you might ask? I have a beautiful 3-year-old boy who is healthy and happy and loves me to pieces which is exactly what I wanted when I sought out to adopt a child.
The first problem is time. Or to be more specific…alone time to think or accomplish things without a very demanding three-year-old wanting something of me. I distinctly remember a good friend of my husband, talking to me right before we got our son, saying whatever I did as a mother to be sure I didn’t lose myself in my child. He’d seen that happen to too many mothers who’d submersed themselves in motherhood so much so that they’d forgotten who they were and often put their own interests aside if they hadn’t already forgotten what their interests were altogether. I remember this conversation well because I assured him that it wouldn’t happen to me and that I knew what he meant; I’d seen women do that too and I’d always felt sorry for them. However, now, I fear I’ve succumb to it too. It crept up on me slowly without me even realizing it and the lack of alone time I have to think or accomplish things has taken a toll on me. I just recently have planned my first ever days away from our son at the end of this month and I suspect the 4 day trip I’m taking solo back to Pennsylvania to visit family will do me a world of good.
The second problem goes much deeper and involves my own insecurities as an adoptive mother. After we first adopted our son I remember being so worried about Lizzie, our son’s birthmother, and so wanting her to be happy and succeed in life. I’d rejoice at her successes and silently cheer her on. Today I still do those things but underneath it all I realize that I’m still unclear as to the underlying reason why she decided to give up our son and it haunts me sometimes. For many adoptive mothers the answer as to why the birthmother gave up a child is crystal clear. The birthmother might not have been able to provide adequately for a child, or the birthmother might not have been mentally or physically stable. And for that adoptive mom she can be assured that she is “the better Mom” for that child. But from what I can see, Lizzie is doing very well for herself, in fact, as of recently she is kicking ass in pursuing an acting career for herself while at the same time holding down a respectable day job. And she isn’t losing her head in things. She knows what is important in life.
This leaves me, the adoptive Mom who has no career and little time to think about things, feeling a bit on the insecure side. I wonder if our son will compare his two “Moms” one day and look at my lack of career with distain while marveling at Lizzie’s successes?
Of course it could be easily argued that perhaps the reason Lizzie is doing so well today is because she gave her son up. She was smart enough to realize that pursuing her own interests would be a hard thing to accomplish with a child. If that’s the case, kudos to Lizzie for her foresight and I should be jumping for joy as we have both gotten exactly what we wanted: me a beautiful child and family and her many flourishing opportunities in acting and her other interests in life.
It could very well be that these insecure feelings I have from lack of time and in comparing myself to our son’s birthmother are not so terribly unique to adoptive Moms. In fact, I could just be going through what all Moms go through at one point or another because when I really dig deep to see where the crux of my insecurities lie I notice that it really boils down to two very simple questions: “Am I a good mother to my child?” and “How can I do better?”