Firstly, we would like to start by saying thank you to all mothers who have given so much of themselves so selflessly every day for the benefit of their families. Thank you to those who are mothers, and those who take on the role of mother, we appreciate you for all you do and have done.
But it would be remiss of us to not acknowledge that for some children and families Mother’s Day is not a joyous occasion. It would be an easy assumption to make that every child has a mother to treat or make a macaroni necklace for, but for some children and young people, especially those in out of home care, this is not the case. There are of course situations where some children are more resilient and have the capacity to celebrate Mother’s Day with both their biological mother and foster mother, but for some, this day can be a negative occasion.
And whilst neither birth mother nor foster mother should be forgotten on Mother’s Day, it is important to be aware of the emotions of the child or young person and know that their reactions are based upon their own trauma and does not reflect their feeling towards you or your care giving role in their life.
Acknowledge these emotions
Allow the child or young person to share their feelings
Reinforcing the normality of these feelings and,
Work towards creating a positive opportunity for healing.
One way this can be done is by encouraging the child or young person to honour their birth mother on the day, this could be by organising a gift, a card or another symbolic means of acknowledging their biological mothers importance in their life.
And for no fault of their own, schools, television, and society at large often exacerbate these negative emotions as children are encouraged to make or buy gifts for their mothers; compounding the emotional pressure they feel by encouraging them to partake in the event. Sensitivity is paramount and we here at William Campbell Foundation would like to extend an extremely large thank you to all parents, teachers, and caregivers who are aware of these pressures and plan ahead to ensure these children have a positive relationship with the day.
Family looks different for many people and allowing children to feel loved in a secure home with a mother is a beautiful gift.