OBG Editors Note: This week’s Member Monday post has been bumped to Friday, as we know many of our members are gearing up for what is possibly one of the most challenging holidays of the year: Mother’s Day. In this post, ReDefining Elizabeth offers some perspective on the holiday and encourages us all to take care of ourselves the way we see fit.

The dreaded weekend is upon us.  The weekend when many birth mothers would like to crawl in a hole and stay there until Monday morning.   We could engage in the whole Birthmother’s Day versus Mother’s Day debate but I’ll pass.  It doesn’t really matter to me which day you prefer to acknowledge as both tend to stink.

Prior to having subsequent children, Mother’s Day was a day I dreaded…a day of terrible sadness.  I would often start the day with tears streaming down my face at church, struggling to breathe and to compose myself,  sitting in a pew as a mother with empty arms and a broken heart.  My very first Mother’s Day was marked by my mother presenting me with flowers and a card “signed” by my baby who of course was not present.  It was a sweet attempt on her part to acknowledge my motherhood but unfortunately was a poor substitute for what I really wanted – my son.

Once I gave birth to my second child many years later, I was suddenly seen as a legitimate mother and “allowed” to celebrate.  Despite my joy in my everyday motherhood, I still felt the loss of my first sweet boy.  Like everyday, I would think of him and wonder if he was well and happy and healthy. I would say a prayer for him and for his adoptive mother and that she was able to be for him what I couldn’t.

Last year was my first Mother’s Day weekend post-reunion.  I was nervous about it because I didn’t know if he would acknowledge it and didn’t want him to feel pressured to.  I still have the card he gave me prominently displayed on my desk with a beautiful sentiment written in his own hand.

This weekend, do what feels right to you.  If you want to stay in bed with the covers over your head, do it.  If you want to celebrate your motherhood with your children, do it.  If you want to shift your focus to the women in your life who “mother” you, do it.  Whatever you choose to do, know that there are many of us out there- mothers missing someone in their arms while longing for that someone in their hearts.