Adoptimist Adoption Blog
December 5, 2016

Surviving The Holidays As A Birthmother

Christmas (and other major holidays) as a birthmother is tough. You can almost physically see the missing chair at the dinner table. You know where your child’s stocking should hang on the chimney. You are keenly aware that holidays are a time for families to come together, but you aren’t your child’s everyday mother, and you are missing out. This can be a tough reality making the holidays a dreaded time of the year for many birthmothers.

The good news is you can survive the holidays and hopefully enjoy them a little bit too! Below are some ways to help you get through the holidays.

• Allow yourself to grieve the loss you feel. Even if placing your child for adoption was your choice, it is still a loss. It’s OK to recognize that and to grieve.

• Let yourself enjoy the holidays. It’s OK to laugh, smile, and have a good time with your family. If you get lost in the moment, that’s a good thing!

• Take care of yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed with the busyness of the holiday season, take some time for yourself. Give yourself a night off, treat yourself to a pedicure, bake your favorite holiday treat, etc. Just do something nice for yourself.

Journaling does wonders for me at this time of year. If the loss of your child is feeling especially heavy, try journaling to purge your emotions.

• Try and do something to honor your child during the Christmas season such as purchasing him or her a special gift, making him or her a Christmas ornament, or making a donation to a charity in his or her name.

• Keep in mind that you are not alone. Many people have a tough time with loss during the holidays. Consider reaching out to others who can relate to what you are going through. If you feel alone or feel like no one else understands your loss, reach out to other birthmothers who can relate to what you are feeling and experiencing. Check out organizations like BirthMom Buds and Big Tough Girl for birthmother support.

• If the grief becomes too overwhelming, please reach out to your adoption caseworker, counselor, or therapist.

Wishing each of you a peaceful holiday season!

About The Author

Coley Strickland

Nicole “Coley” Strickland has become a strong voice for expectant mothers and birthmothers. At the age of 25, she became a birthmother, lovingly placing her three-day-old baby boy into an open adoption and the arms of his adoptive parents. She and fellow birthmother Leilani Wood went on to found BirthMom Buds, a website and nonprofit organization that provides support to birthmothers.

Coley has further given a voice to the bittersweet turmoil of birthmothers, becoming an active member of the adoption community, writing, speaking and sharing her story with others. In addition to her numerous blogs, she has also been featured on a number of radio programs, magazine and newspaper articles, as well as in the books: How to Create a Successful Adoption Portfolio by Madeleine Melcher and A Personal Touch on Adoption by Peter Berlin. In addition to her many other roles, Coley has been blessed to parent her special needs son Noah, who along with the son she placed, is the love of her life.

Visit Coley's site at
You can email Coley at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

About This Adoption Blog

The Adoptimist blog features advice, tips, and inspiration for adoptive parents who are actively pursuing adoption connections online.

Adoption Topics