AdoptResources's Blog

blogging about adoption, attachment, parenting & family life

Being a Mum

with 7 comments

It took me a while to feel like a Mum. Now this could be something to do with adoption or not. It could be that it just took me a bit longer to adjust to things and that I might not have felt I earned the title with a baby either. My guess is that it’s partly due to the massive jump from not being a Mum to being a Mum and partly due to the nature of adoption and trying to fast forward the relationship of being a stranger to being the closest of relatives.

First time around it took me a while to feel like a proper Mum – to feel like I knew what my children needed, that I could predict and meet their needs with the blink of an eye/beat of a heart. Second time around, I had earned my Mum badge of honour, so things didn’t feel so strange, I didn’t feel so ‘unreal’.

Another big difference between our first and second adoptions is attachment and the effects of early neglect. We were the fourth family the boys had been with. Their view of life was not that your Mum and Dad were there all the time but that people came and went and, sadly, from their very early experiences that Mum and Dad were not people you could rely on to keep you safe or be there for you. When they came to us we were so eager to be parents but they were not so excited at the prospect of a new set of parents. The imprint left by their early experiences skewed their view of the world. People had moved in and out of their lives so why were we going to be any different? In fact, they often seemed to be on the lookout for the next set of ‘new parents’.

Our daughter was in care from birth so her early years were very different and her trust in adults and belief that she would be taken care of well established before she became part of our family. She is living proof that, with the right support, you can transfer secure attachments.

As well as the differences in our children’s experiences, I think too that some of my feelings about being a Mum relate to not having had the experience of being pregnant or of caring for any of my children from when they were seconds or minutes old. I miss that I’ve not had that time with them but it doesn’t define my relationship with them. It takes time to build up trust and for love to grow and although I wasn’t ‘Mum at first sight’, I am Mum in all the important day to day ways that matter now.

Written by adoptresources

March 12, 2010 at 1:02 am

7 Responses

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  1. I love your honesty and your inspirational approach to being a mum. You sound like a great mum and your kids a very lucky 🙂
    All the best,


    March 12, 2010 at 2:50 am

  2. Hi there, Happy Mother’s Day, and I’ve put you up as Blogger of the Week on the BMB ning. Have a good day! PM

    Potty Mummy

    March 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm

  3. I think even birth mothers struggle with the sense of unreality.

    You may not have been there in the first few minutes but anyone can do that. What you’ve done is special – you’ve reached out to make a family for children that otherwise wouldn’t have that. That trumps biology every time in my view

    Muddling along mummy

    March 14, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    • Thanks – major culture shock for us all – still feel like I need the L plates sometimes… x


      March 16, 2010 at 12:40 am

  4. […] Being a mum […]

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