The countdown has ended; the ball has dropped. Welcome 2023!
It’s officially that time of year when you’re expected to make your New Year’s Resolutions:
Quit a bad habit.
Learn a new skill.
Any of those sound familiar? How many people actually stick to these resolutions? Are you one of the lucky ones that makes it to December and can look back with a feeling of accomplishment for reaching your goals? Don’t worry if that hasn’t been you in the past. We’re going to take a slightly different approach – one specifically for birth moms that is intentional. We are going to take our motivation and turn it into actionable steps.
Why Motivational Strategies For Birth Moms Is Important
Many birth moms find themselves at adoption’s doorstep because of a previous trauma. Ask any birth mom who is willing to share her story and I bet it all begins with a loss, a trauma, some sort of troubling situation that set-in motion the circumstances that led her to seeking an adoption plan. For me, it was the death of my brother- which shook my faith- which led to what I now call my “sex, drugs, and Rock’n’Roll” phase- which led to an unexpected pregnancy and, ultimately, adoption. What does this have to do with accomplishing goals, you may be asking. Well, for us birth moms, another underlying commonality a lot of us share is having a strong desire to be someone our child can be proud of and someone we can be proud of (despite, or maybe because of, the circumstances that led us to adoption). We want to be someone who has risen above the trauma of our past. The shame. The poor decisions. The seeking of love in all the wrong places. Someone who has shown strength, perseverance, and is capable and deserving of good things.
How do we rise above our past? With intentional goal setting and actionable steps to accomplish them using our unique motivation to keep us focused.
Getting Started With Intentional Goal Setting For Birth Moms
As birth moms, we can use this in our goal setting by intentionally allowing our adoption stories to be a catalyst for positive changes in our lives. When you set a goal and later find yourself struggling to stick with it, because- yeah- reaching goals is tough work- grounding yourself back to the reason WHY you want it will help re-ignite your passion to accomplish it. Because it’s the big picture. The look of pride in your child’s eyes when they say, “That’s my birth mom,” is the actual goal. The end result of all the work. Accomplishing all these other self-improvement goals is just taking steps towards the end goal.
Keeping that in mind, remember to set smaller goals along the way. This is the intentional part. No one just wakes up one day and is magically transformed. Take baby steps and celebrate each one as you go. Is your goal to heal from a past trauma? Break that down into baby steps. Therapy is the main recommendation I make whenever I speak with other birth moms. But is trying to find an adoption-competent therapist overwhelming? Then have that be one of your baby steps along the way. Celebrate once you have located one that fits your needs and let that encourage you to take the next step. Maybe find a birth mom support group. I personally found that to be the single biggest help for me in my healing. Once you find a group, that’s right, celebrate that step! Because each one of these is getting you closer to your big picture. There will be days, and maybe even weeks or months that are struggles. That’s why taking the time to intentionally mark your baby steps and celebrating the wins is so important. You need that encouragement for when times are tough.
Helping Other Birth Moms Be Intentional About Growth
My goal for the year is to help destigmatize birth moms in a society that doesn’t exactly have the best idea about us. I have personally found that the best way to do that is to share our stories. If you’re interested in helping and would like to share yours, reach out here.
So whether your goals for the year are adoption specific or not, use your unique perspective as a birth mom to keep you intentionally focused on your baby steps, keep you motivated, and keep you inspired to be the best version of you you can be.
Your child will be so proud of you, and yes, you should be proud of yourself as well.
We’ve got 365 days this year, let’s go make the most of them!