I know many of my posts have been filled with rainbows and moonbeams about the joys of motherhood. But I have to get real. Everyday is not like that. In fact, I’ll come right out and say it- there have been times when I’ve wished I could take a vacation from motherhood.

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I know I’m only human, and I have no doubt a lot of moms have felt that way. Nonetheless, the first time it happened I was truly appalled by myself. We had struggled for nearly five years to become parents. The day our daughter was born, I was reborn. A whole new life, the life I’d dreamed of, began that day. How could I have the gall to wish it away? And then something occurred to me.

The guilt I was feeling was just a sign that I was a regular mom like any other. In a strange way, that made me feel good. Just because my family was created through adoption didn’t mean I was special or saintly. I realized motherhood is motherhood period – no matter how your child comes into your life.

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With so many more ups than downs, motherhood has been even more rewarding than I imagined. Now and then, though, I crave a little taste of my life before my daughter arrived. Wanting that and feeling guilty about it is, I imagine, as natural as the bond of mother and child itself. And I know that like the Earth around the Sun, though my life may now revolve around my daughter, a little distance is essential for both of us.

About 

Melissa Jenkins is new to the blogosphere and thrilled to share her experience as an adoptive mom. She and her husband are the obnoxiously happy parents of one daughter, born and adopted in August 2013. In addition to being an all-the-time new mommy she also works full-time in spinal care focused clinical research. Though research does help satisfy her curious streak, her first and greatest passion is dance. She has the great pleasure of dancing with a local Modern dance company as well as teaching a weekly ballroom dance class with her husband, who is a full-time ballroom dance instructor. (Yes you read that last part right!) Melissa is constantly amazed by her tiny human and still has to pinch herself to be convinced that she really gets to be the mother of such an incredible little lady.

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4 Responses to (Adoptive) Mother’s Guilt

  1. Timothy says:

    Melissa you never stop amazing me.. I know you are and will always b an amazing mother…..love and miss you guys. Timothy

  2. Julianne says:

    You never cease to amaze and thrill me..

  3. Jacqueline Bruzzese says:

    I remember when I decided to have a third child. Rocco & Cristine were already in school full time, so I had entered into that “easier” stage of motherhood, where not every waking moment of my life was in high demand. But I so missed the joys of an infant, and a year later Nicholas arrived. I remember my “guilty” day with utmost clarity. He was just about 6 months old and wailing for no reason I could figure out. He’d been changed, fed, read to, sung to, bounced on my knee, held and coddled. I picked him up, I put him down and still the crying continued. This went on for a good while. Finally, not knowing what else to, I put him in his crib and let him cry. I then sat on the floor next to the crib and cried. I sat there, rocking, like a mental patient repeating over and over, “what did I do” and “why did I have this child?” Finally he passed out and so did I. Right there on the floor. When I woke up, maybe a 1/2 hour later, there he was looking at me through the bars of the crib. That beautiful face, nothing short of perfection. As I became fully awake, and 100% focused, he started to smile and rocked with excitement, silently expressing his joy of, “there’s my mommy and I’m so happy to see her.” It was then I realized…this little shit has no recollection of what went on 30 minutes ago. So I put those feelings of guilt about having him in the first place as far out of my head as possible, scooped him up and kissed him until his little cheeks could take no more. I think most mothers and probably most fathers have incidents that make them feel guilty about feelings or thoughts that they have. But what makes us better parents, is when we can be honest about it, even if it’s just with ourselves. My mother used to tell me all the time when the kids became a handful, “it doesn’t last forever.” Of course she was right. Now that crying baby is 24 years old and I wish I could rock him, crying and all, one more time.

  4. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much for the kind words, Tim and Julianne! And Jackie, thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with! So beautifully expressed!

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