Big Emotions


This holiday…this Mother’s Day thing. It seems like such a lovely idea. Really it does. But the truth is I kinda hate it.

I am reminded of my own loss. I’m reminded that Hope’s birth mother is out there somewhere, and I imagine that she wonders where her little girl is. I think about my own complicated relationship with my mother. I think about how Hope feels about mother’s day—she so wants it to be good, but, well, it’s complicated. I think about how tough my experience with motherhood is, and frankly…I’d just prefer not to have this day of reflection.

I’d prefer to just not as Hope sometimes says.

Things at Casa d’ABM are just miserable right now. All of the efforts to pull my daughter to the next grade have taken their toll. The schedule changes, the testing, the endless meetings, phone calls. Oh, and the money. It’s been stressful for both of us.

I haven’t been exercising as much. I’ve been eating like I escaped fat camp. I’m constantly exhausted. I feel the release of cortisone every few hours—no really, I can actually feel the flush of hormonal release. My head hurts, my shoulders are up near my ears. Those thin muscles behind my ears are tight with stress.

I had a three Ativan day one day this week.

And I’m drinking sangria out of a red cup.

Oh, I also have managed to get two speeding tickets and a red light ticket in three weeks.

Oh, it’s bad. It’s really, really, really ishttay bad.

But yesterday, I realized how my struggles pale in comparison to Hope’s.

While visiting family yesterday, Hope had two crying meltdowns of epic proportions about boys, schools, being dumb, being awful, being stupid, being friendless, being lonely, being sad, being mad, being grief stricken, being depressed, just being Hope.

It’s rare that all of our version of life spills out of our home or our therapist’s office. It’s rare that it anyone sees the full extent of our emotions swirl around. They might get hints. They might see strange things, but our full-on unbridled emotion rarely has witnesses.

But yesterday, it did with my parents, and it was unsettling for them and there seemed to be some shame for me and Hope, even though there was nothing to be ashamed of.

The drive home can only be characterized as manic with Hope chattering for two hours straight. I finally turned the podcast we were listening to off because I couldn’t focus on what she was talking about since she was ALL OVER THE PLACE for two solid hours.

When arrived home, the anxiety about school took over. It was like watching her run hurdles in the Olympics and then tip one over and go careening to the ground in a mess, taking a couple of runners with her—just all emotionally.

Around 11:30, I gave her something to help her rest and went to bed.

And now it’s mother’s day and shortly, I’ll awaken my beautiful daughter. We’ll attend church because she wants to and finds solace there (I don’t) and then instead of snuggling on my couch all day, I’ll be working on Algebra, English, History and French all day, because….mothering.

We’re having pizza for dinner because…exhaustipation.

Happy Mother’s Day to all kinds of mothers…there are so many, too many kinds of moms to name. To all of them, be blessed.


About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

4 responses to “Big Emotions

  • Deborah the Closet Monster

    I hear you on the cortisol release. I’ve been having the same problem. I’ve only been able to sleep in short bursts because I awaken to that same rush, and the sensation there is something I’m forgetting that must be figured out right this very moment. The last week had a few better sleep nights (where I managed to sleep through the first burst around 11 p.m.) but I can still feel the roll through the days. It is a job in itself just trying to manage that so I feel more human and less stress monster. Happily, I really am starting to see progress, though I yearn for more, faster.

    You are in a hard place, and you are doing a remarkable job juggling the various pieces of that. I hope some of those balls land and give you more longer stretches of calm between those fewer-in-the-air balls.

  • TAO

    No real words, just wishes and remember you need self-care daily.

  • TheChroniclesofaNonBellyMama

    Sorry you guys are having a tough go at it these past few months. Sending some love (and patience and relaxation) your way…

  • Lynn

    Mother’s Day can be tough. I pray you find some time for yourself.

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