Mother’s Day and Foster Families

Mother’s Day and Foster Families

Mother’s are counting down the days until their big day is here. It’s that time of year again, where the high street is covered in pretty presents and flowers but is there another side to this happy occasion?

Families across the UK will be looking forward to pampering their mum’s on Mother’s Day but some families may dread the special day. There will be some children who will not be waking up to their own mum on Mother’s Day, foster and adoption families can sometimes find the day as a negative occasion.

Vicky Anderson and Clint Anderson are a foster family from Lincolnshire, who have had many foster children pass through their doors over the past few years. They have been fostering for over five years and have various opinions about Mother’s Day.

Vicky, 51, said: “I do enjoy Mother’s Day because I do love getting pampered and appreciated but in the past I have slightly resented the occasion.

“I had a few children when I first started fostering who had a very traumatic experience being separated from their family, so I couldn’t bear to see them go through the hurt by celebrating a day where they wouldn’t get to see their real mum.”

Harvey Gallagher, Chief Executive of the Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers, shared his opinion about Mother’s Day. He said, “Most children in care will not wake up in the same family home as their mother this Mother’s Day.

“They may have few positive memories of their own mother and being at home. “They may be angry with their mother or jealous of their foster carer’s birth children. “They may be desperate for everything to be okay so that they can move back in with her. “For others, it may just be another day of the year of no real significance.”

Mother’s day could be considered as a small thoughtful day to celebrate mothers which has turned into a big money making occasion like Christmas. Adverts and presents start being put up in shop windows as soon as the new year rolls in. Schools start helping children make cards to surprise their loved ones.

It can be an easy assumption to make to think that everyone would have a mother to treat on Mother’s day but foster parents know first-hand what pain it can cause a child who is growing up in an environment which may be different to their school friends.

Clint Anderson, 48, said: “I can understand why schools would want to encourage children to make cards for their mums or dads but if they know there is a child in their class who is in care, I think they should try different activities.

“I’m not saying that children shouldn’t make cards but I think if they concentrate too much on Mother’s day, then the child who is in care will constantly feel like they don’t have a normal life.”

Even though some children have no contact with their birth mothers, they are still happy to participate in Mother’s Day. Mr and Mrs Anderson’s long term foster daughter enjoys spending quality time with her foster mum as she sees the day as being a special day to show how much she cares.

The family are planning on buying a flower for each mother figure they’ve had in their own lives, whether that is a birth mother or a mother figure. They will turn what could be seen as a negative day for children in care, into a day where love and appreciation can be shared.