Dear Moms of Kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder,
Today is probably a tougher day than usual for you (even when most are overwhelming to start). You know that children everywhere will make their moms handmade cards and breakfast in bed. You know that won’t happen for you. That’s a far cry from what you’d like anyhow. One day without your child lying about or to you, stealing from your home, and cursing at you sounds blissful.
What you really long for as a mother of a child with reactive attachment disorder, however, is to get one authentic hug from your child. Just a look of real trust would change everything. While you understand why your child can’t return your affection or let you into his heart, it still hurts sometimes. Your tears are there for a reason—you are human. You hurt with and for your child. You love him.
Hallmark doesn’t make the kind of card you need today. This Mother’s Day, we offer you the kind of recognition most people will never understand. You deserve these thanks every day of the year but particularly today as the world recognizes caring, giving mothers like you—
Thank you for the selfless, self-emptying love you continue to give, all the while knowing the limits of what your child can return to you.
Thank you for loving your child as he is.
Thank you for the hundreds of hours you’ve spent on the Internet and phone and at meetings as your child’s best advocate.
Thank you for forgiving your child’s many transgressions and his hurtful behaviors each day.
Thank you for standing by your child, even as he consistently finds ways to push you away.
Thank you for your heroic and strong love that perseveres, is relentless, and looks for nothing in return.
Thank you for understanding that your child’s broken heart will take a very long time to heal.
Thank you for reminding yourself, especially in the midst of your most difficult parenting moments, that you are the most vital piece in the hopes of your child’s healing.
Thank you mom. You are amazing. We are in awe of you. Remember to take care of yourself, today and every day.
All of us here at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development