HomeWorking MothersAnyone else notice how vicious some first mothers are toward other first mothers? ?
Posted in Working Mothers on 20th November 2011

Anyone else notice how vicious some first mothers are toward other first mothers? ?
I’m specifically thinking of the different organizations that exist or that First Mothers start for support and/or activism. If some mothers have a different focus or issue that they choose to work on – others who feel their organization’s point of view is superior start stalking the blogs, anonymously posting that a particular group of mothers are selfish because they want to work on different issues…. I am thinking of the attack by one or two mothers from one organization against a newer one – SMAAC (Senior Mothers Adoption Activism Coalition). The 1 or 2 attacking mothers state that they have been adoption activists longer and their way is the only right way and that these newer groups have an agenda that will never work.

This is stunning and meanspirited but it is what it is. While I don’t wish to debate these hostile mothers who are attacking what they call “Senior Mothers”, I am just curious as to what possible reason would justify their anger? Anyone care to speculate? I’m seriously trying to understand what drives these women to be so territorial and hostile.

For clarity, I am a member of the aforementioned SMAAC which for some reason is causing 2 or 3 mothers who don’t agree with our agenda the inability to sleep at night. They frantically post angry messages in the wee hours insulting this organization and claiming we’re hurting their feelings because we don’t use to work on the same issues.
Can this really be true or is something else going on here?
maybe – most groups have different issues, some are for search and/or emotional support others are for activism around specific eras that mothers choose to heighten awarenss of. Specifically the group that is being maligned is a large group of mothers who lost our children to adoption during the EMS/BSE. Many of our mothers were the mothers who are interviewed in Ann Fessler’s book “The Girls Who Went Away”. We lost our children during the period at the end of WWII through the 70’s and we want the world to understand the coercive tactics used during that period. Not one of our mothers claims we had it worse, just that it was a different era and it is important to us that no mother is ever treated the way we were again. It is our goal to tell our stories and educate for those who come behind us. We are all age 50 or older and are comfortable referring to ourselves as Seniors but this seems to offend a small handful of mothers who are younger who consider it exclusionary.

Best answer(s):

Answer by kateiskate
vanessa gtt….watch who you’re calling an idiot. The correct term IS first mother.

Answer by ~Andraya~I will not be silenced
Maybe I have been lucky but all I have ever encountered is support and guidance from those who walked this lonely path before me. Anyone who is choosing to fight about who is doing more or who is doing it right is missing the point entirely. We should all be working toward the same goals but of course we will all have our own paths to those goals. I hate to think of the bashings I will be up against in the new year when I start my fight against the sealing of OUR records, not our children’s but ours. I imagine many will try to fight against me and I am not looking forward to it at all. All I can say is thank god for the groups who are populated by women who genuinely care for one another.

Answer by maybe
What are the different issues that each group is working on?

ETA: BSE/EMS is certainly an era that needs its own activist group. This is vital for highlighting the crimes and human rights violations that young mothers were subjected to.

My only concern is that others will look at that era and say, “well adoption has been reformed, it’s so much better now, nothing to see here.” I know that is in no way the intention of your group, but I can see how others would manipulate the message to serve their own agenda (“they” being the adoption industry.)

There is no reason for the attacks, I’m sorry people feel compelled to act in this manner. Each group has to pick its battles so to speak, no one can be expected to fight ’em all!

Answer by Independ”ant”
Everyone has their agenda.

Everyone has their insecurities or fears.

Women can be beotches.

I don’t think this is a mother thing but more of a female thing.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been asked if I was a lesbian (by both women/men) just because I would choose to find a compliment for the gorgeous large breasted fertile sexy women that my fiance would glance over at rather than joining in with the insecure plain Janes hurling insults and accusations worried about having their husbands stolen.

Answer by eyeque46203
I honestly don’t understand the rift that seems to exist between some first mothers. It makes no sense to me. I became a first mother a little over 14 years ago and I have never regretted my decision. But because I have said this publicly on these forums, I have been chastised by older first mothers who say I must have been manipulated somehow or lied to, or that if I wasn’t that means I don’t love my daughter. Nothing could be further from the truth. I still grieve everyday. I understand that this might have happened to them, being lied to into giving their child up and i feel horrible about that I really do, but that doesn’t mean that it happens to everyone.

Answer by Theresa
Carol I noticed it, but only because it had been blogged about on a SMAAC mother’s blog. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have heard of it.

It baffles me, but such is the internet. There’s always going to be someone out to criticize. I think if anyone came across that mock blog, and then came across a SMAAC mother’s blog, it would be a no-brainer. The former doesn’t seem to make any sense to an outside reader, while all the other bloggers are intelligent, articulate and kick serious @ss to boot.

And I think to the average person’s eyes, there most definitely is something else going on than someone’s hurt feelings. Reform, activism and support each are such huge areas, with lots of facets — no one group can cover every angle of it.

Adoption is an ugly stain on women’s history, where real horrors are perpetrated on women, by women, and the practices of each era desperately need to be documented. If any one group wants to focus on any one area, who is anyone else to say they are wrong?

Don’t get it.

Answer by Robin W
I have noticed that people can be very insecure when they realize that one size does not fit all. It is simpler for some people to have easy answers for everyone than it is to realize that there are differences in situations. I also think that there are ego issues involved. Insecure people tend to take someone disagreeing with them very personally. I find myself scratching my head at the blatant twisting of our words.

Our era, the EMS, was very different from that of the mothers who surrendered 10 or 20 or more years later. The biggest difference lies in the choices and options that were/are available to women that were not available to us. Most of the mothers from the EMS were forced/coerced/intimidated into surrender in a way that is illegal, today. The few that weren’t are the exceptions that prove the rule. That isn’t opinion, but historical fact.

That doesn’t mean that the loss hurts a mother from later years any less. That is nonsense and none of us have ever said that, although the word-twisters will keep on trying to attribute that to us. It just means that, in sheer numbers and social attitudes, the EMS was a unique and shameful period in our nation’s history and needs to be addressed.

Answer by jessica300
I will say that when reunion first slapped me in the face a couple of years ago I started looking around for help. I found many people were touting “The Girls Who Went Away.” I didn’t read it for quite some time because the full title of the book: “The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade,” suggested that I was not a part of that decade of loss and that somehow I didn’t care as much as the women who lost their children from than horrible era. I surrendered my son in 1984. I heard other comments, even on “first mother’s forums” about how some women didn’t want to be associated with “other” women who had lost a child to adoption after that period, as if we had more choices and were therefore accountable in a way that the BSE moms were not. While, you may think that is true, (we had the option of abortion), many if not most of us were still naïve women with few options at hand and in little position to stand up to the “professionals” who supposedly knew so much more about the health and welfare of our child(ren) than we did.

Unfortunately, for some, there is a definite divide between the women who lost children in one era vs women who were subjugated to later forms of coercion. I eventually decided to read TGWWA and got a lot out of it. Even though I didn’t lose my son during this era many of the feelings of the women who lost their children rang true with me. That is very important.

I do get a bit pissed off when I see women who have not lived with the loss for very long – a few years – who seem to show little remorse. I did not feel the loss in anyway that I could articulate for many years. I see stuff like this from a previous poster and confess, I do not understand:

eyeque46203 “I became a first mother a little over 14 years ago and I have never regretted my decision,” and yet, “I still grieve everyday.”

How can you live with grief every day, and not regret your decision?

I think that we desperately need more longitudinal studies of grief in relation to the time of surrender. Agencies are constantly telling women that “they will be sad for awhile, but get over it.” This is no where near the real truth of losing a child. The grief comes back in waves and in ways that I wonder if I can even handle it at times.

I don’t know why people are pissing around with your project; it seems pretty petty. Hopefully they will come to see their own value in changing the system if that is what they really want.

Best of luck with the EMS/BSE project – I am in full support.

Answer by Felicita1
I have often wondered about this myself, why some groups of natural mothers cannot get along. But I have also seen viciousness between women in church groups, in school parent-teacher groups — and of course we all know the high school cliques. Women can be bullies as well as men can, except women bully each other by means of cruel insults, gossiping, and triangulating “friend” to line up against other women. And the internet does not help anything.

I have no idea who you are referring to, but I think that the bullies you describe are exactly like the bullies in many other groups and places. And there will likely be a pattern of them attacking others as well.

p.s. whoever is bullying you, i hope they stop soon. it sounds like they are being very immature. do you know who they are? can you report them to their “parent organization” if they have one?

Answer by gypsywinter
“”And I think to the average person’s eyes, there most definitely is something else going on than someone’s hurt feelings. Reform, activism and support each are such huge areas, with lots of facets — no one group can cover every angle of it. “”

Theresa…well said. No one group of surrendering mothers can tackle every single, solitary issue/problem attached to adoption. That task is IMO, simply not possible. If a group of like-minded older surrendering mothers want to embark on a mission solely focusing on abusive, disciminatory past adoption practices, why would any natural mother, of any age, be angry or against that? Simply makes no sense to me. We don’t want to tell ‘birthmother’ stories…we just want the historical facts out there in the open, The Truth of what happened to the natural mothers of yesteryear and their babies. The past does matter very much, it is when we lost our babies to adoption, for no reason other than MRS did not grace our last names.

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