Here’s what being a RAD mama looks like…

In addition to being a RAD mama, I’m also a chicken mama. This is Chicken Nugget, my favorite hen (she was named by one of my kids, not me!). She’s a Buff Orpington and very friendly so I like to pick her up and carry her around with me when I am feeding my flock.

Recently I noticed a bald spot on her chest. It looked painful, like some feathers had been broken off and plucked out.

After doing some research I learned this is a called a “broody patch.”

“Broodiness” is for hens what “nesting” is for expecting mothers. When hens are broody they are wanting to be mothers. It’s when they’ll sit on eggs to hatch them. Broody hens will pluck the feathers from their chest and abdomen so their skin can be in direct contact with their eggs to better keep them warm with their own body heat.

This broody patch is a picture of the extreme self-sacrifice made by moms of kids with RAD. We want so desperately to take care of our children that we go to great lengths, to our own personal loss and detriment, to comfort them, help them, and heal them. Sadly, it’s often not enough because RAD isn’t something that can be cured by a mother’s love.

Worse, our sacrifice is not recognized as the mother love it is. As we stand in front of therapists, teachers, family and friends, broken and damaged from giving everything — we are criticized, blamed and shamed.

You may not be able to change the opinions of others, but you can be kind to yourself and use this powerful visualization to reject blaming and shaming.

If you’re a RAD mom, you can find help and support here.

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