For those who don't know, all four of my kids were or will soon be adopted out of the foster system. They are freaking AMAZING children, please, don't let me let you think I feel otherwise. But they are hard children to parent.
I often feel like all I do as a mom is try to redirect, predict and prevent, repair and search for appropriate consequences so that one day, these kiddos will manage themselves and lead happy, full and functional lives. I won't lie, it wears on me something fierce. I feel like my brain isn't mine, it is divided out between the 5 of us as if every thought must first go through my mind before it can reach the children's'.
The past three weeks have been exceptionally hard. I'm not sure why exactly. I do realize that we are in the 'third quarter droop' in regards to school...I personally am SO ready for spring break. We also though are dealing with cuts in support from the state. Little Man (my now 7 year old) has an aide that is with him at school so that he may attend in a regular 1st grade classroom. At the beginning of March we were told the aide would only have 3.5 hours a day with Patrick based on budget cuts. This is heartbreaking. I feel like every time we find something that actually WORKS something happens that causes it to go away. I'm told we can get her hours back so Little Man will have the support he needs at school, but to be honest I'm so flipping tired of fighting. Fighting for things my kids and family need to have a *chance* at being functional and breaking the cycle that they had no choice to be born into.
I fight daily the fight for my kids. I want them to have the lives they should have been given all along, but weren't. I can't fix things that happened to them, I can't make it go away. All I can do is live in the now....today. I don't know that Little Miss (7 year old) will ever have healthy relationships, I'm so damn scared for her. I fear that my oldest will continue on his path of behaviors he's perfected over the last 10 years...and that once in society he'll fall. It seems fear is a main theme lately.
And then there's me. I actually feel bad for myself, as disgusting as that sounds. My main goal in life from the time I was a young child was to be a wife and mother. And I'm ashamed to say that it is not the way I wanted it to be...I feel let down. This is a thought life battle I'm constantly fighting.
Wow, majorly unprofessional right!? "Why is she posting this on her business blog?" I know there are some out there fighting the emotions and feelings I am, and my biggest help in the battle is knowing that I'm not alone, that I shouldn't be ashamed of my feelings, but rather to work through them. That its OK, yes OK, to discuss them!
Tonight was Little Man's 7th b-day party. We went to Chuck-E-Cheese (I'm quite certain C.E.C. is just a little glimpse of what hell might be like!). My kids... MY kids were amazing. They were well mannered, respectful, polite, helpful and left without a problem. Even though earlier today we were dealing with aggressive, and hard core behaviors from the boys and an all out drama girl boycott from Little Miss, for just a moment in time I was given the glimpse of my dreams. THIS, these kids learning to live life and LOVE living life, is why I 'do this'. Everything I pour into them, completely draining myself of everything, is worth it. Even though most of the time it seems like nothing is sticking - all in one ear and out the other - its actually filed away...and they are starting to really USE it!
So, to anyone who is struggling with parenting, I'm sending a huge hug that will hopefully encourage you to step out of the frustration, exhaustion and fear long enough to see that you *are* enough, you're doing a good job, and all you do is absolutely worth it. Parenting is so hard, especially when you add in additional factors like special needs or rocky histories.
YOU can do this. Its a daily battle, so just take baby steps. One day at a time. Just remember to seek out the amazing moments, let them fill your cup to overflowing so that you can endure another day with strength and endurance. And, you're not alone.