Monday, August 8, 2011

If I could turn back time....

I would. 

I have not been a very good Mom lately. I am tired, summer is dragging and my children, the ones I love to pieces, the ones that we adopted 3 years ago (from foster care) are still frequently trying their best to make me send them back. 

I came dangerously close tonight, as one boy whispered to another, life would be better if we lived with birth mom, I lost it. I said things I regret, I spoke the cold hard reality of her mistakes in a way that I regret with every fiber of being. Then I spent hours picking up the pieces. 

I am lucky P is an understanding man, he understood, he held me while I held back the tears, then he spoke to the children. He helped pick up the pieces without covering up the truths I had revealed in anger. Truths they deserve to know just not in the way that I told them. 

Then I got the birthday calendar down off the wall and brought it to the couch where there were two crying boys. I talked to them about what the calendar was for and then I got a pen. As I wrote I read aloud, Aug 8, the night Mom lost it and decided to change.

After I yelled at my kids about how their life would not be better with their birth parents who neglected them, I admitted to them that I screwed up, that I made a  huge mistake and that I would do my best to never get that angry at them again. 

Parenting is really hard for a lot people, we long for families and then when it happens it is not what we expected, it is harder, it is different, it is what it is.

When we adopted the boys I never knew that parenting kids with attachment issues ( among their alphabet soup of issues)  would be something that I would still be contending with 3 years into being a family. I never knew that I would still struggle with the constant testing, the crazy lying, stealing, pushing of buttons and comments about living elsewhere. Yes some of it is appropriate and kid stuff but some of it is not. I looked after and taught a lot of kids before I adopted mine and looking back I can see the ones who did not have solid attachment to caregivers/parents as young children, I see the differences, I see the behaviours my children exhibit. 

If I knew then what I know now.... I would not change a thing except perhaps my temper, I would ratchet that way back. 


J blogs at Stellar Parenting where most days she is a tad more hopeful than she is feeling tonight


  1. Being a parent is a life sentence. They will always know how to push your buttons. Mine always did. I know you think you have special ones because of their "special needs". Maybe you do? Mine got me to that point of exhaustion of a wet noodle by 9a.m. most mornings. I see an age of trying to be the perfect parent more and more in this age of "helcopter parenting" and "big brother society". That was not there when I was being raised in the 60's. When we were thrown outside and we just played in the dark. Kids are resilent, I know mine has been through a lot. Actually if you had told all three would still be alive in their 20's a decade ago I would have been surprised, but they are still here, sane and not addicted to anything. Amazing. So take a breath.

  2. We all loose it completely sometimes and say things we regret and that can never be taken back. It sounds like you were very honest and handled the aftermath well. Don't be too hard on yourself, clearly you are dealing with a lot.

  3. I think it's impossible for people who don't have kids with attachment issues to understand how challenging it is to parent them and not turn into someone you don't like.
    In addition to my son with disabilities and bio daughter, I have 2 children, siblings, adopted at 6 and 8 -- and the older one has had significant issues, while the younger adapted easily.
    So don't for a second think the behaviours you're dealing with are typical -- because they aren't! I hope you connect with other families with children with attachment issues for support. That is soooo important.
    Thank you for sharing and look forward to following your story! Louise

  4. I know all too well the awful feeling of losing it to anger, exhaustion, frustration, helplessness, despair. I'm glad you have a supportive partner, and I hope you know this does not make you a bad mother. It makes you a mother who needs a break. Fallible. Human. We all have our limits.

  5. YAY for P! You screwed up, you recovered, P had your back. Not the worse thing that could happen! {{{Hugs}}}