I had a hard day yesterday... emotionally I mean. I got the date of the next court date for our foster babies, and it reminded me that (A) the kids are going home and (B) these are our last foster kids. I loved doing foster care. Yes, it made me cry probably more than anything else that has happened to me, maybe even infertility. I tried my best to be supportive to both the kids and parents, and though I was not perfect (who is) I can sincerely say I did my best to love all involved.
Our baby on the way does help with my feelings of sadness, but even this baby brings its own amount of sadness. If God willing, this child makes it to this earth healthy and we will for the first time despite having one child already, be able to experience firsts from birth to graduation and beyond, it could also be our last firsts as well. We missed the first five years with Emily, but honestly, I don't feel like I missed out, because I never felt like that time was ever supposed to be mine. Still we didn't have the first word, the first step, the first day of preschool, but we had lots of other firsts.
The reason I point this out, just as this baby will be the first we will experience all its firsts, he or she may be the last one. With a closed foster care license and not sure what God has in store for our future, I cannot help but wonder if these two children will be our only children. I always imagined a big family, but very few people ever get the family they imagined. Even when they do, life throws so many curve balls at them, they still feel a sense of loss over something. So instead I strive for contentment. Still, despite my striving for contentment, I do wonder, is this the end (as far as children goes) for us. Does God have anything more for us?
I hope so. Something tells me though, even if it's not more children, we will be blessed. He seems to have blessed us along the way my entire life, just not the way I always expected. Who knows, maybe this baby will start something in me, and I will get that big family I always wanted, then I will grumble about the chaos and hardship having a lot of children brings. Whatever God has in store, one things for certain, I need to continue to count my blessings and strive for contentment. So yeah, that's my random ramblings for today.
The past several months have been hard. I am in my first pregnancy and it has not treated me well. When I have talked to people about morning sickness, they talk about vomiting three to four times a day... try twenty. That would be me. So as a parent of two foster kids and an eleven year old, my parenting abilities have been severely lacking since I got knocked up.
For the most part, I have been playing the "poor me" soundtrack in my head, when in fact, I have been blessed, because I have had amazing support that not everyone is as lucky to have! I play over my failures, how I shouted at my daughter about something that a month ago I would have calmly stated a correction or maybe even added a discipline, or how I hadn't been trying to engage the toddlers in conversation, because I was afraid if I opened my mouth, I might upchuck. Then I reminisce at what a failure I am.
Truth is though, it's not just this time in my life that I have failed as a parent. We all do from time to time. I think with all the parenting books/blogs/articles, oh and let's not forget Pinterest, some of us feel we are supposed to be super moms. We believe we need to be engaging our children in educational play during all their waking hours, cleaning during nap, calmly discussing wrong doings, all while dressed in fashionable clothes, flawless makeup, and perfectly placed hair.
So, I fail as a mom on a daily basis. I either shout too often, play too much tv, or even cry from pure exhaustion. Then I look around me, and I see that all my friends are convinced they are failing their children in some area of life. They feel they didn't do enough school with them, or ate too much fast food, or their house is a mess. The thing is, I look at these same moms and think, "Man, they are amazing moms." So if I can count myself as one of those less than perfect moms, then I figure I am in good company. So I have decided, failing as a mom is okay, I just need to make the decision to start anew after each fail and do my best.
So here's to the failing mom, you are not alone. Brush today's mistakes off, stand tall, and give those sweet children hugs. Today is a new day.... And if you don't get today right, there is always tomorrow.
Okay, so my parenting philosophy is, "Does it truly matter?" As in does it matter that she is skipping in the grocery store as long as she's not running into other people and listening when I speak? Or does it matter that she is covered in mud, after all, she is outside wearing play clothes? On the other hand, does it matter that she sasses me? Or does it matter that she refuses to listen, just because she doesn't want to?
This parenting philosophy has really opened my eyes to what truly matters. As much as I love kids, kids are naturally loud, they are rambunctious, they are curious, but you got to let kids be kids. Only waste your breath and your energy on the problems that really matter in the grand scheme of things. Is this child going to be a better adult as a result of making her stop doing this? If the answer is no, then it's probably not worth arguing.
But that's my philosophy, not my husband's philosophy. His philosophy, on the other hand, is to treat ridiculousness with ridiculousness. So when we got our Wii, I made my Mii, and named her Mom. Little Miss named hers with my first name. This annoyed the heck out of me, but I asked myself, does it matter? No, blow it off. Right? I should be flattered she wanted to be me. Right? So why did it annoy me? But I just ignored this and continued to chant in my head the mantra I call my philosophy.
My husband after a couple months decided this was a little ridiculous, and decided to treat it with ridiculousness as he has found so often worked before. So less than a week ago, he changed my mii's character to her first name. This, of course, made me giggle, and so did Little Miss.
Just as he treated this with ridiculousness, he has treated other ridiculous behavior with its equal level of ridiculousness. For example, when she first moved in with us (she's adopted) she would say her stomach hurt whenever she didn't like what we were eating. So after a few weeks of this, my husband goes, "Oh your stomach hurts? You better go to bed." He grabbed a bucket, in case she got sick. Picked her up, tucked her in, and told her she couldn't listen to music, read, or anything because he wanted her to get to sleep soon so she would feel better soon since we had fun plans the next day. Within five minutes she came out, told us she felt better and finished her meal without a single complaint.
I was in awe of how well this worked, along with many of his other parenting techniques that follow this same philosophy proved with the same success. No arguments, no hassle, behavior changed, appropriate response happened, and she did as we expected.
So earlier this week when he changed my mii's name, I was curious if this tactic would actually work. Today when Little Miss turned on the Wii, she said, "Mama, I don't want you to be me anymore, can I change your name back?" I retorted, "but your name is mine, why can't I be you?" She goes, "Well, I am going to change mine back to my name too." So voila! My husband's simple act of treating ridiculousness with ridiculousness has succeeded again.
Okay, maybe it didn't really matter, and she isn't going to be a better adult because she changed her name on Wii, but I absolutely adore how my husband has a natural knack for solving the big and small parenting setbacks whether they be insignificant annoyances to bigger issues that need to change.
This Christian mom is far from perfect, but continually strives to grow and develop. She is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and focuses a lot on personal growth. She loves to share what she has learned through her studies and her own failures, as well as walks alongside other mothers as they learn together the ins and outs of parenting.