Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On difficult phases of motherhood, part 2

Unfortunately, I got my hopes up in the last post's subject.  No, I don't think we are settling in.  There is plenty of positive.  Mornings are better.  Role-play and behavior practice is repeated back to me spontaneously (unfortunately not when it's actually need, but hey, it's progress).  We had a nice break last weekend with a date night.  At the same time, some moments are the worst so far.  This afternoon was one of those.

I won't go into the full details, but it was about nap time.  In a long process that I was trying to implement to make things better, I triggered something in Cricket, and it was one of the most horrible things I've experienced.  Worse because I knew that I caused it and should have known better.  Usually I can hold and rock her to calm her down, but she fought against me, alternating between slumping against me asleep, then jerking awake and screaming.  I finally gave up and buckled her in the car seat and declared we were going for a drive.

"Where are we going?"
"Just taking some time to calm down."
"I'm calmed down." (and she was)
"Well, I need some more time.  Oh look, we need gas.  We're going to the gas station."

She didn't fall asleep in the car as I thought she might, but she did become completely calm.  And so did I.  As we drove, I remembered when I sometimes drove around Dinosaur to get him to nap on desperate days.  Dinosaur was very difficult for naps many days.  He would keep me guessing with his transitions from two naps to one, from one nap to none.  He would need it desperately, and I would rock and rock him, with one child and all this energy to devote to him, yet nothing would work.

I distinctly remember one day was Earth Day, and here I was using up gas just to get my kid to sleep and to gain a little sanity.  On top of it all, I would spend way too much on a latte in a coffee shop drive thru.  This is not the kind of woman I'm proud to be.

But today, even though I really am still having a hard time with what happened this afternoon, I had to smile a little at myself as I drove up to the drive thru.  Screw it.  It's time for a latte for me and cookies for these kids.  We all need a little treat and happiness right now.*  I'm over that guilt.

And I will type this even though I have a hard time meaning it completely: I am the woman I am proud to be.  This is unbelievably hard.  I am making mistakes.  I am not enough and I seek silly escapes.

But I am there for this child, these children, in all my brokenness.  And I pray pray pray that Jesus works through me to outweigh my mistakes and heal Cricket.  I pray for miracles.

*And if this ending is a little too Disney for you, while Cricket was totally fine after we got in the car, Rhinoceros was heartbroken that our drive never ended in them getting out of the car (I didn't even put shoes on them) and he whined the entire four hours until bedtime.  Oh these children.  You just can't win.


  1. There are so many incredibly difficult transitions for foster kids. After 3 years with Primo we still have days like you've described here. It sounds trite to tell you to hang in there, but sometimes all we can do is to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

  2. Thank you! It is encouraging not to be alone.