foster care, Mommy Life, parenting

I am not the best Mom

I had this ideal of what kind of Mom I would be. I’m artsy craftsy. I love to get down with kids and color, play with slime, create collages and play with legos. For our respite kid, that’s what I did. I played inside with crafts and outside playing tennis in the street. At 7:30 he took a bath, 8:00 he went to bed, 9:00 lights out.

That was a fun week.

It’s different. By the time our two (then three) came to us, we were exhausted. With our older boys who were here for 5 days, I literally didn’t sleep. I went 48 hours at one point. With the infant and his issues, we were lucky to get two hours of sleep at a time. We aren’t spring chickens and the kids had us wiped pretty much immediately.

Now a days, I wake at 5:30, toddle downstairs and make my coffee. I check email, facebook, and the county arrest page. At 6:00 I hear Fiona loudly open her bedroom door, go to the bathroom, forget to flush, slam the door and start playing in her room. About 6:15 I coral her into the shower. I wash her hair, set the timer, and let her do the rest. Then I lead her into her bedroom where she has to be dressed because it’s too cold. I have breakfast set up, send her downstairs, send the 3 year old into the shower. He has to be carried because he likes to fake sleep, even though the baby has been talking or pounding on the crib since 5:45. I wrap him in a towel, send him to his room. Yep, he can dress himself. I grab the baby, open the dreaded diaper, then put him in the shower. He stands playing in the water while I wash, then I wash him, and hand him to hubby who is holding a towel. Then I run downstairs, do Fiona’s hair, nag her to brush teeth, bruth Mason’s teeth, dress Lucas, brush Lucas’ teeth yell about socks and shoes, and get them outside where the school bus picks Fiona up at the end of the driveway. We take about fifteen minutes each morning to do sight words while they jump around, yelling, and waking the neighborhood. Then I’m out the door, for 8-10 hours of work where I get texts from caseworkers, guardian ad litems, doctors, school nurses, and field it all.

I try to leave at 5 but sometimes wind up as late as 6, come home, tell kids to finish dinner, try to feed the baby as he throws dinner on the floor, ask myself why they won’t eat their vegetables. Three days a week I try to get the boys out of the way while Fiona is being tutored. Otherwise Mason is in the tutor’s face talking and Lucas is stealing her pencil.

At 6:30 we get ready for bed. It’s pajamas, brush teeth, bedtime story and tucked in. Between 7 and 7:30 the kids are all in bed and we are pretty much drooling on the couch trying to keep our heads up. Maybe we hold a conversation or maybe we stare blankly at the television.

Weekends are one fun day where we go out and have adventures (playground, festivals, you name it) and one lazy/cleaning day. The boys abide by this pretty well and are happy to watch movies and fumble around in the living room or if they’ve been good, in our room. Fiona won’t have it. She’s up and down and all around, glued to my side. I want to be fun mom, but it’s do laundry, sit for a few minutes, write out checks, sit for a few minutes, check account balances, close my eyes. I want to be the fun mom, but a lot of times I feel like swiss cheese. Everyone’s taken a piece of me.

 

 

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What is was supposed to be

This was supposed to be a mommy blog. You know: Look at the cute things the kids did. Can you believe that actually happened? Are fourteen month olds supposed to be able to open the front door. What it actually is turning into is one big rant against the system.

What is parenting supposed to be? Tiring? Yes. Absolutely. You get up, get the kids ready for school. Pick them up from school/daycare/bus stop. Do homework. Eat dinner. Maybe go to the playground. Read a story, brush teeth and bed time. Instead parenting is nag, nag, nag, don’t sit on your brother, nag, nag, nag, eat your dinner or you are going to bed, did you want to go to the playground, don’t run behind that car! Go To Bed!!! This sounds like any tv sitcom. In our house, I feel like I’m the conductor and the kids are smashing on the drums twenty four seven.

Even good days are quickly over run by bad behavior, tears, and cranky over tired children that can’t get enough sleep no matter what I do.

Add in the appointments, the tutoring, the doctors, the teachers, caseworkers, guardian ad litems, and now attorney ad litems. We use an app called COZI to track all of our appointments. This weeks list makes me want to hide under my desk and never come out. Yesterday there was a conflict between an appointment with a doctor (that we knew about) and an appointment with an attorney that NO ONE told us about. And we got scolded because we did not attend.

How it’s supposed to be? We work as a team in the best interest of the child. I honestly think there should be help, especially for cases where kids have medical issues. The “system” staff is overworked, underpaid and a lot of times too scattered to know who is who and what is what. That team mentality doesn’t seem to happen too often. Each individual is working frantically to get the bare minimum done. There are definitely good people in the “system” and we have individuals who are a godsend to us. But a lot of times, it feels like we are banging our heads against a very strong wall.

Why continue, when kids, adults, and professionals exhibit bad behavior. Because those kids have so much potential and need someone to keep screaming at the top of their lungs, banging their head, and advocating for them.

Sorry for the rant.