This is a post for 31 Days about making it as a mom. Check out the intro post if this is your first time here!
Whew. I wish I had easier words to share today, but sometimes being a mom is just plain hard. As I've been writing about making it as a mom, my life has been falling apart behind the scenes. Today, and for the next months and years, I'll be bringing our struggles out into the open with the intent of adding to the growing understanding of trauma and how it affects families.
Two of our children whom we adopted from foster care were deeply traumatized by the events and environment of their early childhood. And as adoptive parents, we were woefully unprepared to understand their struggles and successfully integrate such kids into family life. After five years, they are not getting better in our home. Like all parents, we desperately want the best for our children. It is extremely humbling and heartbreaking to admit that for right now, we aren't what is best for them.
Just typing those words knocked the wind out of me.
Shortly, our oldest two children will enter a residential treatment program with an expected duration of several years. The goal is reunification as a healed, whole family, with every member able to live peacefully and functionally. We believe we have found a place where our kids can thrive, whereas at home we are all just barely surviving. Y'all pray, ok?
So clearly, "making it" is a shaky concept right now. What now?
Therapy. For the first time, we have a therapist who is truly helpful to our family. She's a safe place to unload all our junk. She isn't scared off by the depth of our struggles. She texts me ideas. She advocates for our family. I thank God for her often, because we've had some terrible therapists. ("When your kids lie to you, just lie to them so they'll know how it feels!") (And all the trauma mamas just died a little inside.) It can be really, really hard to find a good therapist. If you're struggling, try anyway. And try again, and again, and again until you find someone that you would like to move into your guest bedroom. But don't go that far. Kidnapping a good therapist will only get you arrested.
Invest in your marriage. If your marriage is what's hard, see the paragraph above and get yourselves to therapy. Find something to laugh about, even if it's the absurdity of your life. (Right now, we're laughing about Arrested Development, again.) Kiss hello and goodbye. Hold on for dear life.
Wine, if that's your thing. Or chocolate. Or ice cream. Or all three.
Jesus. Yes, the Sunday School answer. But seriously. I'm not going to write at length here, but I'd love to talk with you about what Jesus means to me and how He makes sense of my messy life.
Thanks for hanging in there with me through some difficult words today. See y'all tomorrow.
Have you been through some times of not making it? What did you learn? Talk to me in the comments below or on Facebook!