I made a big mistake as a mother this weekend, I told my children to stop saying “I wish”. I was trying to deal with my son’s consumer driven personality (prior to joining our family, he was in a family where buying cheap toys was a daily occurence – poor boy had quite the culture shock upon arriving here – ahem!), but I didn’t deal with it in the right way. Instead of trying to explain that there are good wishes and talk about the beauty of hope, I simply focused on being content with what you have, which while valid, still missed the point.
I was made aware of my blunder when I sat in the car crying as I was wishing I was a stay-at-home mum and I could be more present in my children’s lives. I was tired of the demands of work taking me somewhere else mentally and physically, I was scared of the implications of saying no, or one of the balls I’m juggling dropping and what that would mean for our family. But most of all, I missed my children. They spent so many years without me and each other. They have a past I will never be able to make up for. And it pains me. Leaving them each day creates even more anguish and sometimes, sometimes it is unbearable. Sunday night I watched swimming lessons and silent tears fell – I thought of how many people have let them down and my mind wandered to just how many mistakes I make, often rushing too much, or feeling stress with work/bills/life which spills into parenting. As I contemplated why I show poor form far too often, I decided I was going to let myself have a post of “I wish” and then I was going to talk to my children again and provide words and explanations which are more accurate and don’t take away the “magic” and hopes of childhood, while still teaching the joy of contentment.
- My children had not suffered prior to finding a forever family
- We had found each other sooner (I am adoptive family number 3 for both – yes you read that right!)
- School was more sensitive to their adoption story and spoke to me before having them write timelines in their lives (hard for children whose timelines involve loss and horrific personal things)
- I could be at home with my children, or survive on the pay of a job which means come 3 o’clock my mind can solely be on them
- My children had a father
- My mother would seek support for the lifelong emotional health challenges she has
- I could have a week, or two, of no distractions from being firmly present
- Money flowed into my account as freely as the needs dictate it flows out of my account
- My benefits plan would cover my children’s medical needs
- My children were two years younger so their developmental age met their chronological age and they received less judgment from a world so set on firm developmental and educational timelines and “growing up”.
- My daughter didn’t take 2 hrs to fall sleep (anxiety) and wasn’t plagued with nightmares (memories)
- Adoption was cheaper
- I could home educate, or I could afford a Waldorf school for my daughter, the very right-brained artist
- I could personally meet all the amazing, wonderful supporters we have here who provide such love through encouraging comments and emails, and help me keep going.
- I could find my hot water bottle : )
And there you have it. Remarkably, just letting myself put these wishes out there has made me feel better. There is a lesson in that I’m sure. And tomorrow, I’ll help my wee ones write their own little list, no holding back!