Now I am just going to be blabbing a bit here about a frustration I am currently having. I try not to use my blog as a place to complain. I really don’t want our family blog to be my personal journal of my tough times or frustrations… But I’d like some feedback from you friends and readers. So here’s the question for you – What’s worse? To overhear someone speak negatively about you or something you have done, or to be surprisingly confronted by someone saying something negative about you.
Sometimes I’m glad I don’t have to deal with confrontation when I overhear people gossiping or telling “secrets” about me or my family. You can’t help but feel upset and somewhat attacked when people are talking about you behind your back. But generally, I lean towards the side of preferring to be confronted and people to lay it out on the table. If I’ve hurt you, tell me – let’s talk it through. If you think I am doing something hurtful to someone else, tell me – let’s talk about it. If you are worried about me or something I am doing, tell me – I might not recognize that I might be a little destructive. Confrontation is never easy as gossip is, but it is the right thing to do. If confrontation is not the right thing to do in that situation, then keep it to yourself…
I am pretty committed to self growth. I think in order to be a parent (and a human being) you have to be willing to change and grow and adapt to almost everything and anything. This is not easy for me, nor is it easy for many people, to recognize and address their weaknesses in order to build them for strength. But I do recognize and “name and claim” that I am not perfect and that there are things I need to let go of and change. I’ve had a lot of “stuff” in my life and I work through a lot of it daily…
I’ve experienced a lot of judgement and misunderstanding in the last 13 months of my life. I don’t know if you have noticed, but my family went through some MAJOR changes just over a year ago. These changes would be my children. My beautiful and lovely Amaris and Makai’o. I’ve now been parenting (officially) since April 2010. People don’t know what our last year has been like. People don’t want to know, people don’t choose to know what goes into an adoption. Most don’t understand what it is like for the child or the parent of a newly established adoptive family. Though we have tried to be wise with what we share and what we keep to ourselves to protect our children, sometimes you just want to yell out how hard your week has been and all the messy details that go along with it.
I would say that parenting has come very naturally to me, and I am proud to be a mother. But, the constant juggle of being a mother, wife, friend (well, that could be argued) running a home and having a business has not been easy for me. I’ve learned in the last year a little bit more about my personal limits. And it took me until February to actually share with others around me that I was beyond my personal limits and that I was
not thriving the way I had hoped I would be. Getting through a day of parenting with my (at that point) challenging and needy 2 almost 3 year old and my content but incredibly curious 18 month old successfully left little time (or energy) for laundry, cleaning, working, “wifing”, “friending”, meditating, organizing, planning or rest.
It’s hard for me not to explain all the nitty gritty ins and outs of parenting an adopted child without sharing too much or without being a positive advocate for adoption. I love adoption. I think it is an incredible and Godly way to grow a family. I still would (and do) choose adoption over and over again. And I still, with no doubt, recommend adoption and hope that more families will adopt. All of this is a major reason I started this blog. To share our lifelong adoption journey in this forever family. But, parenting an adopted child is different. The child joins your family with serious loss and is grieving. And we all know that everybody grieves differently. In all circumstances, they have lost their birth family. Whether the child was separated from their birth family right after birth, whether it was months or years later – that separation is a permanent loss. If that child stayed with another family, a foster family or kin family, leaving that family is another loss. So even though there is much celebration in a forever family coming together, their is grief that needs to be addressed. All of these things I have mentioned with a huge load of health issues the kids were having have made this year more than the average challenging year for a parent. Not to mention all of our personal additions of job loss, hospitalizations, extended family needs, and pure exhaustion.
If you have read all the way through this post – here is my bottom line. What I am getting at here is this: Before you whisper to someone else that my bathroom floor isn’t clean enough, or my microwave has obviously not been wiped in a while, consider that my child has been grieving their mother and will be, on some level, for years. Consider that our family has gone through some incredibly surprising changes that have been challenging for all four of us for the last year. Consider that out of the one year that we have been a family, Jon has only been employed for 3 of those months. Consider having children that are just less than 16 months apart. Consider having an ill child for 11 of those months. Consider our exhaustion and long recouperation from all of these things. So please, I ask, instead of being disgusted with my dirty toaster oven or my chair with hardened salsa on it I give you these other options:
- grab a lysol wipe and clean it up yourself
- just say, “hey Andrea, you missed a spot on the chair.”
- or joke (nicely) about it and say, “like spaghetti sauce much – it’s all over the inside your microwave.”
- ask if there is any way you can help
- ask if there is any way you can help on a regular basis
- spend a day owning and running a business, working from home while being a wife and mother.
- just get over yourself a little bit and think about if you have ever had a messy room or dirty floor….