|My boys. Challenging and amazing.|
This first is some version of "you are so great to adopt these children!" And when I respond something like "oh, well we are really blessed to have them," I usually get some form of "well there are so many kids out there that need good homes, and you are so great to take in these kids and give them a good life." Does anyone else see what is wrong with this? I'm forty-two years old. The first time I went on fertility medication, I was twenty-one. My oldest child is four and a half. I know you can do the math. Let's just say I spent many, many years trying to have a child. Praying, begging, crying, pleading with God to let me have that blessing. I am not a savior. I didn't go into it with some altruistic goal of saving some poor child out there. I didn't set out to save anyone, except maybe myself. Not only is it uncomfortable to be spoken to as if I had done some great unselfish act for the sole purpose of being unselfish, it's almost offensive. I am a girl who grew up wanting to have a family. I am not a charitable organization. And it's even worse when this kind of comment is made in front of my child. He is not the receiver of a charitable act for which he needs to consistently show gratitude. He is a child. He is my child. He has a mom, just like your children do. And he doesn't need to be reminded how lucky he is that someone took pity on him and was kind enough to give him a pillow on which to lay his little orphaned head. He needs to be reminded that he is loved, like any other child in any other family. And his childhood should be just about that--childhood.
The other comment I get tired of hearing is, oddly enough, on the other end of the spectrum. If I am having a difficult day with one of my kids, for whatever reason---maybe one is being a pill, or one is fussy because of teething, or one is sick, or one is just not sleeping much and I'm exhausted--I don't need to be reminded that this is what I asked for so I need to be more grateful. Or as someone stated just the other day, "yes, but this is what you signed up for." Yes. You are right. This is what I prayed, begged, cried and plead for. I am well aware of that. I don't need your gentle reminder. But, you need to understand that I deal with the same parenting issues that everyone else does. I have hard days. I get tired. I get frustrated. I seek out help with issues my children are having. And, I need your love and support, especially if you have walked the path of parenthood before me. Believe me, I am completely grateful to be dealing with these issues, because it means I have children. It means I am a mom. It means I am enjoying this long-awaited dream. I know this. So please just take it as an unspoken fact that I am more grateful than you will ever know. I love being a mom more than you could possibly comprehend, unless you also had to fight seventeen years before you were blessed with a child. And I love these boys more than I ever thought possible.
Like most moms, I ride somewhere in the middle between Saviourhood and depression. I rarely get close to either extreme. I ride in the middle, recognizing that even on the most difficult days, life is still so beautiful. And the best days don't come because I was just so overly righteous that day. They come and go just like they do for every other mom out there trying to do her best. They ebb and flow mostly near the middle of the river between perfection and disaster, rarely nearing either shore. And I'm okay with that. In fact, it is what I consider a successful day.