A couple of days ago marked my new family’s one month anniversary. I can’t even put into words how much our lives have changes. It has actually been a little bit more than a month (six weeks) since I became a mother as our eldest was placed with us 2 weeks before C and P came to live with us. Those two weeks were an adjustment and full of learning, but the day I could finally breathe a little easier that all my children were finally under my roof.
This last month has been the most fulfilling and draining of my entire life! There has been so many changes taking place.I wanted to spend some time documenting our last month.
S – 6 weeks ago when S moved in she had a very difficult time figuring out who is safe and who wasn’t. Initially she acted closer to me and wanted to be by my side all the time. As she began to feel more comfortable in the home, she also began to act closer to Joel. At the same time, she began to show some serious reactivity to me. Some days are better, some are worse. I am really working on my reactivity back to her reactivity. It’s just so hard to remain calm and collected when someone is questioning your every move and yelling at you. When C and P moved in 2 weeks after S moved in, S had a really difficult time letting Joel and I be the parents and not taking over her parent-role from when they all lived with their bio mom. Now, things are still difficult at times, but it is mostly normal sibling disagreements and when it is S trying to be a parent, she takes the re-direction MUCH better. S and I are learning how to have positive time together and S is seeking that time out.
C – When C first moved into our home, she had a mini-honeymoon where she listened, did as we asked, you know everything we were totally surprised by. Then it began to sink in that she was staying her and she started to show us how really scared and angry she was. She would yell, scream, and kick the wall when mad or when she was told no. She would run away when Joel or iI tried to pick her up for a hug when she was upset. She would be constantly telling her brother and sister what to when “playing”. She would ask to “live” at other people’s houses forever. She was openingly trying to figure out life. Now she can play appropriately at times with her brother and sister and even had my walk her through making a friend at the park today. She is able to accept comfort from Joel and I when upset and really no longer has big tantrums except a bed time. C at first appeared to be a daddy’s girl, but after the first week or so it was clear that she (like S) switched her preferred parent to me. She will play with Joel and hang out but openly prefers me.
P – When P first moved into our home, he was quiet and difficult to understand when he did talk. Through the last month, we have gotten a lot better about understanding him and he had gotten more talkative. He continues to amuse us with his funny faces and amusing questions. He is showing us his true personality. In the last week or so P has become like a normal 3 year old in not listening, refusing to do things, ect. I have to say at first I was a little irrupted that my sweet P was starting to act out, but then I realized how AWESOME that was. P is feeling comfortable enough to test, to learn, and to act like a typical 3 year old (as frustrating as that gets at times). Since the day that P moved in, P has preferred me to the point where he will claw his way out of a Joel hug to get to me. It is super cute but I am trying my hardest to find the balance between acknowledging and granting his preference and encouraging his relationship with Joel.
Joel and I – Man these past 4 to 6 weeks have been a roller coaster for us. We are working on figuring out this parenting thing, asking for support when we need it, and finding quality time to spend together in addition to just making it day by day through this huge adjustment. We are both dealing with an abrupt loss of personal time and expendable income as well as hearing “why” about 20 million times a day. We have no instituted a rule where we won’t answer unless it is in the form of a sentence. Instead of just saying “why” kids would have to say “why is the sky blue” or something like that. I am so glad that I get to be on this parenting journey with Joel, who had a 10 minute conversation with our two youngest about Zombies and will carry them (2 or 3 at a time) to bed every night.