I don’t like my kids.
There, I have said it. It is not something that I like to talk about and feel shame to admit. Sometimes I look at my kids and feel….well, just frustrated. This whole week has been like that. When I feel this way I don’t play with them like I know I should or have much patience. I suspect that most parents feel this way at times, but for me as an adoptive mom it is multiplied. My kids are constantly on the lookout for rejection and disapproval. This keep me in my toes, and when I feel this way it multiplies my feelings.
On the way to a movie tonight, I felt guilty for feeling this way and while listening to an awesome song I did some soul searching. The song was “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again”. Then it hit me…
It wasn’t even my kids that I don’t like. It was me I didn’t like. I didn’t like being so short and snippy. I didn’t like looking at my kids and seeing the harm they could cause. I didn’t like it at all. It wasn’t the mom I wanted to be. It wasn’t what I thought I would be.
I felt (still kind of feel like) a failure as a mother. Every time my kids cried, wanted a hug, or were by me it reminded me that I am a failure as a mom. I wanted to do great, I wanted to be a calm and patient mom who always kept her kids safe. Instead I am a mom whose kids are hungry for her attention and instead occupies herself with chores. I am a mom who yearns for her husband to get home and tag her out. I am a mom who couldn’t even keep her kids safe in her home! This last part is really what it comes down to. The “IT” I posted about earlier involves safety and I felt like I, as a mother, failed my kids. My already traumatized and hurt kids. I didn’t keep them safe. Like there would be a better mother out there for them that could keep them safe and maybe they should be with them. This made my heart break because I love my kids and would fight to the death for them so the thought that they would be better off (safer) elsewhere was so hard.
I have been neck-deep in trauma since the end of December. The truth is that being a stay-at-home mom is hard, really hard. But being a stay-at-home mother of 3 traumatized kids is like climbing mount everest in board shorts and with a surfboard as your only equipment. Sometimes when you are in it all day and all night long you begin to forget the cause of the hurt. You forget about the horrors that your kids have experienced and begin to think that you are at fault. You begin to see the damage and hurt in the children’s eyes and feel guilty. Guilty like you put it there.
It is hard, in those times, to remember the truth. The truth that you are trying to give your children a better life than you had, like all parents want. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fail. But the truth is you NEVER fail to the extent that you think you do. You never knowingly or willingly put your kids in harm’s way and should something unsafe happen you take steps to fix it ASAP.
The truth is I am an adoptive mom who is struggling with guilt. Guilt over the hurt in my children’s eyes. Moms want to take away the pain they see in their kids and I can’t. I can’t take away all that they have seen and experienced as much as I want to. In my head that fact has become twisted into the hurt and pain being my fault. Sometimes it is hard to see the difference.
Tonight I am doing a cerebral reset. I am beginning to be more honest about the hard, even shitty, feelings that come along with this journey. I am shedding light on the parts of me that want so desperately to stay hidden. The parts that make me feel like I am the only one that feels this way. These parts are a real and honest part of this journey and need to be talked about along side the amazing parts. If for no other reason than so someday, another adoptive mom that feels this way could stumble upon my blog and know that she is not alone.
Alone, that is what I have felt lately. So alone. I am hoping to change that by reaching out to other adoptive moms and attempting to be honest (even brutally honest) about what is going on.
This is a HARD post to actually put up, but it is one that needs to be done…