Has anyone heard of the concept of a love bucket? It’s not creepy I promise! It’s basically the concept that people have so much love, patience and understanding. A bucket amount. Other people (and yourself) can do things to either full the bucket with more or empty the bucket of what it already has.
For my kids, and for many foster adopt kids, the bucket is never full. Birth family, trauma, life experiences, abandonment and a host of other things have poked so many holes in the bucket that my husband and I could empty our entire bucket into just one of theirs and it would not be full.
I think the exhaustion and frustration I have been feeling comes from this. I so want my kids to feel loved and safe and secure but regardless of what I say or do I feel like that doesn’t happen. Before when I talked about feeling like a failure, this has a lot to do with it. My kids need more, yet I have no more. For a while I was trying to figure out how to fill them up and give them more in addition to my husband, which is important but I forgot about filling my bucket up.
You know how when you go on a plane trip and the stewardess goes through the safety procedures (to no one listens to). Well you should listen. In that they say that if you are flying with a child and the oxygen masks drop, PUT YOURS ON FIRST BEFORE HELPING YOUR CHILD. Not exactly sure of the reason for this, but it really applies to my situation.
Raising kids depletes your bucket reserves, raising traumatized children even more so.
Along with resetting my brain and how I think about things I also need to be more mindful of regularly filling up my bucket.
Today my bucket is getting filled. Joel let me sleep in till almost noon and now I am out for a pedicure before getting dinner and heading home. Most relaxing day in a while!