Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Truth

Let me preface this by telling you that this isn’t going to be a happy-go-lucky blog post, full of rainbows and roses. I don’t have a super-spiritual revelation to share with you or a word of encouragement to brighten your day. I’m just gonna be real with ya. Mama is just barely holding it together some days lately.

I haven’t written much on this blog recently because, honestly, I haven’t been sure what to say. I don’t want to be a discouragement to anyone. I am fearful that someone out there is considering adoption and will read a post that shows the harder side of the adjustment period and will decide that it just too difficult. That’s why I’ve been quiet. I have felt the need to just burrow down into my little hole and keep everything to myself until things get easier, and then I’ll come back out into the sunshine and tell you some great stories about how well everyone is doing. But that’s not who I am. You see, I am a “real” person. I cannot stand being fake, even if that means that I come across as negative sometimes. So I will tell you the truth.

The transition to having two kids has been really, really hard. I am embarrassed to admit it. I know so many great mama’s (mostly through our adoption community) out there who have 4, 5, or even 6 or more kids. They love it, they seem to do a beautiful job managing their households, and their attitude is “the more the merrier.” I know that I should not be comparing myself with others. My job is to be the person that God created ME to be, to ask what his will is for MY life. But try as I may, I can’t stay away from the feeling that I am a real weenie – I can hardly manage life with two children and a small house when these other beautiful mothers have two or three times as many and a much larger house to keep up.

I’ve been getting by on a steady diet of sugar and caffeine, and I’ve gotten very little exercise since we have gotten back. I know that is definitely making me feel crummy physically and making everything else harder, but I just can’t seem to get back on track. Most nights I get six-ish hours of sleep, and I am gradually getting tireder and tireder.

Everything is such a struggle these days. Madeline (almost two-and-a-half now) has been particularly whiny and contrary lately. She is more defiant and disobedient that I am used to. Dealing with her and addressing everything that needs to be addressed takes so much constant energy.

Benjamin is very needy. He is a happy child when he is being held, but does not like to be put down at all. Even for a moment. This makes things like loading up the car to go somewhere, putting clothes in the dryer, or even just going to the bathroom extremely difficult. He is a passionate little guy, and he makes his displeasure known by screaming. This is very understandable behavior. He was abandoned by his birth mother, and he was then ripped away from his caretakers of six months at the transition home. Naturally, he is afraid of that happening again. He NEEDS me to stay close to him, to reassure him over and over that I am never going to leave him. That I may walk away, but I am always going to come back. (This is getting better gradually. This week I have noticed a big improvement – Praise God!)

Both of my children need me so much. I feel like I need to give 100% of my energy and emotion to each of them. Plus I want to have at least a little left over to give to Daniel when he gets home. Then there’s the housework, the cooking, the errands. Oh, and I guess I should leave a little bit of time and energy to take care of myself – you know get some exercise, get a little more sleep, have some quiet time.

The math just isn’t adding up. If I give 100% to each of my kids, it is already requiring 200% of my normal energy. And that leaves nothing for everything else on the list. So that’s where I am right now. And that’s why you haven’t heard much from me. :) I know that things will get easier. I am COUNTING on that. There are just a lot of wrinkles to be ironed out of this new season of life. A lot to figure out still in order to make life work for all of us.

Just say a prayer for me if you will – for strength, for patience, for energy. And that I will continue to cling to my Savior - the Only One who can give me the grace and the peace that I need to face each day and be all that I need to be for my family.

P.S. By the way, for the most part, these struggles are not adoption related. I'm just a tired mama of two very young children. Who I love very much. :)

15 comments:

Watson Warriors said...

Girl....you're just a Mommy, plain and simple! Being a mommy, no matter how many you have is tough work! It has been more difficult staying at home this year than it ever was working. In fact, working would be a nice break if I chose to go back. I just wanted you to know that what you are feeling is completely normal....and something I STILL struggle with daily...and Caleb is 16 months. Just know, if nothing else, you are not alone. Can you imagine how many of the same prayers the Lord hears daily from moms =). Love you and hang in there. Can't wait to meet him. He's a doll!

The Short Family said...

I will be praying for you. It will get better. It was hard for me the first month. The 2nd month is getting better. We have our good and bad days but looking back the 1st month was the hardest. You are not alone in this.
Would love to get together soon.

Tracy said...

Completely normal!!! --and anything less would not be normal at all! I keep telling myself it is supposed to be hard-- and it is. God is building your dependancy on Him muscles with every minute of missed sleep and crankiness from babies. Thanks for being real and truthful sweet sister!!

So sorry to have missed your shower!!! I love all the pics! It was on my calendar plain as day-- totally slipped by me in all our real world life over around here! :)

love you!

Bonner Family said...

Hi Sarah, I'm sorry you are having a hard time. It will pass. My girls are 2 years apart, and it was hard juggling both of their needs. Those ages are just hard. But, it does get easier. Now, my girls are 5 and 7 and are best friends (85% of the time) All of what you are going through is totally normal!!!

Someone told me when my oldest was born that the days are long but the years are short. They were right!

Julie said...

Thanks for your honesty....I remember those first weeks home and yes, it was tough. I would imagine that anytime you add another family memeber it's an adjustment for everyone. How about stapping little Benjamin on you in a sling and carrying on with your things- at least you'd have 1 or 2 free hands. There were days I 'wore' Anna around just to get some things done! Praying for God's grace and patience and rest to rain down on you....

Kelly said...

I came across your blog from Kristi J.'s. I WILL pray for you b/c, no matter the number of children or adopted vs. biological, we have all been there. Being a mom is no easy task! You are not alone!! Just remember this is a short season. Your babies will grow up and become more independent. Laugh when you can, be thankful for everyday, let all the unnecessary things go, say "no" (politely) to other obligations, and take it one day at a time!! Thank you for being real!

Kristi J said...

so normal...going to TWO was WAY harder than going to 5!! Seriously...you'll get numb to it all soon!! :) I promise :) just keep praying until then...you'll have a new normal soon...hang in there..and come hang out with us anytime you need to escape!! :) kj

suzeqblue9 said...

Sarah,
I wanted to give grand words of wisdom, but I would be a parrot. Everyone has said it, it will get better, no matter bio vs adop; motherhood is no easy task. dont let those "wondermoms" make you feel like ur not holding end of the bargin! ur one of the best moms i know and reality is...it is just plain tough at times. Taylor was such and screamer/crier...oh i didnt want him to disruot Hunters nap, or other activies...it was hard to figure out, but it came. and btw, he still is a screamer, lol! i will pray for patients and peace, time managment and grace! xo

robinscharff said...

Sarah, I TOTALLY feel your pain. This transition to 2 kiddos has been DIFFICULT for me too. Chloe is 8 weeks old and I feel like I am just barely getting things together. We've experienced the same behavior stuff with Wade - the most fun is that he cries when she cries. I'll be praying for you...prayer is honestly the only way I make it through each day.

Gillian said...

I love you, Sarah. And I'm looking so forward to Tuesday.
And remember, there's NO such thing as a "wondermom"--or at least an HONEST wondermom. ;) I believe we minister to one another when we display our unmake-uped faces and sit on sofas that have laundry piles on them every now and then--and just laugh or cry and tell it like it REALLY is--as well as show up as the cheering section for one another when we get discouraged--it shows us all how real we each are--and how hard we can make it on ourselves--and then God gets ALL the glory from any victories,joys, triumphs in our mothering days--they will come, trust me!Mothering is impossible outside of Christ's help. I am SO glad on the days when ALL I could manage to say was, "Help me, JESUS!" that we have faith in a VERY real God who loves our children more than we could imagine (and so loves us--especially when we disappoint or shock our selves when we let those we love "down"). Underneath us, ARE the Everlasting Arms. I have been a young tired, stressed mom and now I am an oldish :) sturdier version that still tires and really needs to key into my Sheperd's voice each day--but you know what? "I have NEVER seen the righteous forsaken." There is great promise,hope, and glory in store for the woman who belongs to a SAVE-ior who is so much more loving and capable than she! You WILL see, God-willing that 1year,2years,10 years,16 years and.. You REALLY begin to sense His voice in parenting--you never get it all "together"--that's just not the point of parenting anyway--but you begin to have the most wonderful compainionship with the one who made these children in the "way they should go", who will establish peace for,"great will be your children's peace", who "remembers that we are but dust" and says, "this is the way,Sarah or insert your name, walk in it", who"gently leads those with young", who talks about the brothers and SISTERS that share the "same sufferings all over the world", and who "redeems women through childhood." Remember death hurts--mothering makes many parts of us die daily--for this I'm grateful, for Jesus reminds me that anything that dies is not lost--but if I made it my goal to discover myself or save myself, I would lose myself.
There's no blueprint (except the Word) for parenting--or really having each of our kids figured out or having a household that does not hiccup when the pressure of life rises up--I would be more concerned for you if your household was remaining completely intact in these crazy days--it means you are really pouring into relationships--what's eternal and not only focusing on physical,temporal things. Knowing you, you are doing much more of what is precious and right than you even know!--each day keeps me so dependant. You are NOT alone.
HUGS,
Gillian

Cathy said...

Hey pretty girl - I just like reading your blog, and looking at the pictures of your beautiful family. You cannot help but be a great mom - it's in the genes!

Robbins' Nest said...

will be praying for you Sarah, and thank you for being honest and sharing....I know ALL moms go through this! So find comfort from that. Each new child is an adjustment period for the whole family!! And thank you too for your verses on Hope, you'll never know how much those blessed me today in particular!! Praying for you....Becca

E.T.'s Mom said...

I love that you're "real". We'll better be able to celebrate with you when this transition time is over for having prayed you through it. You're a wonderful mommy! Your children are blessed.

BKessler said...

I promise it gets better. When I feel like I am overwhelmed I remind myself that all I have to do is the best I can, and since I am not perfect God will give my children grace where I fall short. I have four children and the last two were only 2 years apart and it was hard, but one day I realized it wasn't as hard as it use to be. That day is coming for you, too.

WendyLou said...

I've been thru exactly this twice, and fully expect to do it a third time (yikes!) when we bring our next two home from Ethiopia. We have four kids right now. The oldest is only 12, so I can't say with any certainty as we haven't done the teenager thing, BUT having a toddler/baby or pre-schooler/toddler is THE hardest combination. It'll only get easier :) Hang in there, Mama!!