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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mom Lessons

Things I have learned being a (foster) momImage result for foster mom

If you're not a mom - stop reading now.  However, if you're not a mom, you probably don't read most of my blog posts anyways.  If you don't have kids, this may sound like whining.  If you do have kids, you know that mom's sacrifice a lot of things for the sake of their children.

I have three biological children.  They are now 16, 13, and 11.  Depending on when you read this depends on how many foster children I have.  As of today I have a 7 month old and a toddler.  Two days ago I had another child in pre-k.  The ages of the babies is very similar to the ages of my bio kids - many years ago.  I remember how hard it was with three babies.  Never enough time to get everything done, never enough energy to do what I "needed" to.   The benefit of 'starting over' now is that I have three big kids to help change diapers, make bottles, read bedtime stories, load up the babies into their car seats....

However I don't want to ask my big kids too much to help.  I want them to enjoy being a big sibling and not always have to do something.  Their main job should be to play with their new siblings.  I never ask them to discipline or correct.  That should always come from mom.

There are a lot of things I had to change/learn when I had babies before.  Some of those things haven't changed.

1) I really don't have to shower daily.  If it's been a late night with a crying baby, or a new arrival, I really do not want to get up before everyone just to get a shower.  I would rather sleep.  Problem is, if I don't get up before the little ones, I don't necessarily get a chance later to shower.  Oh well.  It's really not good for your hair or skin anyways.  I'm saving water, and that's good for the environment.  Right?

2)  A balanced diet can consist of a two year olds left overs.  I despise wasted food.  Groceries cost too much to waste anything.  If I made myself a plate at every meal, I would gain ten pounds a day!  See #3.

3) I don't have to eat three meals a day.  While eating is important, it is often done on the go (as in while getting seconds for one child, getting a plate for for another, a napkin for someone else, and making an emergency trip to the potty with spaghetti sauce all over a two year olds face).  I love being able to sit and eat with my kids.  Inevitably, as soon as I sit, the baby is hungry, another needs something, someone has to potty, and one of the little ones needs more.  When all of that is taken care of, I sit down, take a bite, and jump right back up and start all over again.

Image result for dirty toddler4) "You can pick your friends, and you can  pick your nose, but you can't pick your friends nose."  That may be true as a child, but as a mom picking a toddlers nose (who can't yet blow) is a job requirement.

5)  Snuggles make everything better.  Whether you have a sick kid, scared foster child, or just a bad day, long snuggles are comforting and make anyone feel better.  Laundry and dishes can wait (see #6 and #7).  Make those babies feel safe and secure.  You are NOT spoiling a child by rocking them to sleep or holding them until they feel better.  You are establishing a bond and helping them to feel secure.  Even when your mom or grandma tell you that you are spoiling the baby, remind them that this baby will not want snuggles at 15 - you have to get them in now!

6)  Mt. Washmore can wait.  So you may be low on cloth diapers, underwear, and jeans.  It can wait until the kids are in bed (see #8).  Do you really want to miss out on the baby giggles, tickles, and  reading the Elmo book (for the 42nd time today)?  No.  Because this time next week you will be attending kindergarten graduations and missing this time.  While sitting at your child's high school graduation you will wish you made more time for macaroni crafts, science project and walks to the park.  When cps shows up to take your foster child, you don't want to say "I need five more minutes to give the hugs I should have given while doing laundry."  It can wait.  In our culture, our kids won't go naked.

Image result for mom7)  The dishes can wait - nuff said.  Read #6.  We have started using a lot more disposable dishes just so that mom can spend more time being mom, and less time being a housekeeper.  Besides, if you let the dishes soak overnight they are easier to wash next week :)

8)  Sleep can wait.  Endless nights waking up with a teething baby, mounted on top of 2 scared kids that are new to your home leads to one tired mommy.  I'm not a coffee or caffeine drinker, so I take a few extra B12 and keep going.  Again - these babies don't stay babies long.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. – Philippians 2:14-15

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