We are very lucky as a family to have such lovely people in our lives that offer us strength, wisdom, support and encouragement.
I am however, proud of how well I’ve adapted to motherhood, I didn’t get the chance to gradually get used to being a mom of 3, I didn’t have the luxury of being able to carry them round in baby seats whilst I gradually said good bye to my social life, I didn’t even have the luxury of having my Mom spend every waking minute helping me for those first few days, in fact for weeks we didnt/couldnt see anyone, my life changed dramatically over night, I suddenly had to think about schooling, birthdays, suitable footwear, hair styles, tooth brushing, healthy eating, sibling rivalry, safety issues, bedtimes, suitable tv, the list goes on, but I coped. I haven’t crumbled at every hurdle, called in babysitters every 5 minutes and handed them over to family at every given opportunity, I’ve coped. I feel very proud of my own inner strength and what I’ve accomplished. I am a Mom!
Ordinary is one of the words recently used to describe my girls. To most mothers it would be upsetting to hear their child described as ‘ordinary’ when most mothers strive to find their child’s extraordinary quality’s. For me though, I’ve tried hard to teach my girls basic life lessons, etiquette, manners, morals, what to say and what to keep to your self and the consequences of their actions in the hope they would learn how to be ‘ordinary’ children and blend in with their peers. So to hear my girls described as ‘ordinary’ is like a pat on the back for me and it makes me smile inside, I’m very proud of how beautiful inside my girls have grown to become!
Picture the scene, me and my girls in the car, Taylor Swifts ‘love story’ playing full blast. We’re all singing our hearts out. I’m dancing about in my seat to the music. I glance in my mirror for a split second and see all my girls singing at the tops of their voices, smiling at me and copying my moves. At that point a huge lump rises in my throat, my eyes well up and I realise that this is one of those moments, one of the moments I’d imagined I’d share with my child/ren, just me and my beautiful daughters enjoying a good old sing song!
What a wonderful day today was! We got together with lots of our adoption/foster friends and we all took our kids out for a picnic in the park. We took 11 kids that didn’t know each other and were unlikely to have even noticed each other on a playground and we stuck them in a forest. Within minutes they were organising themselves, working together, sharing, laughing, smiling and building a den! These children have all had unimaginable lives, all endured neglect, rejection, uncertainty, they’ve had to learn how to survive and look after themselves, they have become the best of friends with ‘insecurity’ which means friendships and playing can be difficult for some of them! Today none of that mattered, today they were just kids, being kids, it was amazing to watch and lovely to see them all joining in, taking turns, looking out for each other and helping one another!
As a baby our mother would gently rock us to sleep in her arms, then in our cribs she would stroke our faces till we settled and closed our eyes, in our beds she would settle us with a story, maybe a song and a cuddle, and we’d drift gently off to sleep feeling safe and secure, sometimes we’d wake and she’d return with a reassuring word or two about bedtime and we would go back to sleep knowing she was just downstairs if we needed her.
Without all of this we wouldn’t know how to settle ourselves and would just lie awake for hours staring at the ceiling wondering why we were in bed and what its purpose was.
2 of My girls missed out on all of this, they learnt that bed time is just about playing in your room and sleep is just something you do when you can’t keep your eyes open for a moment longer. The end result is very tired little girls who bicker because they’re irritable and can’t focus at school because they’re so ‘wired’.
1 of my girls was ‘lucky’ enough to enter the care system at a young age and to the care of a foster carer that cared for and nurtured her. She sleeps soundly.
The difference a good sleep routine makes is very apparent in our home.