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All posts for the month March, 2012

Tiredness strikes again!

Published March 31, 2012 by thefamilyof5

Well the holidays have got off to a great start, rain for the first time in weeks has spoilt plans and we have 2 very tired girls after a restless night.

For some reason my middle girl took almost two and a half hours to drop off to sleep last night meaning she kept baby girl awake with her tossing and turning, sighing and coughing, grunting and groaning.
She then decided that 5.30am was a good time to start a coughing contest!

End result, I have a grumpy stroppy spiteful middle girl and a very tired and moody baby girl unwilling to have a midday nap.

We desperately need to get an extension built or move so we can separate these two. Its getting worse as they become more settled they’re becoming brave enough to test boundaries further and further. I guess we should be happy that it shows they’re more settled. But constantly tired children are not easy to ‘like’ let alone bond with.

Early nights again for now then it seems, if they survive till bed time that is 😉

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2 out of 3!

Published March 27, 2012 by thefamilyof5

So I was attending my final SEAL (Social Emotional Aspects of Learning) session at school today.

Towards the end of the session I was called out of the group by my baby girls reception class teacher to be told that she’d been heard using the F word on the playground today and it wasn’t ‘Fab’.
I haven’t made a big deal of this with her, it wasn’t used in context so she has no real understanding of the word or even that it was a swear word, until she got in to trouble for saying it that is. I actually wish school had played it down a bit more too, I don’t want her thinking swearing is a good way to get attention, so for now, I’ve let it go unnoticed at home. I was however interested to hear the name of the little girl she said taught it to her, its the same name I heard when I was called aside twice the other week. I wonder if anything is being done to address this little girls ‘interesting’ influence on the other children?!

So back to the session, or so I thought.

A few moments later I was called from the group again, this time by my big girls teacher. Seems they handed out pen licences to some of the children in class this morning. My big girl was very unhappy not to get one and proceeded to spend the rest of the morning stropping, sulking, shouting at children and more alarmingly shouting at teachers and hitting herself.
You may think ‘ahhh she’s 7, kids eh’. But no, my big girl has never stropped at home like she does at school. Admittedly in the early days she did strop on occasion, mostly when she didn’t get her own way and yes she could drag it out. But we ignored it and she eventually came round and they became less often, she was just testing the boundaries. She’s always been compliant, too compliant in fact. Don’t get me wrong we still have the odd stomping of feet up the stairs and bottom lip being pushed out, but within minutes she’s smiling again and the incident is forgotten. So why does she escalate this behaviour at school and for so long. Are the teachers not firm enough so she pushes things, does she also see her teacher as ‘weak’ like I do?! or is it that I am suppressing her at home by being too strict?! But if it’s the latter does that mean that shouting sulking stropping and being rude is acceptable?! Aside from all of this, why did her teacher allow this to happen. She knew how much a pen license meant to my daughter so why not prepare her for the news and pull her aside before she started giving them out rather than dropping it on her like a bomb shell knowing she was going to be disappointed. I’m sure if she’d reassured her that ‘she’d noticed all her hard work, how much her handwriting was improving and that knew how much she wanted a pen license but this time she wouldn’t be getting one but she should still keep trying hard as it’ll be her turn soon’ or words to that effect, then I’m sure none of the strops would have taken place. Her teacher failed her today.

I’m seeing a growing pattern of this behaviour at school from both girls and I’m worried about what lies ahead.

Sleep, again!

Published March 26, 2012 by thefamilyof5

I get tired of writing about the same issues and you must tire of reading about them too but it seems there are a select few issues that just continue to hound us.

Sleep is one of them. My 2 younger girls share a room, thats about the only thing they do share. Their relationship is a competitive one and almost every day Im reminded of this by them both in some way shape or form.

Sunday morning it was competitive coughing. At 5.45am. They take it in turns, they score points for loudness and how dramatic it sounds.

They sounded like they both had the plague,  and if I hadn’t known any better I’d have gone running in to check they were ok, but I did know better. So instead I put a pillow over my head and attempted to go back to sleep.

After what seemed like hours and hours we finally got up. I very calmly asked my girls if they were ok as they sounded very poorly. I said I was so worried about their poorly coughs that I thought it was best if they had a little drink of water and then go back to bed and rest for a little while. They were not impressed, but that was my plan.

They didnt rest, their antics continued.

So a little while later I got them up and reminded them that they’d been sent back to bed to rest and catch up on all the sleep they’d missed out on, but as they had chose not to rest at all they would now need to spend the whole day resting.

And that’s what they did.

Well, what sort of mommy would I be if I allowed my very sick children to exert all their energy playing, we didn’t want their chronic coughs to worsen now did we! 🙂

I’d love to say they woke in great moods today after their day of resting, but they didn’t.

Their coughs have miraculously gone though! 🙂 

 

 

 

 

The book that became a carrot that was just too much pressure!

Published March 26, 2012 by thefamilyof5

You need to read, The book became a carrot and The Pressure of a carrot for this to make sense.

I set the goal 17 days ago. My big girl is the only one that has managed to be rewarded with her book, it took her 14 days to get her 7 stickers. My middle girl has 6 stickers and my baby girl has 4 but I can’t see them getting any more any time soon judging by the last few days.

They’re behaviour has been awful again, so tonight I’ve put the chart in the bin, seems fairly pointless keeping it.

I’ll just have to find another way to reward the younger two with their new books.

Adoption, is it for everyone?

Published March 23, 2012 by thefamilyof5

So is adoption for everyone? No I don’t think it is. I’ve learnt so much from so many different types of family’s over the last year or so, I’ve been shocked, horrified, saddened and enlightened by some of the story’s I’ve heard. Its become my opinion, that adoption most definitely isn’t for everyone.

In my opinion adoption is not for the weak, naïve or emotionally vulnerable. Its not for people that long to parent a child. Its not for those that dream of family days out or cuddles on the sofa. It not for those that look forward to feeling that their child loves them. Its not for those that aren’t able to be flexible in their parenting. Its not for the feint hearted or those with a tickled stomach. Its most definitely not for anyone that has no understanding of the effects of trauma and attachment. Its not for those that sit back, do nothing and think ‘it’ll be fine in the end, it’ll work its self out’.

So who is it for I hear you ask?

Well its for the strong, the brave, the determined and the courageous. Its for those prepared to turn their lives upside down to meet their child’s needs, however bizarre they may be. Its for those that can love without being loved. Those prepared to turn their backs on everything and everyone for the sake of their child. Its for those that have patience and understanding. Its for those that have no preconceived idea’s of parenting. Its for those that are prepared to give give give and get nothing in return, and I mean nothing. Its for those prepared to be treated as if they are no more important to their child than the postman is. Its for those with an understanding of attachment and trauma. Its for those that can understand that the difficult times are cries for help, not child hood phases. Its for those that can see the need for nurture whilst being physically threatened or abused by their child. Its for those that can fight the system for their child’s rights and needs, and yet be compassionate and restrained enough not to fight with their child. Its for the emotionally secure. Its for those that can remain strong in times of great adversity and not be too proud to ask for help. Its for those that can see between the lines, those that can see beneath the cold, dark emptiness, that there’s a scared and frightened child that needs help. Its also for those that know Love, sometimes, just isn’t enough.

Adoption isn’t all doom and gloom but if your not prepared for the worst then it can be.

If you think the above is unrealistic or even that the adoption approval process is too tough, adoption really isn’t for you.

It takes a special kind of person to Love a child that doesn’t know how to love and doesn’t know how to allow themselves to be loved.

Adoption isn’t for everyone, but it is for some.

Which are you?

Life, or lack of it!

Published March 22, 2012 by thefamilyof5

I’m referring to my life not my girls, they are all safe and well before anyone rushes for the phone 🙂

My life however has vanished and become buried underneath being a mom, washing, cleaning, dusting and cake!

Dont get me wrong, I like cake but there’s only so much I can eat before I feel like I want to vomit.

My house is the cleanest its ever been.

And there are only so many DVD and sofa days one can enjoy before becoming insanely bored, im going to have a sofa shaped bottom soon.

I never thought I’d ever miss being a tax payer, but I do.

I’m not brave enough to enter into the world of full-time employment just yet, and realistically, even part-time would be a juggle around the girls appointments and that’s not to mention the fact that the child care would cost more than I could earn. Besides I have very little head space these days, my mind is preoccupied with worry and stress.

So then theres volunteer work. Volunteers arent  as ‘in demand’ as you’d think. I’m signed up and approved with 2 different organisations and since christmas I’ve ‘worked’ a whole 2 hours.

So is this it, is this what being a stay at home mom is like!?

Time for another slice of cake…………………

CAMHS Session 4 – My one to one (part 2)

Published March 21, 2012 by thefamilyof5

If you haven’t already, you need to read part 1 for this to make sense.

So as well as talking to me about some of the challenges I may face as an adoptive mother the therapist also talked about the girls struggles, which I was glad about, after all the therapy sessions are for them, arnt they?!

He briefly talked about the ‘Freeze/Flight/Fight’ reactions that most traumatised children have developed for their own safety. My girls ‘Freeze’.

He talked about how my big girl wears a mask and nothing that we see from her is real, its all just a show she puts on for the world to protect herself from harm. She behaves how she does and says what she thinks she should, in order to keep the adults around her calm and her safe. He suggested that attachment to anyone whilst she was wearing her mask was unlikely. He suggested that we have a session with just her and I, so he can tell her that he knows she wears a mask as he feels once she knows that we know, she won’t feel the need to wear it. Im not sure how I feel about stripping her of her ‘safety net’?! Surely when she’s ready and secure she’d remove the mask herself, or is he right, is that’s what preventing her from being secure?!

My baby girl was a little more complex, he talked about her lack of attachment and how she must feel very alone and scared in the world. He talked about her need for control but how allowing her to be in control will be very scary for her, she needs the adults around her to be in control so she can feel safe. He talked about how he’d seen her quite hyper and in a state of anxiousness, I explained that this is also how I see her going in to and coming out of school. He suggested that maybe she was struggling to cope with the lack of structure that reception classes offer her and that maybe there was too much ‘free play’ where she was over stimulated and able to become very excited without having the ability to then calm herself, which would be scary for her. He didn’t seem to offer any advice on how to help her with this, but suggested I could perhaps spend a morning in school which would either be really good for her, or really bad?!

He didn’t really mention my middle girl much, but to be fair she is presently the least of our worries, we feel that so long as her feelings are addressed and not left hidden away inside then she’ll be just fine, so that’s something to be worked on.

I mentioned how I wasn’t sure how family/group therapy could address their individual needs as they were so enormously different and he said that if they felt that was the case further down the line then they’d look at individual psychotherapy for them.

When we got that initial call from the therapist a few months back he briefly mentioned that he’d be retiring in June so their care would be handed over to a different therapist. It wasn’t until recently that this struck me as being something quite major (yes I know, I should have questioned it more back then but I was so relieved to finally be off the waiting list). So I asked during the session what would happen in June. I expected to hear that the sessions would be phased over gradually to the new therapist in time for his departure. This is not the case. It seems there is no new therapist yet, there isn’t even an advertisement for the position. I got the impression that there wouldn’t be a replacement for some time?!
So what happens June then I asked. Well apparently IF there’s a replacement then we’ll go on to a waiting list, if there isn’t then we won’t?! So what about their therapy I asked. Apparently he hasn’t begun any therapy (this explains a lot), he’s merely been carrying out continued assessments and that’s how he plans to continue until June, he said he would envisage they would need around 2 years of therapy.

So what do I do now?!

Why is nothing ever simple or straight forward. Why is it such a fight to get my girls the support and help they need and deserve in order to heal. I’m not a therapist, I can’t do it all, loving them just isn’t enough, I wish it was.

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