Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Gimme a Freaking Break!

Apparently, I am not only horribly mean and have forced my child into slavery by insisting that she finish her chore nightly but I love some kids more than others. I expect this from a teenager but am incredibly disappointed in an older child that helped fester that insecurity. I am more than willing to admit that would be a difficult subject to begin with your mother but I am not your average mother. Each time ALL of my children have come to me with issues about me, I listen. It hurts my feelings but I do sincerely try to work on it. When you have 2 kids whispering back and forth about you instead of coming to you, how do you defend yourself?

I am equally mean to all of my children. I have always worried about treating them fairly. I mean come on, when one child screams at you, tells you you aren't good enough, physically attacks you, threatens to have you jailed, or abuses your other children, it is tough to look past those behaviors. I DO! I do it every day. Most of us would want the company of a child that loves you and is playful with you, one that you know you are safe with. It doesn't mean I love them more, longer maybe but not more. I love each of my children, not the same way but the same amount. I like them differently but that is due to the way I am treated by that child.

Part of the jealously was about Kiera. A baby. I spend too much time with her. I love her more. Bullshit. All except one of my children struggle with attaching, relationships, and overcoming severe trauma in their younger years. She is no different. We have a chance to make it better for her. She doesn't have to suffer as severely as they have. For this effort, I am being called to the table. WTF?

The other child is Emma. Emma is a fully attached, well adjusted child. She is the single laziest person on Earth. She is lazy with humor and has been since a young toddler. The worst thing she does is try to get out of her chore. No fits, stealing, excessive lying, sabotaging, or triangulating. I receive love from her. This makes her easier to be around, not love more. She gets her share of consequences but her infractions are minor. They could never compete with the crap the others pull. Never. So that means I treat her better and love her more? On Christmas Eve as we were putting out presents, I stopped to look at everything and realized that Emma had been shorted. Not just short a present but several. I was so worried that the others would feel like someone got too much, I shorted her. That happens a lot. I know she knows deep down that she is loved and adored, they still measure my actions daily to see if I really. She can handle a tiny let down but it becomes a huge thing for the others. She lost her us when they came. They absorb most of my attention. If any child in the house deserves more, it would be her. Yet she gets less and is treated like the enemy because she has the ability to love with her whole heart.

I can only do so much for one child to prove I am committed to her. I take care of her children, took in her entire family when we can barely make it ourselves, I put up with endless scream sessions and tantrums from her children, I have taken them to appointments and found a great therapist for them, I have helped her retrain her children and deal with their issues so she will be able to survive the rest of their childhood, I look past all the stupid things she has done in her past and recently without holding it against her, and I was her personal cheerleader when she didn't think she could finish school. I am exhausted from helping. It is never enough.

The funny thing is that I would do it all over again. I wouldn't stop helping one, adding additional security measures to keep another with us, or stop trying to find help with the right meds combo to help the others adjust. I love them all. They all have so much potential and without our family the ability to reach that potential fades away. I knew it would take a long time for them to feel like a part of something bigger than themselves. I had no idea there was a real possibility that it would never happen. I didn't know they could ignore so much on focus on tiny moments.

This year is going to be for me. I'm planning a cool trip to FL with some other moms in March. I don't care if we eat PB and Js all month, I'm going. I don't care who watches them and who ends up in the hospital, I'm not going to be drug back here until it's over. The best part is that I think my sister, Kiki, will be going with me. She is calming all on her own. She is a mini vacation in a phone call. She will make the trip for me.


Jennie said...

Oh! I am so feeling this pain right now too! Must be the moon.

The Bus Driver said...

hey!! if you plan on going down this way (coastal GA area) on 95 and wanna meet for coffee or something, let me know. :)

Annie said...

When I started reading the first sentence I thought this was going to be a humorous post - like, 'hahaha, I guess I am a terrible mother to ask you to clean your teeth, aren't I? what a lark'. I know this will sound silly but I never really considered what a downer it must be to parent kids who can't realistically evaluate all that you do for them.
Even if your kids don't really see all that you do for them, it is making a difference in their lives, and it is enough, I think. Obviously just not enough to ward off some painful jealousy issues...

Lisa said...

I am so glad you're getting a break for YOU - enjoy every second of it!!!

As for the attitudes - we're there too. In fact, it almost seems like the more I do, the more they resent me for doing it. I understand the whole, "they're angry at their birth parents and you're the target because you're there" stuff, I really do, I just don't understand why it has to go on and on. It is completely illogical and selfish on their parts. I am always the first to cut my kids slack because they've had a hard life (not at my house they haven't, but you'd think we were slave drivers to hear them talk) - but at some point, some time, they're going to have to cope with the past and look to the future. We can want everything in the world for them and grieve every single set-back they throw our way - but the bottom line is - we're still always there. It gets old, some days are harder than others, but the last thing we need to hear from the kids we are literally LIVING for, is that we aren't doing our job up to their expectations.

I just asked my 16 yo yesterday what exactly she expects of us. She is very passive-aggressive and it's so hard to know exactly what she's thinking at the time drama is going on with her. She has no answers. Ultimately, it is our job to PARENT them and we need to do what we know is right. I do the same thing when it comes to trying to keep everything fair. The longer this goes on, the harder it becomes because while I do the same for all of them, there are a couple of my kids that I don't "want" to do as much for because they're so nasty to me. It doesn't mean I love them less, just that liking them because a little harder every year I'm being beaten down by their nastiness.

Bottom line - you're doing a wonderful job and no one ever told us we have to sacrifice every piece of ourselves to save them. They will take as much as you give them (and keep asking for more) and it may never be enough - you've done more than your share of work on all of them.

Laura said...

We're in the middle of this too. I 'knew' it would happen. I 'knew' it was normal. I 'thought' I would let it roll off and not get to me.

NOPE. It hurts my feelings and makes me mad but I can't show any of that, or demand justice. I have to pretend like I totally don't care and keep on keeping on.

GIRL- I'm going to FL too! I can't wait to meet you in real life!!! I can't wait to hug your neck. You probably don't even know who I am- but I read every post and find strength and wisdom and encouragement from you every time!!

Angela :-) said...

Living the same scenario up here in ND. Ugh.

(And, for what it's worth, my sisters & I, all raised in our family of origin, used to talk about my mom behind her back ALL the time. Still do, actually, and we're adults. I look at it as bonding together.)

Angela :-)

marythemom said...

"I am equally mean to all of my children."

I love this!

When my adopted kids first arrived 3 years ago I strove hard to treat them the same as my biokids. Then as their issues became more and more apparent I was truthfully probably harder on my biokids. No matter what though - ALL of them thought/still think that I love the other ones more.

My adopted daughter is probably the worst about this, she felt, no KNEW, I loved my young bioson more. I struggled to treat them all the same. I finally realized (and she admitted) that she wouldn't be happy until and unless he had as miserable a childhood as she did (and truthfully still wouldn't be happy even then).

While younger, my biokids are well-adjusted, intelligent, good-natured, neurotypical kids and they are ready for far more priviliges than their older adopted siblings. I will never be able to convince my adopted children that they are not being treated special or loved more because I gave birth to them. They have RAD - they will never believe me. So I'm no longer trying.

So I'm doing what my mom did with my sister and I. She did NOT treat us equally, we each got what we needed and was right for us as individuals. I'll admit at the time it didn't feel fair to my sister or I either but hopefully they'll understand when they're older like my sister and I did.

After all, one of the first things I taught my kids was that life is FAIR, and you don't really want it to be. Now I just need to work on stopping feeling guilty!

Mary in TX
Mom to biokids Ponito(10) and his sister Bob(13)
Sibling pair adoptive placement from NE 11/06
Finally finalized on Kitty(14) on 3/08 - 2 weeks before her 13th birthday!
Finalized on her brother Bear(16) 7/08. He turned 15 the next day.

"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

dfaust44 said...

This is the first time that I have posted but I wanted you to know that I went back and read your blog all the way back to the beginning. I did this over Christmas break. While I know NOTHING about any of the disabilities you deal with daily, I know that "normal ( I use that term loosely)" children always feel that there is a favorite, so I cannot imagine how your children with all their attachements issues can take this feeling and blow it way out of the ballpark!! I can tell you by reading your posts that you try as hard as you can to treat them all equally. Of course we want to spend more time with the more loving children. That is human nature. I just hate that the older ones are teaming against you. They cannot bring you down. You know and hopefully one day they will know how much you and the DH have given up for them. Of course as a mom you never feel like you have given up anything. It is just part of life. I am thinking about you and very proud of you and the DH. As an old friend, I have seen what has happened to alot of people we grew up with. It is nice to read about your family. Will there be a family birthday party this year? Maybe we can make it. Ever think about moving back to gwinnett?

Corey said...

HA! Kiss THIS kids! (my big butt) Cuz *I* am gonna hang out with your mean ol' Mom and teach her some NEW Mean tricks! And she will come home MEANER than ever!!

Can't wait to see you!

Abby said...

One of my teachers in college (taught my Teaching Children with Special Needs class!) used to say something along the lines of, "Fair doesn't mean equal. Fair means every person getting what he or she needs from me."

Good luck. *hugs*

Dawn said...

Oh, it is sometimes so hard to be a parent. I loved your comment about being equally mean to all the kids. I think mine would say the same about me. Hang in there. I think you are doing a phenomenal job. Most of them will appreciate it when they are in their 20s. And there is nothing you can do about the ones that don't.

Dawn Davenport