What to do when you’re just. not. enough.

So some days you can feel like super mom juggling little hearts, laundry, meal times, dance practice, play dates…. and then. Well, there’s other days you just don’t. The kids have bad attitudes, the smoke detector goes off because you burnt the fries (I OFCOURSE don’t know this from experience 😝), it’s one defiant episode after the other, and even coffee can’t save you. By the end of the day, you may just want to go to sleep at 8 even though there are messes everywhere and dishes piled high. Because you got those little crazies to sleep and that is a HUGE FREAKING ACCOMPLISHMENT for the day.

We’ve been in a 5 day rut. When raising kids who’ve been through significant trauma, it takes a little extra to come back to your “normal.” So here’s a few things I’ve learned that helps my little beauties come back to me instead of living in the past. 

1. Change of environment. 

This may seem simple, but it’s HUGE. I, thank God, have an awesome momma who we can go visit when things get super overwhelming for us. But even if this isn’t the case for you, getting my kids in a vehicle and jamming to Moana or worship songs helps everyone out. Go to a park. Go to Sonic. Do something out of the ordinary and make it a special treat. Just GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. 

2.  Refocus: “I am thankful for this moment.”

We have a saying we repeat when things get overwhelming: “I am thankful for this moment.” It remind my girls not to worry about the future and be thankful for this day. So if your little love bugs are getting anxiety causing them to ask all the what-if questions, maybe you could implement this saying too!

3. Call a friend!

Maybe you need to vent. And that’s ok. Hopefully you have SOMEONE who knows your situation who you can just talk to. But it also helps our kids too! Yes you can call and talk, but so can they! Maybe they need to refocus or vent. Let them call a friend or an aunt or someone they love and trust (who you also love and trust)! It gives them a break from the chaos while giving you a break too 🙂 

4. Restart.

Know that this day will end. Sometimes that’s just all we can hang on to when we are dealing with fits all day long. Tomorrow is a new day. And let your babies know that too! Tomorrow is a new day and a new start 🙂 You of course don’t have to wait til tmrw…. depending on the time of day. But it’s also ok if that’s what you need to do. 

5. YOU ARE A BADASS

You are enough. You are enough. You are enough. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, you have these kids in your life for a reason. They need you. They love you. And they pick up on your feelings. You didn’t cause their trauma. You are only here to love them through it. ❤️❤️❤️ 

“You didn’t cause their trauma. You are only here to love them through it.”

SO. You’re only human. And that’s ok! We need to recharge and refocus sometimes. It’s good. It’s strong. And your kids need you to be you. So take a moment. Breathe. And trust your mom gut, knowing you are strong and capable of taking on this day and every day after. 

❤️❤️❤️

Advertisements

Tornadoes, mermaids, and unicorn tears. 

“I had a dream about a tornado. And it broke our old house, and I was holding onto the ground and everything around me got pulled up in the funnel. Me and Mermaid* got put in a truck. And they took us to a safe house. And we were safe and then I woke up.”

This might not seem like a huge dream. But it is. Especially when you count in all the break downs and details that have come out in therapy this week. Especially when we have a TPR date and visits are terminated and the reality is is they are not going back with their mom. Especially when you know their history. Their awful story of abuse. 

“My beautiful girl,” I said, “you came from a very broken family. And it might seem like your world has been completely shaken. It is scary to not feel safe. But you are safe now. And I am so thankful you are here with me. No one is going to hurt you here. You are safe. And I love you so so much.” 

This was a very sweet moment, and it’s been a very emotional few weeks. I’ve gotten more details of the abuse than I care to know. It makes me want to throw up. But all I can control is how these beautiful girls feel in our home. 

I tucked her in bed that night. She got out and wanted me to hold her. Her way of saying that she loves me and wants me and is thankful for me. This is huge. My little ODD, ADHD, RAD princess is understanding and accepting her life with me. Ohhhh. All the cries. 

I just know we are only at the start of this process, and it’s going to get rougher than it already has been… So to treasure these sweet moments is crucial to my wellbeing. And hers. She’s bonding with me. She’s trusting me. Explode, my soul. 😍

Reality check. 

Sometimes I can’t handle the truth. Sexual abuse is awful at any age, but when the children I am parenting have experienced such awful things…. how can I even stomach the truth?? People hear stories of abuse. I am living out the healing process with my kids who, by the way, no one else wants. No one else is qualified to handle. And it’s frustrating. It’s hard. I hate how there seems to be no one else wanting to be in the front lines of this war on kids who come into State’s custody. Kids like mine get shoved into residential facilities because their behaviors are “too much” …when the reality is their abuse was too much. And how is that their fault? 

I cry. I pray. I process with them. I hold them until they fall asleep. I wake with their night terrors. I shudder at the thought of what had become familiar in the night. And I’m thankful that their rooms are now peaceful and safe. 

They scream how they miss their mom. They yell at me, constantly reminding me I’m not their real mom. And I just agree. I’m not. And I’m sorry. And I see how this is tough and confusing. 

Meeting their screams with whispers. Holding them through their freak outs. Hugging them through their confusion. 

And sometimes I fail. 

I fail hard. 

But then I apologize. And I’m the one being met with hugs. And they smile and melt my entire world. And their “I love you” and their prayers and their words of grace sing over my heart. And I am so thankful that they are in my life. I’m so thankful Jesus has allowed me to be their mom, if only for a season. 

And I’m reminded to focus on this day. This moment. Because this moment is all we have. Together. We are together. We are a family. And they know it.

Momentary chaos is overcome by steady consistent love. 

And it may be my job to help them through their trauma and their past, but I simply have this moment to love them. To sift through the pain and reveal the beautiful jewels that my girls are. Every hug, every smile, every snuggle, every time they sneak their hand in mine, every time they ask me to hold them, every serious talk, every goofy moment reminds me just how much this is worth it. 

Oh, but it’s worth it.

I’ve been a therapeutic foster mom for three months now. I had every intention of documenting my experiences from the day I got my two precious girls into my home…. but the reality is: THINGS ARE JUST NOW CALMING DOWN. It’s been a whirlwind of crazy to say the least.

The first two weeks I had to focus on my little 6 yr old not running away when she got upset and started missing her birth mom. We were have 2-3 hr melt downs per day. Biting, kicking, screaming, destroying. And I’ve been trained to deal with these behaviors! I worked at an emergency placement facility for kids in foster care for a little over two years before taking on this adventure. I have deescalated a lot of children and calmed lots of little hearts that are missing their birth mommies. I was the queen of that castle! But this was an entirely different dragon. These babes are living with me at all times, testing every single part of me. Trying to push any little button that would force me to reject them.

They have been given up on so many times, sent to home after home, facility after facility, (and even a hospital or two) just to have it even more engraved in their hearts that they are unlovable.

“YOU’RE JUST GOING TO SEND ME TO LAKELAND!”

“YOU HATE ME!”

“YOU DON’T REALLY WANT ME!”

And why should I be any different in their little minds? This is what they know. This is their reality. They act up too badly, they get sent away.

Too difficult. Too hard. Too messy.

But consistency pays off. And fighting rage with peace, anxiety with understanding, and fear with love wins the war. It may not seem like it in the moment, but little ears listen. Little hearts understand. And with every consistent bedtime, every consistent meal, every consistent hug, I was (and am still) winning their trust.

Three months later, we have our routine down. They know what to expect. They know it is my job to keep them safe. They know I love them.

We still have time outs and minor melt downs, but with every  moment of chaos comes small victories. Opportunities for grace. Ways to show them unconditional love. That no matter what happens, I am here. Fighting for them. With discipline. With grace. With consistency.

It’s not easy.

Oh, but it’s worth it.

…And here are my little freedom flowers now 🙂