Diary of A Trash Parent


When DJ and I tell people that we do foster care, they usually smile and with a tone laced with pity say one of the following:
  • "That's so great!"
  • "Such a noble thing to do..."
  • "You guys are so awesome!"
  • "Oh, wow!" 
  • "Really?! You guys are saints!"
  • "Those kids are really blessed to have you all."
  • "I couldn't do that. Good for you guys."
  • And my favorite (not really), "Wow. I could never do that!"

BUT, let me tell you how wrong ya'll are! We trash. PERIOD. 

I'm not sure why people think that we are some kind of special branch of exceptionally kind people who want to foster and adopt all the children in the world that don't have parents. That ain't us sis. We are regular smegular people who happen to be foster parents. 

I'm going to attempt to give you a glimpse of the Real Life of Foster Parenting. 

1. I'm tired. 
Between this revolving door of kids coming and going and the everyday chaos of kids being kids, I'm tired. I don't have anymore patience than the next mom. If anything I have less, because I am constantly changing my parenting strategies to fit whatever child I am raising at the time. 

2. I be wanting to whoop these kids (also known as spanking)!
Yes, I said it. Judge me - I don't care. The Midwestern black woman in me feels the urge, regularly, to spank my children, but I don't (so don't try to report me). For example, my 7 year old daughter, constantly lies. She will lie about the paint on the wall or more specifically, the paint on her nails. Oh, and the 2 year isn't exempt either! He throws these crazy tantrums and bites his sister and even tries to bite me when he's mad enough. Now, I have read all the books about alternative discipline methods, we take away privileges, practice mindfulness, lecture, etc. But sometimes, I wish I could just tap their bottoms and be done. I'm just keeping it real. 

3. I get irritated very easily. 
Sometimes the kids are funny. Sometimes they're cute. Sometimes they're clever. But sometimes, they're just irritating. People have this idea that I am so loving at all times because we're trauma informed, but sometimes I need time and space to unwind. I've recently done two things to help with this after my previous foster son gave me some feedback: "Ms. AB, when you have a tired day at work, can you still play with us and read us books and stuff?" He succeeded in making me feel lousy and motivating me to be more present even when it's hard. 
Back to my two things to get through the irritation: 
  1. Apologize to my kids. When I am short with them or harsh in tone without reason, I apologize. Just like me, my kids get irritated and deserve to have their feelings acknowledged.
  2. Be intentional with my time after the kids go to bed. Every eye under the age of 28 closes at 8:00 p.m. or before. After they go to bed, I try to be better at journaling, catching up on a TV show, or reading. It's MY time - uninterrupted. 
4. I want to be a real parent. 
Okay, this one is a little tricky. I get that I am a mom. We don't use words like "real" or not in my home when talking about our family. It's the moments when kids leave our home that I wish that I had a forever child (adopted or biological). I love being a foster parent, but the anxiety of not knowing when they're going to leave is taxing. God willing, I will be a real mom one day to my forever child. 💙

For example - quick story - , my last placement left without any notice. I was livid. The caseworker texted me while I was at work that she was picking him up from school to move him to his pre-adoptive family. FROM SCHOOL?! I called her immediately to let her know that this was unacceptable and that we needed the opportunity to say goodbye and give him his things. However, I had no power in the situation.

Thank God I was willing to coordinate with the school social worker to have a goodbye phone call and arrange have his things picked up the next morning. 

That made me mad. I prayed a lot that night... for him and for me. 

5. No Hot Girl Summers.
Sometimes I look at DJ with shrugged shoulders and squinted eyes and say. "Why are we doing this?" My husband and I have only been married a little more than 2 years. Most of my friends my age are single and living their best lives. Meanwhile, I'm calling everyone in my network to babysit so I can go out for a night on the town. I am a millennial that should be traveling the world collecting side hustles, but instead, I am scheduling play dates and Youtubing "Little Black girl Hair styles" so that my daughter can feel like #blackgirlmagic every day. 

Don't get me wrong, I have fun. Just not enough of it. 

6. These kids don't care about me. 
I can be nice. I can buy them nice things. I can cook them dinner (well DJ cooks most often). I can spend time with them. I can put them in extracurricular activities. I can allow them to spend the night with an "aunty" from church, but that the end of the day, 
they | want| their|mommas. Periodt! (see my previous blog posts for more about this).

7.  I forget parent things like... 
Halloween costumes and picture day. Before kids, I didn't care about these things. Now, I'm scrabbling to find a Princess Tiana costume that won't break the bank and leaving work to take a check to my daughter's school for pictures because... I forgot. 

Oh and my kid's tooth was under her pillow for 3 days before the tooth fairy, aka $$, showed up. I told ya'll I'm trash. I forgot that kids cared about that stuff.

8. For real, I'm tired. 
Again, I love my kids. I love the kids I have now and all the ones that have gone but are still in my heart, but I get tired. There are times when I don't want to be needed. There are times when I wish all the people who want to help, would come get them. There are times where want to SLEEP in on Saturday morning without little feet scurrying around my bed. There are times when I don't know how much longer I will continue to foster. 

Still, I keep showing up. Still, this is what God calls me to, but ya'll can stop gassing me up because I ain't that great for choosing to be a foster parent. They help ME be better. They fill my void of wanting to be a mom... trash and all.

*If you are offended, my blog may not be for you. These are my realities and I think people should know that foster care isn’t always cuddles and breakthroughs. I love foster care and I’m committed to every child I get the privilege of loving. It’s just not always fun! 

Comments

  1. Hahaha, I love your honesty. Because this is real and these are facts.

    ReplyDelete

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