Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Working Mama Wednesday - Not a Saint

Someone at work today told me I "just achieved sainthood in (their) mind".  I get that fairly often when people learn I have 6 kids, especially those I work with because they know how BIG my paid job is and how much work it takes to manage it.  That's enough to make me crazy (or saintly) but if I add that I'm a foster and/or adoptive parent then it sends them over the top.

Here's the thing.  I'm not a saint.

I know some people get sensitive about sharing htat their a foster parent.  While we're all sensitive about the needs of our kids, their privacy in particular, I tend to overshare with the intent to help people see that they too could be foster parents.  Those who haven't walked in our shoes may not believe it but we're just regular people who said yes to something that (usually) blesses us at least as much as we have to give in.  We're not saints...literally the only thing that makes us different is the willingness to say yes daily.  Do we have more patience?  If we do it's only because we've developed it out of necessity.  Can we go with the flow pretty well?  Again, something we've learned from necessity.

Foster parenting is something I've learned from necessity in three aspects.  First - it was a necessity to pursue adoption (specifically from foster care) if we ever hoped to have more children than our one and only biological miracle.  Second - everything that makes me a foster parent I've learned by being a foster parent.  I didn't come into this with extra skills.  Sure I love children and I believe that this is important but the reality is that on average, foster parents start out as individuals, couples, or parents whose skills match those found in the non-foster parent population.  Third - and this one is important - foster parents are needed because there are actually, real-live children who need parents temporarily (some of them, permanently).  It's not like society looks at the foster parent rosters and says "Yep, we've got foster parents out there, let's go find some kids that need to be removed from their families for no reason".  NO!  Children are removed from their families for a variety of reasons but I can almost certainly assure you the needs of the foster parents are not at all a factor.

For anyone who thinks I'm a saint, I wish I had a camera following mie today.  Check that - no, no, I'm sure I'm glad I didn't have a brain's memory is more than enough to remind me.  I was not a nice mom.  I fought with my husband all night.  I fought with all but 2 of my kids.  I was short-tempered, easily angered, and uglier than I care to be.  On one hand, I feel justified by saying that it was just a rough day, doesn't happen often, and basically was representative of the fact that I'd hit my limit for the day.  On the other hand, that's not the mom I want to be, at all, ever.

My point?  We all have bad days.  And, I'm not a saint.

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