When people ask how we’re doing, I always say ‘really great thanks’, even if we’re having a bad day, rarely do I say how I really feel, and this got me thinking, why do we do this?…..
So yesterday I felt a bit fed up, not myself and was really not ‘fine’, yet when I bumped into a friend on a run he asked how we were and I said ‘great!’. Afterwards I thought why did I just say that, why did I effectively lie. I think we feel it’s a socially acceptable thing to say. Or maybe if I let myself say how I really feel, the emotional floodgates would open and I don’t really want that (even if it’s what I really need). Or it could be because I feel that people think it was all a happy ever after when we adopted and they assume we’re all having a wonderful time. yes, what I post on social media is normally very happy and lovely, but as I always say, thats the ‘edited highlights’. They don’t see the hard bits, maybe they should.
Nothing is massively bad at the moment, but I think that a number of things are on my mind at the moment, and I’m a thinker so it all accumulates into something that’s bigger in my mind than it really is. I also feel that we really don’t have it as hard as some people do, so feel bad for moaning, maybe I should harden up and get on with it. So last night when I couldn’t sleep I was thinking the following:
- It’s not ok that the seemingly constant tantrums, defiance & tears are wearing me down. I find it especially hard that she seems like a little angel when out and about, so people don’t really know how it is.
- it’s not ok that I don’t really know if we’re doing the right things. I so want to be able to help my little girl, but sometimes feel I make it worse. Im still struggling to know if it’s ‘trauma’ or normal toddler behaviour.
- We gave her a musical jewellery box when we had our celebration hearing, and although she does seem to like it, it appears to trigger some sort of sad/upset emotions, and it’s not ok that we have no idea why
- It’s not ok that I feel quite socially isolated, in the 9months she’s been home, we haven’t really made any new friends. We already had some friends, and they’re great, but it would have been nice to connect a bit more.
- It’s not ok that I’m quite apprehensive about return to work, and the change we’re all going to have to get used to.
- It’s not ok that running, something I used to mostly love is now really hard, and I miss loving it
- It’s not ok that sometimes I just really want to go back to my life pre-child, or that sometimes I really don’t like her. (although I challenge any parent to say that they haven’t thought this at some point).
- She still misses her Foster Carer, and although we have agreed to meet up, it’s not ok that I can’t reassure her and tell her when or where.
- It’s not ok that I don’t feel great, nausea/dizziness is not ideal when having to look after an active toddler. Maybe a trip to the Dr to check on those iron/vit D levels may be beneficial.
Then i felt really bad for thinking some of these things, and I tried to see the positives, and to identify what is OK/great. I know that I am very lucky to have such an amazing daughter. She is the friendliest & smiliest person I know. She brings a lot of joy to a lot of people. She has already endured so much in her short life so far, and she makes me so proud.
- Today we made it to 9months as a family. Thats a great achievement. We saw our girl’s social worker at the celebration hearing, and she commented on how little one is ‘thriving’ in our care, that was nice to hear
- To see how confident our daughter is becoming. last Sunday in church she got up, unprompted and danced on stage. She was so natural and free, and lovely to see. several people commented after that it had made their day.
- To see that we are helping our daughter to love reading. The lady at playgroup observed that she obviously does a lot of reading at home. It was nice to know we’re getting something right.
- Generally she is doing amazingly, very well settled and is on the whole lovely. She now spontaneously gives the cutest little kisses which I love.
So, in conclusion, I think it’s important to be honest about how we’re feeling, and to try to be a bit more observant when with others because I’m sure they’re not always as ‘ok’ as they say they are.