Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I guess you could call it advice...

Recently, I was asked by a brand new adoptive mom friend what my best advice would be for people who are parenting wee ones that neither they, nor their spouse gave birth to.

Whoa mama.

I wiped the deer in the headlights look from my eyes, quickly acknowledged the sad, yet liberating reality that had she known be better she would have chosen a far more deft-in-all-things-adoption-related woman to answer her question, cleared my throat, and gave it my best whirl.


Double Ahem.

Are you sure you don't want to talk to someone more qualified?

Alright then.

Here goes:

1) Maintain a sense of humor. Because goodness gracious sake, sometimes all you can do is laugh about the bizarre nature of your wacky life as you work to sort through the new and often mind bogglingly complicated issues that have cropped into it. There is always something at least a little bit funny to be found lurking around your household drama. Try your hardest to really laugh every single day, at least once.

2) Make and keep regular dates with girlfriends who will allow you to be honest and will not judge you. Laugh with them, cry with them, let them be good medicine for your soul.

3) Make and keep regular dates with your husband in which YOU TALK ABOUT OTHER THINGS BESIDES YOUR CHILDREN. How refreshing breaks are! Force yourself to take them! Parenting a large/adoptive/homeschooling family can be extremely consuming. Amid every day life, it can prove quite difficult to find the time and energy nurture your relationship with your spouse. A sweet marriage that is a true source of blessedness to both parties will provide a tremendous buffer for the struggles you face as you parent your kids.

3) Accentuate the positive. Whatever it may be, whether it be a lot or a little, focus on the things you adore, find endearing and splendid and enchanting about your children. Offer at least as much encouragement for what they are doing well and right as you do correction.

4) Make generous forgiveness your friend. Forgive you. Forgive them. This is, hands down, the hardest one for me. Oh the grief I have heaped upon myself, the tears I have cried. For me, for them, for us. Choosing to be easy on myself and easy on them makes life so much more lovely.

5) Accept that Norman Rockwell was not peering into your humble abode when he made those magnificent paintings. Embrace the winding and crooked and unexpected and joyful and sorrowful path that is your home life. Know that dying tired means you have spent yourself living thoroughly. At the end of each day, as yourself, "Are my adopted children alive? Were they fed and clothed today?" If the answer is yes give yourself a great big pat on the back. Well done!

6) You do want to ask someone more qualified for is not my forte. I rarely even take my own. ☺

1 comment:

Erika said...

#4 is the best, and the quote in #5 is hilarious - and true. It can also be applied to teenagers. I think you give good advice because it isn't sugar coated and you're funny. :)

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