Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Forgive me readers...

For I have been a bad blogger. It has been 10 days since my last blog post.

I apologize in advance for this post. It may be kind of a downer. But, UGH. That's all I can say. Things have been hard lately. Like, really hard. Gabe has been quite a challenge. Temper tantrums have started and unfortunately they have started earlier than the "terrible two's". Is there such a thing as the Terrible 17th month?

I have been so frustrated because he just doesn't listen to us. I talked with my mom and she said "you just can't reason with a 1 1/2 year old". It makes me feel a little bit better. Because, to tell you the truth, I've been doubting myself a lot. Do I really have what it takes to be a good momma? Am I cut out for this? Am I going to "mess him up" if I don't do the right things? I know I'm going to make mistakes, but lately, it doesn't feel like I've been succeeding at anything. I feel like there's more pressure because he's adopted. What I mean by that is someone else - a complete stranger at the time - trusted me to raise her son. His birth family has never made me feel this way, but sometimes I feel like all eyes are on me. Like everyone is watching to see if I'll succeed or not in raising an adopted child.

I just love him so much. I want him to have a good childhood. I want him to be happy. I want so much for this wonderful child that has been entrusted to our care. But, at the same time, I don't want to give him all he wants all the time and raise a spoiled kid. I know it's a balance. I know you have to find what works. And, I know that each child is different. When do you figure it out? Is that like the secret to life question? The holy grail?

I guess we just have to do the best we can, try not to lose our mind analyzing all that we do, and just try to love the heck out of our kids... even when they have a tantrum. Even when they've woken up a couple of times during the night for an hour at a time. Even when they pull your hair. Even when they headbutt you and give you a fat lip (happened to me Sunday).

I would just ask that you pray for me, Gabe's Momma. That I cut myself a little bit of a break and that I realize that I'm doing the best I can do. I also ask that you pray for Greg too. We both are having a tough time with the tough love part of parenting. Lastly, please pray for wisdom for us - that we make the best choices for this awesome little guy. Thank you in advance for your prayers and again, sorry for the "Debbie Downer" post.

I did debate on putting this post on Gabe's Mom. I have tried really hard to keep from sharing the "ugly stuff" on here so Gabe doesn't have to read about it later. But, tonight, I realized that maybe it's not such a bad thing that he sees some of the challenges too. Hopefully, he will see that despite the tough times and the "terrible 17th month" that we still love him more than anything/anyone we could imagine. Maybe he'll see that being a parent isn't easy, but it is the best thing I've ever had the privilege of doing.
Here are a few photos of Gabe playing with the garden hose. This has become his new favorite activity.

Spraying Dad

Yes, Greg taught Gabe how to hold the hose like a "weiner". Ugh. Boys.


The Mrs. said...

Is there such thing as the "terrible 17 months"? Absolutely, without a doubt, as far as I'm concerned. A lot of parents I have talked to claim the "terrible twos" start a good six months before the actual second birthday.

Try not to be so hard on yourself, Bri. I know that's almost an impossible thing to do sometimes, as I'm the queen of mommy guilt. This is a tough time developmentally - they're starting to test boundaries and learning how to manipulate (for lack of a better word) situations. We've experienced (and are still) many of the same types of behaviors with our youngest. She turned two in April, and some days are a real struggle.

I know that you and Greg are doing the absolute best you can with Gabe. There is no doubt he feels so loved, which ironically enough, is probably why he's testing the two of you the way he is. My best advice - be a united front. Decide together what battles you're willing to fight (and how you're going to tackle them) and which ones you're going to let slide by. Communicate and step in for one another when the other one is feeling defeated.

Do you ever "figure it out" completely? I don't think so. 'Cause just when you think you have those little stinkers go and switch it up on you again! =)

As for sharing the not so good stuff, I'm all for it. Life isn't always sunshine and roses, and the same applies to parenting. To me, knowing that some day my girls will read about the lowlights that came with motherhood, will help the realize that it's okay to feel lost when some day they become mommies. I know that when they look back on this journal of our lives that the good will far outnumber the bad.

(((HUGS))) to you, from one mommy to another!

Bri said...

Oh, Mrs... Thanks so much for your comments! Tonight has truly been a blessing for me... Gabe's babysitter called too, just to see if he was feeling better. We ended up having quite a long talk about how he hasn't been himself lately and that she doesn't think I should be so hard on myself either! It's really a relief to know that other parents don't have it figured out either and that I'm just not a failure! :) Thanks so much for making me feel better.

Thanks too for what you said about sharing the good and the bad. I agree... life isn't always sunshine and roses! There are some doozie days in there too!

Thanks again... Hugs right back at' ya!