Making parenting mistakes since 2008

Category — hopeful parents


I have this boy, he is funny, adorable and has the ability to light up a room with his laughter. He has a great sense of humour,  he loves sports and music, he is his little sisters hero. His name is Fudge and I love him in a way that only a mother could. He makes me crazy with his misbehavior and his antics but underneath all that silly little boy behaviour I see a glimmer of the wonderful man that he is going to grow into. A man who will be a fabulous at whatever paths he chooses to pursue because if there one thing that persistence is good for it is being successful.

I have not always been able to speak of him in that way, there was a long time when neither of us wanted to love one another. We have moved through that in many ways, it took a really, really long time, years in fact but then this week, he reminded me how very hard things can be with him.

On Wednesday he took me to a place I have not been to with him for a while, a place where he reminded me just how tenuous our relationship was for much of the first 3 and half years that he was my son.

There was a time about 2 years ago when I had given up hope that Fudge would ever love me. I talked about it then and you can read about here and here. They were dark days for me, days when I thought that things might never get better. Weeks and months when I had to let P be the only parent Fudge’s had because he was not willing to let me be his parent. I cooked his meals and did his laundry, I kissed him goodbye and goodnight but really that was all. P did everything else, all the nurturing, all the conflict resolution, assigning of consequences, all the stuff parents do for their kids was up to him. It was the only way to make it work. Fudge hated me, yes I said hated. It was not me as a person he hated, it was me as his Mom. He had been so hurt and he was missing the Moms he had before so profoundly that there was no way he could attach to another woman who said she was going to be his Mom. He had no reason to trust that I was not going to leave him even though I said was not.

I almost gave up more times than I would like to admit. I almost threw in the towel and stopped trying because I felt like it would never change. In the spring of 2011 he and I started therapy together again. I was committed to giving our relationship a chance to be something more than it was, something more than just a kid and his caregiver which was how I felt. Therapy was hard, he consistently talked about how the grass was greener everywhere else, about how I was not as good as everyone else and how really there was nothing that I could do that would be good enough.

It hurt.

I cried a lot.

But I kept going.  Looking back I am not sure how, I am not sure what kept me going during those really dark months. I know that I was holding on to the fact that if he never attached to me it was not my fault, that I would of done everything I could to make him feel safe and loved. I could only show it to him though, I could not make him love me, that was up to him. There were times when I wondered what giving up would mean for our family, his brother was doing well and after much discussion we decided that it would just mean that P would be his only parent, that was really hard for me to think about and admit.

Week after week we pushed through, things got way worse, way harder and then almost a year after we started things started to change. I wrote this post then, the changes I was seeing in him gave me so much hope for our relationship. He let me do things for him, he came to me for comfort and just to say hello, he wanted to brush my hair and to touch and to be touched. These were all huge steps for him and although there were times when the last thing I wanted was to let him touch me I did it, I sucked it up because I knew that this was what he needed.

When things finally started to change I was apprehensive, I was not sure that this was going to last but it did, he is slowly but surely attaching and it makes life with him so much more enjoyable. It makes me happy to be his Mom, I look forward to being together and not dreading our every interaction.

We have our moments though, it is not all roses and sunshine around here let me tell you. This week I was reminded of that, on Wednesday he and I had an epic blowout, we were both so mad at one another the other kids were steering clear of both of us. Later when we were both calm, I talked through what had happened with him and apologised for totally blowing my top and he looked at me and said, ” you kind of had a right to be that mad, I was being a jerk.” I just about fell off my chair, I was floored by his ability to notice what he had done and admit it such a short time later. He is attaching, I am attaching and we are going to be ok even if it did take 4 years to get here.

This was also posted today at Hopeful Parents, it is a great place, you should go check it out. 

September 8, 2012   6 Comments

And so it begins

The drama of re-entry that is.

My boys went to camp for a week, they had fun, they came home dirty, tired and full of stories. One of them  was happy to come home, missed us and plugged right back into his life, he is my son who is attached and who understands that no matter we are here for him.

My other son, the one who still struggles with his place in the family is finding it all rather difficult.He is in a word, a disaster. His emotions are all over the map, he is overwhelmed, frustrated and ready to burst if someone looks at him sideways. I say he is ready to burst but really he is bursting, he is so full of emotion that it bursts out throughout the day and we are all working on taking a step back when it happens….

The rest of this is at Hopeful Parents, head on over

July 8, 2012   No Comments

Not getting lost in it all

We just adopted a 3rd child. She is wonderful and bright and exhausting. To be honest I must say that writing has not been at the top of my priority list in the last 2 months. As today drew near I had decided I was going to write about me, about taking care of me in the midst of all the chaos that is our lives right now but then the day got away from me and there was no time for me. Managing my time with 2 kids home all day ( be cause we are now homeschooling 2 even though this piece says I am not)  is a bit of a challenge that I am slowly learning manage.  So,  as I learn new time management skills I would like to share something I wrote in  the past about self care, it is just as relevant today as when I first wrote it even though I only had 2 kids then! 

One of the hardest things about being a parent is making sure that your all of your needs ( physical, emotional, spiritual) are met along with those of all the other members of your family. Often parents put themselves at the bottom of the list because there are just not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

Here is a perfect example, my jeans never got hemmed and my socks don’t match. Now for some folks this may just be a quirky style for me it is a lack of time to meet my needs. I don’t really care about my clothes so this is not a huge issue but for some people it might just be the thing that put them over the edge.

 The rest is at Hopeful Parents… 

May 8, 2012   4 Comments


I have to find a school for Ramona for the fall. This is no easy task. She is currently in kindergarten and at the moment she has a full time Educational Assistant to help her make choices that ensure both she and the children she is with remain safe at all times.

I called my school of choice the other day and had a long conversation with the principal, she was judgmental and cool, to say the very least. I let her know that we were adopting an older child and had decided not to enrol Ramona in school immediately because the time she will have with me during the day will do a lot for her attachment and will hopefully help once we do put her in school full days. She told me she thought I was making a mistake and if I was not considering school perhaps I should consider daycare. I told her that I did not think that Ramona’s needs could be met in daycare considering she currently had 1 to 1 supervision at all times. She was less than understanding and asked if Ramona had been formally identified. When I told her that her IEP was for behaviour her tone got even more negative and we discussed alternate school options as this school is cross boundary and thus they are not obligated to take any of my kids…

The rest of this is posted on Hopeful Parents

March 9, 2012   3 Comments

Enjoying them just the way they are

As I was writing this last night while we sat around the campfire a storm blew up, not just a little storm, a huge break your tent and cause everyone to run for cover kind of storm. Needless to say the laptop was stowed safely in the van and by the time the tent was repaired and the children were settled I was not really up to taking the time to play with the wifi connection to get my article to post.  So here it is a day late…

I am on vacation at the cottage with my family. Our family is an eclectic mix of people as most families are but none of these people are biologically related to me and yet we are family.  We spend holidays together, we argue and disagree and every summer we spend a few days together eating smores, swimming in the lake and watching our children play.

We are connected by the biological relationship of our sons, they are brothers and for a variety of reasons were adopted into two different families.  My sons, Fudge and Calvin are the older brother of a sweet young boy we refer to online as E. All 3 of the boys have a variety of special needs as a result of the choices that their birth mother made and yet today as they played at the cottage you would never know of the issues that they have.  They are playing and laughing and having fun just as you would expect brothers to do on a hot summer day.

You can read the rest at Hopeful Parents

July 9, 2011   3 Comments

Don`t Forget

I am always reminding my kids to remember things
Don`t forget your homework or your lunch. Don`t forget to treat your brother with respect. Remember that if you continue to behave that way there will be a consequence. Don`t forget you have a doctors appointment today and I am picking you up early. Remember that we can talk about that at therapy. 
It is part of being a parent. I am always trying to remember the next therapy/doctor/school appointment. I am reminding myself to buy milk and to make sure that I defrost some thing for supper. I remind myself not to yell at my kids and to be more patient with Fudge. I try not to forget not to get lost in the shuffle and to take care of myself as well as my family, the house, and work. 
Sometimes though in the business of being a parent to kids who have busy lives and lots of challenging behaviour I forget that they are children and sometimes we need to let loose and have a little fun….
The rest is at Hopeful Parents, head on overPublish Post

June 8, 2011   2 Comments


It’s Mother’s Day today,  a fact that would be difficult to miss by anyone who lives in North America. It’s the day when we celebrate the woman who gave us life, the women who care for us, the women who we trust to meet our needs. That being said, celebrating this day is really challenging for some people. Not all of us had mothers who met our needs or loved us or cherished our every moment, many of us mourn the losses of the women who took care of and some of us were not privileged enough to have mother’s who noticed us or cared about our achievements. For others this day is hard because they are not the mother they thought they would be or they are not yet mothers even though they long to be. 
In our family we have our own sets of challenges today because my kids are adopted from foster care and I am their 5th mother.
I have been dreading this day for weeks because I know it will be hard. We keep things pretty low key and try hard to keep our routines as close to normal as we can. My husband took the children to buy a gift yesterday, nothing huge, nothing that states that I am the world’s best mother, just a little gift to acknowledge the day and all that I do as their Mom. They make me cards and we celebrate my role in their lives but it’s a fine balance between celebrating me and acknowledging that there were others before me and that they mourn the loss of those mothers too. 
The rest is at Hopeful Parents, head on over there to read it. 

May 8, 2011   1 Comment

High Tops

I cried buying shoes for my son the other day. I was standing there in the department store looking at the display of sandals and spring shoes and the tears welled up and rolled down my face. There was nothing I could do but let it happen, I needed to have that cry as I bought shoes for my boy.

Let me explain.

In September I bought new shoes for my boys. Calvin wanted high top basketball shoes with laces. I agreed, he loved those shoes. He wore them constantly even on the hottest days of fall, he took the time to tie and untie them and gave up wearing his sandals all together. Then winter came and the runners went away and the snow boots came out. They made an occasional appearance for cub meetings and such but really, in much of Canada in the winter it is all boots all the time. We pulled the much coveted high tops back out last week and he was excited to see them again. He talked about his love for his shoes and how they made run faster and jump higher. He wore them one day and then commented the next day that they he needed new shoes. I said don’t be silly and had him put them on again. He and I had a few arguments back and forth about them and he kept saying they were old and dumb and he needed new shoes. He would not wear them and went to school in his rubber boots for a few days.

I was at a bit of a loss as to why the coveted shoes sucked so badly all of a sudden and then the penny dropped…
The rest is at Hopeful Parents, head on over to read it there.

April 8, 2011   4 Comments

well it was my day

It was my day to write at Hopeful Parents and then my post got eaten by bloggyverse, there is a post there but it is not really anything excitng but if you want to head over and read it please do.

PS I am so not sure about what to do with Calvin, he seems a bit better but is still not able to walk without pain and it really does seem as though the pain is pretty significant…. I think we arte going back to childrens tomorrow.

February 9, 2011   No Comments

It’s all just sort of normal

Well normal for us anyway.

Life is just moving along here in our corner of the world. Each day cycles as it should, we eat, read, argue, enjoy one another, clean up, play, cook so we can eat again, run errands, go to appointments and then we sleep. Each day is similar to the one before it and to the one that will follow it

It’s life as a parent.

I take the raging tantrums, the violent outbursts, the IEP meetings, the doctors appointments, the therapy, the calls from the school and the therapeutic parenting interventions as just a normal everyday occurrences because they are part of life as a parent to my children.

The rest of the post is up at Hopeful Parents, head on over…

January 8, 2011   1 Comment