I’m Not So Bad, Am I?

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I will never claim to be mother of the year. Being a mom is a relatively new experience for me. I second guess myself all the time because of my own insecurities. I also don’t want to screw up Buddy anymore than he has been in his two short years. However, when other people put me down for choices I’ve made, it’s like a slap to the face. It makes me question who I am and what my place is in life.

No two children are alike. They all move at their own pace and rhythm. I started potty training Buddy because the doctor suggested that it may be the reason why he was getting backaches. It turns out that it was. We have had some setbacks. He doesn’t always like to use the potty at home. He will whine and get off, despite daily sticker rewards, a matchbox truck after 7 successes and a trip to Chuck E Cheese after 28 successes. He’s peed on my bedroom floor. He’s peed in my husband’s new slippers. He even peed in the nightstand. What I say to Buddy is, “we don’t pee on the floor. We only pee in the potty.” Then I spray some cleaner and give him a paper towel to clean it up. Do I expect Buddy to do an immaculate job? No, I just want him to know that it’s not acceptable to do what he did. Yes, he’s only two. I also expect Buddy to pick up his toys with help, put his clothes in the hamper and put his dishes in the sink. He can do it, he’s very independent and he likes to help.

What I don’t appreciate is when other people, who think that, since they’ve already raised their boys, or they’ve gone through whatever, think they can tell me what to do. I was told that he’s too young to be potty trained and by starting him so early, he’ll be a bed wetter. Well, guess what? Buddy must have heard this because he stayed dry through the night! He woke up at 3:30am. He was still dry, so I asked him if he had to go potty and he did. When I got him up at 7:30, he was still dry!

I know I am new to motherhood and I’ll make mistakes, but I have been a babysitter and a teacher and an aunt. I read info online. I’m not a dummy! I’m open to suggestions. I run things by my friends all the time. That’s how I found out that if I give Buddy a small snack before bed that he’ll sleep through the night much easier.

I TRY MY BEST!! I look back on days that haven’t gone well and I think about what I could have done differently because it’s a learning process. I also have to look at things from a different perspective since he’s a child in care and I haven’t had him since day one. I don’t tell other people how to raise their kids. They also haven’t gone through what I’ve gone through. This is my third foster child! Losing the last one was like death. I wish I could be a stay at home mom. I wish I could have kids of own. But I can’t. I’ve had to do things differently, so let me and back off.

Photo credit: kandyjaxx / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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6 thoughts on “I’m Not So Bad, Am I?

  1. I have a daughter, also 2, who we are potty training as well. I’ve heard of kids training even younger than that, so I never would have thought that she was too young! She does really well most days – but she is a typical independent 2 year old. We make her clean her toys before bed, help rinse the dishes, and – on the days where she decides to have a superiority battle with the toilet – we make her clean up her own messes. Usually after one accident, she will be good for several days. She doesn’t always wake up dry in the mornings, but when she does she gets to eat her favorite cereal for breakfast. We haven’t pushed the overnight training yet though. As far as I’m concerned, there are kids who wet the bed until kindergarten, but they still grow out of it and turn into perfectly fine, functioning adults.
    I think it is awesome that you are a foster mom. To people who put you down, I’d ask them “Are you a pediatrician? A child psychologist? Then know that I am making the best decision for my child.” Keep up the good work mom!

    • Hi there!
      It’s nice to know that I’m not so outlandish in my parenting expectations! I don’t push the night time stuff at all. It just happened to work out that way with sweet irony! Thanks so much for commenting, you’ve made me feel so much better!

  2. Definitely not too young. And having him clean up after himself is perfectly acceptable (and others will disagree and they are welcome to do so). I hear you. Each child is different and we can learn from each other – but don’t assume you are smarter or know my child better than I do. And that isn’t even touching on the differences that are because our kid is in care or because of past trauma or because of triggers or behavior issues or…the list is endless. I see a thousand things in other parents that I disagree with or don’t understand. Unless I’m asked for my opinion, though, I do try to keep my mouth shut. I wish more would do the same.

    • Hi Instant Mama,
      I’m so grateful for this blog and getting the reassurance from other people who have gone through it first hand. I’m glad that I’m not the only one. I’m sorry that we’ve all had to go through it, but it’s nice not to feel alone. Take care!

  3. When I first told people I was going to try to adopt through the state foster care system, I’ll be honest, some acted like I was asking to be exposed to hazardous waste…they didn’t know what all would happen, and what was involved, but, eww. (I won’t go the internal rants my little bratty side went into, since I was lucky to keep my mouth shut). Then, when I get children into care, those who aren’t clued in on the whole situation chime right in with the hows and what to dos, while I’m well aware of what is realistic in our household at the time. Everything is different because you have no idea of any of their background or routine (one was 10 months old and had never slept by herself. We didn’t learn that for a whole week and had lots of advice on what we were doing wrong on the bedtime routine).

    Many women have given me advice on my dude and his feeding issues. And in the past, there were days I was so exhausted from his constant vomiting, I’d turn him over and say, “Fine, you do it”, and then, after they got puked on, the passed him back and never said a word. I’ve had him since he first ever left the hospital, but his genetics, and his prenatal experience is what made him different, and now, I have to figure out how to work around that.

    And Lord bless you for helping raise a child that will learn to clean up after himself. Regardless of the mess, its not a parents job to clean up after the child their entire life, and if the kid can see a mess on the floor and understand how it got there, and is functional enough to understand wiping the mess up, then you’re well on your way to raising some competent kid right there. You’re not asking him to dig and plant a flower garden, you’re not asking him to wash the floors like Cinderella…you’re teaching him responsibility. Once you’re lived through some foster care, you know what can kill a kid in life, and what can make them stronger. Cleaning hasn’t been a single reason I’ve gotten a kid into my care 🙂 You Go Girl!

    • Thanks so much Amanda! People are easy to spout out at the mouth one minute and tell you that you’re a saint for doing foster care the next minute. I’m not looking for praise or thanks, I’m just trying to get through each day without going crazy! I want to be a mom and this is how I’m doing it and I’m doing the best I can! Thanks for the reassurance!

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