The pub at the end of the week, an off-the-cuff joint.

I have two kiddos in care living in my home right now. My life has suddenly become one of busy schedules and outside demands.

I talked about fostering a lot with my counsellor before I committed. We talked about television dreams and reality. On television and in the movies, the terror, trauma, grief, and distress of the children in care are minimized or absent.

Imagine being a kiddo in an abusive, unstable, unpredictable home. It’s bad, but it’s home. It’s family. It’s the people we love. So even though we’re trying to help, this too is trauma.

“They also serve who stand and wait.” I read that in a book once, long ago (I think it was “Rilla of Ingleside,” one of the “Anne of Green Gables” books referencing the first world war). This is what I’m doing with the kiddos right now. I stand and wait.

My job is to make and hold for them a safe space and calm space. I talk openly to them about their life and mine, and I acknowledge that everything about this is new, strange, and scary. This is on top of an already difficult life. And because their home lives are unstable and trauma-based, little-else in their lives goes well either.

It definitely breaks my heart. It has broken daily since they came. I’m reminded of kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with gold. Sometimes, repaired is better.

Maybe this time I’ll remember it’s Milton.

I haven’t been this busy since my kids were small and I was a working, single parent. I worried before things got rolling that I would no longer be able to handle the juggling challenges with my PTSD brain, but I’m stronger in some ways than I was before I last broke.

I’m better at saying “no,” for instance. I’m also better at boundaries.

This means I’ll also be better at teaching these things. And this I know from personal experience – a life of trauma isn’t conducive to building a strong self – survival is the only focus. So my goal as a foster parent, at least in the early days (and early days are measured in months and years) is to help them move away from a life lived in a trauma space.

It’s only then that healing and growth can begin.

This brings up a few issues for me. I have regrets about my parenting, about the choices I made with my step-daughters, and about the choices I made parenting my son. But, as I told my mother yesterday during our phone conversation when she mentioned that she wasn’t a very good parent –

“You were fine. You acted mostly out of love. You did the best could considering the things we knew about parenting at the time, based on your reality and the challenges of being a stay-at-home mom with three kids who had serious medical requirements for the first, I’m going to say decade. You loved us and did great mom stuff. Cut yourself a break.”

So should we all.

Perhaps this time I’ll also remember “kintsugi.” I doubt it.

It’s an “off-the-cuff joint” because I wrote this in Word Press proper rather than word.
No real editing. I’m not feeling it today.

17 thoughts on “The pub at the end of the week, an off-the-cuff joint.

  1. Wow – this is so wise. And I love what you told your mom. It sounds like the pep talk that anyone trying to parent needs to hear. And God bless for being a foster parent – love the safe space you are creating for those kids and the image of kintsugi. Sending love and energy to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are exactly who those kiddos need right now, so keep leaning into it. You’re doing great and you’re going to keep doing great. Sending the lot of you love and light. 💕


  3. There are so many things…

    I love that you foster and that you compared the healing process to kintsugi. There are both good and bad things, and they can exist side by side.

    I’m glad your mother acknowledges she made mistakes. That is truly wonderful.

    I made many mistakes in my parenting before starting my healing journey in 2020, and there are times when I wish I could go back and re-parent. But we’re not here to be perfect; we’re here to learn.

    Sending you love. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.