I don’t want to mum today.

Almost a week of this stupid bug, kids with anxiety so high that even just trying to get to breakfast is an exhausting battle, and having to get through the trauma of the nights (nightmares really high again for one child, crying/defending self in sleep, the other just flat out refusing sleep or help).
 
I don’t want to be a mum today. I just want to hide. My body is in agony. No one sees this side, everyone just sees my “charming, well behaved, polite and compliant” children. I apparently make up their struggle, or exaggerate it to my own end. “How could they possible be as bad as [I] say they are”. Trauma that’s how, they hold it together in front of everyone else to protect themselves. But at home, in the place they feel safest (not safe, just safest, they still don’t have any reason to trust me to be the mum they need me to be). 
I am burnt out. Caitlin had the same cold as me. For her it lasted 12 hours. For me, a week later it’s still going strong because my body is too exhausted to fight it. So yeah, once again I am sat here, out of energy, depleted of the patience and tolerance I need to get through the day and it’s not even 9am yet wondering how the hell any of us are still going to be breathing at the end of the day. 
I hope I can turn it into a positive day, despite knowing right now I don’t have much hope. But I thought it’d be worth sharing this in the moment because these are the times no one sees.

30 Days Wild – Day 23

Well, it was a bit hard to take in nature and wildlife yesterday, as we spent a large majority of our day on motorways and major A roads. Caitlin has jumped from being just under 17kg to 18.7kg in amongst this house move drama. This means that she’s too heavy for her car seat harness, so would either need to go to being secured only with the seatbelt (but she can’t even stay up right in a chair due to her posture), or a seat with a harness that goes up to a weight capacity higher (25kg/36kg).

So, knowing this day was coming I had searched some things (but had been holding off in the hopes that the OT report would be through as they were supposed to be making some recommendations). But clearly we weren’t meant to wait.

We booked in with the Disability Specialist at the In Car Safety Centre in Milton Keynes. We were lucky enough to manage to get a same day appointment, within a feasible driving time. We were greeted well, they had a little room the children could play in at the side, and the shop floor was clean well presented and inviting. And the assistant knew her stuff, and didn’t push for u to get the highest priced seat. We wound that the seats were a little higher in price than we could have found them by shopping around. But the service we received, and the knowledge that we were going away safe not “sold”, more than covered the difference. (They do not know I am writing this so, no I am not writing positively for any benefit, reward or compensafftion).

Anyhow, it was hard to enjoy the sunshine whilst we were sat on a motorway with it beating down on the car. And by the time we got home it was a bit late to be getting out and about. However, we do have the Collins Michelin i-SPY books, so we were looking out for animals, birds and trees.

30 Days Wild – Day 22

Yesterday was one of those awful days where nothing seems to go right, a chain of one after the other incidents leaves you feeling at a loss… and it was only 9:45 by this point – culminating in me swallowing a lip bar, which really was the tip of the iceberg. We had had wet pants (and carpet because there was just so damn much) meltdowns and arguments, stubbed toes… the works by this point.

So when we’d finally eaten breakfast at 9:45 I got the children to clear the living room and get out sheepskins, blankets and cushions, and we grabbed the Magic Faraway Tree Collection, which frankly has been sat on the shelf for ages waiting for the right moment. I used to read them to Caitlin at bed time when she first came to live with us, but aside from that, they’ve not been read. After a chapter, or two, the kids had a nap (much needed) and I sorted some jobs out.

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But afterwards, we collected ourselves, set off to the garden and enjoyed leftover past from Thursday night for lunch, and headed out to listen to the sounds of the wind against the trees.

 

 

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And then proceeded to play in the sandbox whilst I read a few more chapters of The Enchanted Wood.

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Whilst enjoying the sunshine and listening to the sound of the breeze on the tree above…

30 Days Wild – Day 21

“Our birds”.

It’s kind of strange, having only owned our new house for only 2 months, actually 2 nights away means we really appreciated the sound of being woken by “our birds”. I don’t mean, we have birds as pets… we don’t. I mean the birds that visit our back garden (we really should make an effort to identify them) but they have their own song, and it seems to have settled into us. Being woken by them this morning was so much more gentle and inviting than being woken by the foreign sounds of the nature at the campsite.

They are officially “our birds” now. No other bird song can suffice. We love you birds. Keep up the good work.

Please stop using your children as weapons.

I have been biting my tongue on this subject for freaking ages. But you know what, in the last month alone 4 people close to me have been in the middle of these type of scenarios and frankly it’s frustrating the absolute hell out of me.

Whether you decide to have a child with someone, or things happen and you are unexpectedly welcomed into the parenting world, you have a child and a responsibility to ensure that child has the best opportunities in life.

Now, you can consume yourself in the breast vs bottle debate, or argue parenting styles ’til the cows come home. But what isn’t up for debate is that the child had NO choice in being welcomed into the world, and the child deserves to be no part in the disputes you have with the other half of their DNA.

Yet, repeatedly I am seeing parents chanting their parenting mantras as gospel and declaring they are the best and everyone should follow suit, yet on the flipside denying the other biological entity any involvement, or fluctuating involvement based on how they are getting along as adults. Or even just denying any responsibility for the child.

THE CHILD IS THE ONLY ONE THAT MATTERS.

What part of that is unclear? If the child is safe with both parenting parties, why is it wrong to give them contact? And even if there are concerns we have contact centres… there are solutions.

Is it not our responsibility as parents to go out of our way to ensure they have everything they are entitled to? And speaking from an adoption background where little is known, knowing who your birth family is and having regular contact is key to being able to accept your identity, the very integral parts of who you are.

Hell, I know that none of these people who are having issues has done anything half as bad as what my children have been through, and yet I still prioritise making sure our letters are sent to birth family (not just the birth parents I may add, extended family too), not just once but a few times a year, and not just letters, but personalised art work for each recipient too. And that is prioritised above anything else in life besides the children’s immediate needs. If I can do that, and have to fight for everything else I can, knowing what I know about life events, and put my thoughts to one side for the sake of the children being able to have their identity accepted, I am positive that not a single one of you holding your child to ransom has a leg to stand on.

It genuinely makes me feel physcially sick.

I don’t care who is offended by this. I have, in all honesty, fallen out with friends who use their child against their ex. I won’t stand around and watch it happening. It is disgusting.

Stop it.

30 Days Wild – Day 20

A long journey home through country lanes today, so much wild beauty to be seen.

But the best part of the day was the rain… it had been dry enough for there to be some distinct petrichor in the air. One of my favorite smells of all time, second not even to freshly cut grass or chocolate.

30 Days Wild – Day 18

First day of arrival at camp.

First impressions for everyone was how breathtaking it was to be completely immersed in greenery. Nothing but valley grassed field-land and trees. Beautiful.

Not to mention the reminder of the power of mother nature – listening to the wind whip up the side of the tent. Fierce, furious and wild but wonderful.

Therapy Camp

Well, we have had the most amazing time at camp. Exhausting but amazing.

We had gone because the children needed to have SAI (Sensory Attachment Intervention) assessments done. These are assessments which will go beyond a standard Occupational Therapist assessment and tap into specialist attachment knowledge to try and identify which areas flagged are likely to need sensory intervention and which may need physical support etc. We don’t have a report as of yet, but it is obvious from what they are saying that there are several areas which will require attention.

We met several other adoption families, the and due to the group nature of much of the day, I hope you will forgive my reluctance to share much in the way of information from the camp, but I am not sure how much is safe to share.

I will say, besides our individual family sessions we had group Music Therapy, Art Therapy, family and adult group yoga, adult sessions, children’s farm walks and bug hunting. The children had loads of time and opportunity to interact with other adopted children and all the adults had the chance to not care what other people would be saying – adoption and attachment related behavioural issues are just “the norm”: regression, aggression, lack of concentration, fleeing… no matter what, just children, being themselves, and parents doing their best job to parent the trauma they have.