First and foremost: Parenting is hard. It is pure trial and error! A wave of compassion washed over me for all parents as I realized what a difficult challenge it truly is. Also, we had three kids five and under and I felt especially for single parents, I could not imagine how hard parenting would be without Dave by my side. Dave and I attended a Behavior Management Class and we left feeling pretty good about ourselves because we were doing what they said to do like be consistent, set clear boundaries, have clear consequences, etc. but as I left, I also felt defeated because even though we were seemingly doing everything right, we were not seeing the results that we wanted in our foster children.
Another thing that I finally understood was the insecurity and self-doubt that every mother on the planet has when it comes to raising their children. Even though I was not their mother, I often second guessed decisions that I made.
I learned that mealtime around a table was a good thing. It was a great avenue to talk and for improved social interaction. Bedtime Stories were also a big hit. We realized this when we were unable to do them because of a late night or a super bad meltdown where they were greatly saddened that they wouldn’t get a story. I have also learned that just because there is something that you like to do like cook or read, it doesn’t mean that the kids will also like that. They come with their own likes and dislikes.
I learned that my husband is a much better parent than I am. He is laid back and calm and works well with children. He has the patience that is needed for the task. It was a beautiful thing to work together in the process of rearing children.
So to parents everywhere, I salute you!