So yesterday Holden forced me to watch Paw Patrol with him, and after watching it for about .2 seconds I did what I always do. I picked up my phone to check my emails. Pleeeeease let there be just one new email so I have something to read while I’m trapped on this couch watching F’ing Chase and Ryder and the rest of this stupid show. Ding ding ding, a new email!!! And it’s not just from Groupon or Gymboree! It’s from a real live person, and here’s what it said…
“I don’t know where to start with this. I’m not an ooey gooey sniffy wiffy kind of girl. At least I wasn’t until about 5 months ago. My husband & I have been married forever. We never got pregnant and we decided to adopt from foster care. We were blessed with getting a set of brothers, 4yrs & 6 months old. We were ecstatic. They seemed like great kids, no major baggage. Shortly after they came to stay with us, reality set in. I was finding myself bugged at all the feeding issues with the baby, tired of the endless questions from the 4yr old. I thought I was a horrible mother. I wasn’t bonding with these kids, I had been given the foster care lottery & was spitting in the face good fortune. Never mind the newfound tension between the hub & me.
Then I found your blog. And I bought your book. The relief I felt when I found all my frustration, and then some, in those pages was indescribable. I knew I wasn’t alone, and if a woman who carried her children felt that way, then I, an adoptive mom, was just a normal mom.“
Anyway, I know this isn’t the laugh-out-loud, pee-in-your-pantaloons shit I usually share, but it struck a chord with me, so I asked her whether I could share it anonymously. And she said yes.
You dream about having kiddos your whole life, and then you finally have them, and at some point there’s this tiny little voice that whispers to you.
TINY VOICE: Maybe you aren’t cut out for this.
We all feel it. At least I think we do. When you’re up for the seventh time in a night because you can’t get your newborn to sleep. Or when you make a huge pot of mashed potatoes and your toddler pulls the handle and it all ends up on the floor and you’re trying to figure out how to get mashed potatoes out of every nook and cranny while your kid is riding your back like a surfboard and you think you might literally start screaming. Or when it takes you like 9 hours to load allllllll the kids in the car and when you finally get them in, the car won’t start and you just want to go crawl back into bed and quit this job you signed up to do for the rest of your life. I mean, no, maybe the Michelle Duggars of this world never feel this way, but I think most of us do at least once or twice.
What never occurred to me until I received this email was how parents who adopt must feel. That maybe they feel the same exact way but wonder whether it’s because they adopted. Because their children aren’t biologically connected to them. Maybe not all people who adopt feel this way. But maybe a few.
So if this tiny voice has ever whispered to you, whether your kids came from your hooha or someone else’s, just know that we have all felt this way once or twice. Well, maybe not all of us. Maybe not the Michelle Duggars in the world. Then again, maybe even them.
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And if you ever feel like you’re doing a crappy job, you’re not the only one. Me too!! So I wrote a book about it. I Heart My Little A-Holes will hopefully make you feel less alone in the big bad world of parenting.