A Mother’s Day Meltdown.

Mother’s Day this year was incredibly difficult for me.  First of all, I had to work.  I know…boo hoo, so do plenty of other moms.  But, it still bit to get up early and go in to care for other people’s children on the day that I most wanted to be with mine.  It just stunk.  So, I told FPD we’d celebrate some other day.  He clearly forgot to do that, because he planned nothing.  At least, he didn’t tell me he planned anything (and since he still hasn’t done anything, I would assume we’re not doing anything.  At this point, it’s just whiney to keep complaining about it.  So, I’m over it).  I got some lovely handcrafted items from the kids.  Those are what count anyway, right?

I feel under appreciated.  I have seven highly needy children in their own right, a husband who forgot to even say “Happy Mother’s Day” (which is SO unlike him, he says it was some kind of misunderstanding.  Maybe.).  I’m raw from all the stupidity of the last Ghanaian adoption.  Seriously raw.  My emotions are right there, right on the surface.  All you have to do is rub the surface slightly and everything just rips open and spills out everywhere.  Adoption is hard.  It was hardest this time.  I’m still learning things about my kids that change my entire perspective on their situation.  It just became too much to process. It’s hard to be mom of seven and juggle everything I have been juggling.  I finally had time to breathe after coming home with the new kids, getting the other kids to safety and then settling in to figure out how to send them all back to school.  I breathed, and then I hit rock bottom.

So, on Monday morning, on my way to yet another work meeting, I LOST it.  I cried and yelled and then broke a bowl in the sink, which made the crying last even longer.  Seeing me cry scared poor ShyGuy who hasn’t seen me cry since we were in Ghana.  FPD tried to explain to him that I was just sad about all the kids in Ghana, about their situation, about the fact I couldn’t fix it, and the fact that working so much is hard.  I don’t work a lot outside the home, but I’m constantly working from home.  There just isn’t enough of me to go around.  When you add in all the Ghanaian phone calls, it just feels like this enormous amount of pressure.  This lack of appreciation on a day when I felt like, somehow, I should finally be recognized, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  It shouldn’t be that way.  Motherhood is a thankless job.  I didn’t adopt seven children so that on one day of the year they would shower me with gifts and tell me how great I am.  They tell me in little ways everyday.  Every time they hug me, or tell me they think I’m beautiful, or when they slip a note under my pillow, it’s like telling me how much they appreciate me.  I became a mom to watch them grow into happy, healthy adults.  I need to let all the rest go.  Letting go includes letting go of the need to fix everything for these displaced kids in Ghana.  I can’t fix everything.  I can make SLOW change, over a long amount of time.  This will have to be a marathon, not a sprint.  I can’t be everyone’s mom.  I wish I could, but I can’t.  I am one person.

It finally all just hit me at once.  My relationship with my own mom compounds the pressure as well.  She doesn’t understand me and I certainly don’t get her.  At all.  After all these years, it’s not an enormous loss that we apparently don’t speak at all anymore.  It’s just scary to think that if I have that relationship with her, that it might be possible that my children will have that kind of relationship with me someday.  Tears well up in my eyes every time I think about my life choices, mainly having seven children, and how totally unsupported I feel by the majority of my family (not my siblings).  Again, I’m not sad about it for me.  I just hope my children NEVER feel that way.  Maybe that’s life’s lesson to me,  especially concerning Bubbly.  Her life choices MAY be limited by her special needs.  We’re working every day to make this less likely, but it’s possible.  Maybe I need to let go of what think the future should hold for her and let her decide where God is leading her and then just be there to support her.  We’ll see.  Until then, I’ve regrouped, hugged ShyGuy a lot to reassure him that even when mom cries over broken bowls it doesn’t mean the end of the world is here, and spent this rainy morning watching Return of the Jedi (for the 600th time).  Good times.

–FullPlateMom,
who is apparently as beautiful as Princess Leia.  Thanks GigantoBaby, you made my day.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. BK,Just found this and am captivated by this window into how you do it all. Reading about your meltdown lets me know that you are human – you just happen to be one of the most remarkable humans I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I wish I had known about this blog sooner!

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  2. And this way crappy weather doesn’t help either.Got a hankerin’ for anything from Florida or the Bahamas? I’d be glad to make sure it gets to you. 😉 (Although a muscle-y, tanned cabana boy might be unwilling to go in the crate. *grin* Just kidding.)Love you.

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  3. A. Gillispie says:

    How is it that you manage to speak from straight out of my heart without knowing it? It’s weird I tell ya! So…I’m speaking at this from about 2 weeks post melt down and here to tell you you’ll get through it. But by golly, I was so over it all a few weeks ago. There was not enough of me and things had to change. B, this stuff will eat you alive if you let it. It will consume you. For your own sanity (and for the good of those you’re helping) put a limit on it–at least the Ghana stuff. Don’t stop helping, but give yourself 6-8 hours a day where you won’t answer the phone. You’re allowed to do that. They need you NOT to get burnt out, so do it for them as much as for you!On Bubbly….My Taevy is 9 years into all of her “stuff” and it is hard to see her sabatoge relationships. It’s scary. But you just keep on keeping on and trust that eventually she will get that not everybody in her life is going to abandon her or hurt her. Someday she’s going to let someone in and have a meaningful life-long relationship. At least, that’s what we’re praying for her!

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  4. FullPlateMom says:

    Thank you all! To Anita…Bubbly does sabotage every relationship. I had never thought of it that way, that she might be doing it purposely (but without knowing that she’s even doing it) because she doesn’t want me to love her so fiercely. Everything about her is rooted in fear. Fear that I’ll leave her, fear that her nice life will just up and disappear one day. I’m so sad for her that she has to live with so much fear in her life when all I want for her is to feel safe. I am one person. I am one mom. I can’t fix it all in one day. I’m just going to keep saying that to myself.

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