Musings at 2 weeks

We have reached the 2 weeks mark and yet it feels like a lifetime!

Pickle has met both sets of grandparents, a family friend and my lifelong friend, who she met today. That was utterly lovely. We had a gorgeous photo taken (by my husband) of us with our girls (her twin boys were having a wild party in the living room and we sneaked in to the “quiet” kitchen!) and it’s those little things that mean so much in this bizarre world of adoption.

Speaking of the strange world of adoption I just wanted to touch upon a few things in this post.

Emotional vulnerability; I have realised, over the last 2 weeks, that I am actually quite vulnerable at the moment. Not to the point where it’s detrimental to me, but it’s become apparent that I need a sense of emotional support from certain people around me even if we can’t see them yet. There’s nothing like a lovely text message out the blue from a friend who’s just asking how things are going. Even though you can’t see a lot of people to start with it’s so important that those relationships continue. It can be a very isolating place having a child but not more so when you adopt. Imagine coming home from hospital with your new baby and being told, in no uncertain terms by the midwife that you mustn’t see anyone for days, that you can’t go visiting people in their houses to get out and to make your world so small that only a couple of people can venture in to it. You are totally cut off from people and, even later on, you feel like you can’t see lots of people. It’s a very lonely place. One of those texts from a friend led me to arrange a cuppa with her 2 days later because I was so desperate for some time out, which leads me (quite nicely) in to the second thing I want to talk about.

Time out; When you adopt you are on this huge journey to become a parent so consciously that, when it actually happens, you get very confused as to why you suddenly realise you feel bored, irritated, like you don’t want to do it any more. Why would you feel like that if you’d worked so hard to get where you are. We should feel lucky, right? We should feel blessed and excited and amazed at every little thing they do. But we don’t. We like her a lot, but not when she screams (blood curdling, high pitched, ear bleeding screams) because she’s not getting what she wants. We love her, but not a deep, meaningful, solid, unconditional love yet. How can we? That would be weird? Yet we can feel that growing, day by day. The bond is getting stronger, the attachment to each other is growing, the love is steadily getting more real and the liking her is definitely enabling us to zone out the screams and the whining. It all takes time, we’re not super human, we can only do our best and we need to remember to take care of ourselves if we’re going to take care of these children properly. Today I did just that. I went to a friends house for a cuppa for an hour, like I used to, on my own and had a damn good catch up, chat & laugh. It was good to get away. Get away from the house. Get away from Pickle. Get away from my lovely husband who has done nothing wrong…..apart from keep moving the high chair, not shutting wardrobe doors, not picking his dirty clothes up blah blah blah! You see? That’s why I needed time out. To keep picking up on these stupid little things isn’t helpful, fair or kind and so off out I went. I ended up going to costa coffee for a large soya hot chocolate on my own after visiting my friend and it was bliss. I was me again! Which leads me quite nicely again to my third topic.

Similarities to birth parents; Adoption is very different to having birth children. I’m going to get that out there right now so there’s absolutely no confusion. Anyone who wants to argue that it’s the same let me save you the trouble. It’s not, there will always be an added layer (or several) for adopters and adopted children. However, today I have taken great comfort in the conversations I have had with the 2 friends I saw today. One had her 3 children naturally. One had her twins by IVF. And my daughter is adopted. All 6 children are aged between 16 months to 4 years old. I’d say that was a pretty balanced view of things. And, you know what? We all feel exactly the same. We all have, and have had, the same worries and experiences. Whether that was from what the health visitor told my friends, or the SW’s telling us. We’re told not to see anyone for a few weeks. My friends said they were told this, not to our extreme but they were still told not to overdo the visitors (I suspect that’s more to do with the parents having time out though rather than anything to do with the newborn baby)

We are told we can’t allow people to hold our child for a long time. Our friends were told the same. My friends get irritated with their children for screaming & whining. They wonder why they do it. They wake up sometimes thinking “what the hell have we done”. They sometimes want to be on their own and not be with their child 24/7. They want to be ‘them’ again. And that’s how we feel. I’m only just beginning to realise that it’s ok to feel like that because, actually, it’s bloody normal and my friends have felt the same, whichever way they have become parents. And, you know what, that’s ok. It’s ok to feel like I don’t want to do it any more. It’s ok to want to get out the house, away from my much wanted daughter. It’s ok to get snippy with my husband for moving the high chair 2 inches! (I know it’s not really but he can take it for a bit!) And it’s ok to let people know that’s how I feel because I’m not the only one.

Now, when can I book my next solo costa visit!!!!




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