I just need to have a moment. Sometimes Jo Jo gets very tired, and when she does, the screaming begins. The 5 S’s will work but only if you’re doing them while walking around. Last night was also rough, with lots of waking. Between my mom and I, it is very tiring. I have moments when I can’t get her to stop screaming when I do, honestly, wonder what I’m doing. The joy of having her is equaled by the pure frustration of not always knowing how to calm her down or make her happy. The good times are so much better and the bad times are so much worse.
I start to get overwhelmed and broken down. So little sleep. So much pressure (whether internally or externally) to make things go well. Be a model foster mom so that they won’t take her from me if she becomes an adoptive placement… I am starting to worry about whether or not I should try to get pregnant or put it off again. I had to cancel the trip to New York that was paid for (and non-refundable) before she arrived. I couldn’t go knowing i’d be stressed out every minute because she is so little and what if something happened and I wasn’t there? Wouldn’t the agency judge me for that? Now I’m out a large chunk of money but also extremely stifled because traveling is my breath of fresh air. I feel like a large animal trapped in a small cage when I don’t go anywhere. And yes, I realize that parenting involves sacrifices. The truth is I had the perfect babysitter, it was only for 2 nights, and lots of people travel even though they have kids. They even travel with their kids (which I plan to do when/if I get permission to take her). But right now she’s so young and little, and new, that I want her to have routine and stability after everything she’s been through.
And yet, I feel that a huge part of myself has just been smothered. Piano, too, is almost impossible to get to, but I try anyway because I’m desperately attempting to hold on to the bits of myself that aren’t all “parent”. What if they take her soon? Then what will be left?
In the back of my mind is also always that nagging, awful feeling called grief, only with a living screaming baby that, too, gets shoved to the side. It came to the surface a bit today, at a March of Dimes walk, seeing other moms there, many of whom lost babies and had traumatic births. It could’ve been a real chance to connect, and find community, but it was raining and cold and ended up just being myself and a relative trudging through the mud with our babies.
I’m really not trying to complain. But I think all moms feel this way at times… exhausted, suppressed, and a little lost. I’m constantly wondering if I’m doing something wrong and how I could possibly be better at this. Maybe it’s normal, but in moments like these, I’m overwhelmed. Sometimes I wonder if in that other timeline that runs side-by-side with this one, I would be sitting here writing much the same kind of thing, except the baby would be Avalon instead of Jo Jo, and there would have been no baby loss grief in the background, no guilt over sometimes wishing it was one baby here over another. That is the thought I will not allow myself to think, but somewhere deep down it is there, once in a while.
P.S. Why can this blog not be super cool and hip like Rebecca’s Fosterhood in NYC? She never writes long, rambling posts about how tired and overwhelmed she is, or anything at all about her deep feelings. She comes off as always cool, calm, and collected. She simply spares her audience the long soliloquies and cuts to the point. I am afraid, dear readers, that I’m just not that kind of blogger. I blog often and I blog long. It’s all here, in black and white, the good and bad and everything in between.