I have always been quite open about my life, in fact one of my co-workers has said that she sees it as a gift, the ability of being able to give part of myself so honestly and unashamedly. Can't say that I see it that way, I have always believed that a problem aired is a problem shared. But I find now that I don't share, because when I do, I rarely feel supported. Everyone it seems has pearls of wisdom - you need to put him on the naughty step, it's your own fault you don't discipline him enough, all children do that, my kids did that, you need to start treating him the same way you dealt with the older children. I explain about rejection so we don't have a naughty step, I explain that we keep him close and make sure that he knows that he is loved regardless and help him with any appropriate consequence, yes, I know all children do the things he does but they don't do it with the same force of emotion - I know because the 3 older siblings who are our birth children did some of those things but it wasn't anything like what we deal with, with child 4. I explain that his start in life was so very different to his siblings so it's not right to parent him in the same way. Sometimes I see a glimmer of understanding, but often I see their eyes glaze over or they shrug their shoulders as if to say, well if you don't take my advice then what do you expect, oblivious to the fact that I wasn't really asking for their advice, I just needed a bit of understanding, a hand on my shoulder or a reminder that we are doing ok.
This not sharing is quite alien to me and it makes me feel ashamed, as if I should be ashamed by child 4 or my lack of ability to parent him in the "politically correct" way. This makes me cross, the only way to educate people about children in care is to share actual experience backed up by all the research we adopters have read and studied. If we feel too ashamed to share how can we educate!!!!
Then yesterday on my way to work, I was thinking about #takingcare100, a photo of something that is you taking care of yourself, something that makes you happy and I was, as I have been for the last 10 days thinking of what makes me happy, for me and I seriously couldn't think of anything, I had lost the will. Suffering from a nasty cold virus for 4 weeks, lack of sleep, hospital, ambulance (again) and doctor trips, dealing with the tribulations of a toddler on the war path and trying to organise 2 birthday events for child 2 & 3 and a black tie event to raise money for child 1's Borneo trip has wiped me out. It's amazing how a little negativity each day can affect the whole day, I read somewhere recently that if we looked at our day as a piece of white paper the things that go wrong are in reality just a couple of dots - I need to reclaim me or I am going to just disappear into the black swamp that is currently my life. All those adopters on Twitter and those who link in on The Adoption Social have handed me the lifeline to pull myself out and to encourage me to make the changes so very necessary to my sanity.
So I have shared the negative and the positive of family and friends support via #allchildrendothat and I am planning stuff for me. Child 2 made dinner in his food tech class today, I am off to see Mary Berry care of a friend who saw that I needed some away time. Chinese New Year is just around the corner so I have a feast to create. For my birthday we are going to arrange a city break for adults only, Mr L, myself , KBS & AS and Mr & Mrs H. Then there is a Sunday morning family and friends walk to a pub in the next village for the bestest ever roast beef and Yorkshire puddings. That will take us through until May, oh and if I am feeling a bit lost or low a Gin and Tonic Board meeting may be called.
There feeling better already.