Monday, January 23, 2012

Dear Blog World: Sorry for neglecting you...

My world has changed SO much since I became a mother. I knew it was going to be hard, but you can't really prepare yourself for the struggle that parenting can be. You're never really "ready"... and at some point you just have to jump headfirst into it. That's what we did when we adopted Kal.

I feel so lucky/blessed that Kal even came to our family, because I had been delaying the whole motherhood thing. It intimidated me... because I had no experience with babies and I was so used to my life with just my husband and me. The birth of my nephew was the changing point in my life that made me realize I was missing out by delaying having children. He is the most amazing little boy and I learned a different kind of love when he came along. I knew I couldn't go through life and never experience raising a child... even if it scared the living daylights outta me! Once that baby bug hit me, it hit me hard...

I'm the type of person who can start a million projects and never finish any of them. I take up interests and drop them before I even get them going. I'm spontaneous and unpredictable a lot of times (just ask my husband). I never stick with anything. So I know... without a doubt... that God was steering my life for a couple years there. I was directionless. But God put a seed in my heart about adoption and I researched it and planned it and got Zay on board with it and we went through with it, even when I was downtrodden with the process and emotionally a wreck. I never do that. Ever. God is truly great. He knew where my life needed to go and I clung to the knowledge I had that He was leading me. That's how I made it through. I never doubted that it was going to work out and that a child would come to us who was a perfect fit. What a blessing that small feeling was! Hope is an amazing motivator.

Since Kal came along, I have struggled with transitioning from my previously self-centered life into this new life centered around a baby... I think every new parent struggles with this and the first baby may be the hardest in a lot of ways (I read a beautifully written article recently that comforted me in my struggles - "To the Mother With Only One Child"). Plus I panicked when my sudden "loss of freedom" hit me and I went through an "I just want to have fun and go back to being a teenager" spell. Yeah, I'm kind of embarrassed by that. My life got a little out of balance as I tried to find a happy medium among spending time parenting, working, being a wife, staying close to God, playing with my friends, and having "me" time. It takes a lot more effort to balance these things now than it used to, especially with not having much extended family nearby to help out with babysitting and whatnot. We've had to get creative about allowing each other space and time off from parenting when we need it. We're much more willing to use babysitters and we make it a HUGE priority to have date night every week. I really didn't recognize that things were so out of balance (my life only consisted of working and parenting) until I was in a deep depression.

Part of my problem was that I had focused for so long on one goal... that I (again) was directionless after we achieved it. We adopted Kal and then I was like, "Well crap - what do we do now??" I still don't have the answer to this one. I'm getting antsy as I try to decide where I'd like my life to go from here. I need something new to focus on... uhhhhh.... errr.... ??? *eye twitches, brain explodes* ???

Post-adoption depression is probably a good term to describe some of what I was going through. Before we adopted, we had to describe in great detail what kind of parents we wanted to be. Easy peasy when it's all theoretical! In practice, not everything matches up to the ideal and I felt a lot of mommy-guilt when I couldn't do everything perfectly. What if I disappoint everyone, including Kal's birthmom? What if Kal grows up screwed up because of my limitations as a mother? I paralyzed myself with thoughts like these. I lost all motivation to do anything productive, lost my appetite, felt self-destructive, my anxiety was through the roof. I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. :(

We're learning. Slowly. Painfully. And we've probably done a lot of things the hard way. But that's life. I think this is my loooong explanation about why I haven't been blogging. Losing all motivation for life and struggling just to get through each day kind of makes blogging seem extremely unimportant. Ha ha. But, now that I've got some balance going on again, and I'm remembering and doing the things that used to make me happy... I might not neglect my poor little ole blog as much as I have.

I know that Kal was meant for our family. He is AMAZING and I have never known a love so strong and all-encompassing. I may never feel like I deserve to be his mother. I may never get this parenting thing down. But I'm doing my best. Things will get better. They always do.




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