Why and to whom am I apologizing to? Well, I am apologizing to all those parents that we have all silently criticized or judged over the years. We "hear" that every parent and child is different, but it is about time that I apologize for not really believing that (until now), and for thinking that parenting should pretty much look the same for everyone... once again, boy was I wrong!
I apologize for... not understanding when the biggest accomplishment of the day was taking a shower. I have only lived with an infant for one week, but in that one week, I have only had two showers. I always thought, if your kid can't crawl or walk, why is it so hard to take a shower. Well... it is! When you have to choose between eating or bathing, or zoning out on the computer or bathing, you might just choose to not shower for a few days. After both of my showers, I thought to myself, "that was the best thing to happen all day!" I never felt that way about a shower before, and let me say, that shower was especially nice after getting barfed on.
I apologize for... not understanding how hard it is to sleep when you have a kiddo in your home. Our first placement was 1 and 1/2 years old, and slept through the night, but I didn't. I was awake all night waiting for him to wake up crying! Our current foster placement is an infant and has gradually slept longer and longer stretches at night in the week that she has been with us (she slept 7 and 1/2 hours last night, while she only slept in 2 hour increments the first few nights). Even though she slept for 7 hours, I woke up several times to make sure she was breathing, and every peep she makes has me flying out of the bed to check on her.
I apologize for... judging you when you text or talk on the phone when you are at the park with your children. I have been guilty of this as a nanny, because I will take pictures to send to their parents, therefore not really interacting with the kids a whole lot. BUT NOW, I know that just a short text from an adult can make my day! I want/need to have a conversation that isn't about Dora, or cries from a baby. The park is a place where kids can run, explore, and play! If they want you to play with them and you want to play with them, than that is amazing and I love it, play with your kids! However, if they are more than happy to play without you, then you take that 5 minutes and catch up with your friends (while also keeping an eye on those kids, because I think I will still judge you for not knowing your kids are halfway down the street while you are sitting there on the phone)!
AND, here is how all you mama's and papa's impress me greatly!
How you still feed your family/spouse meals, amazes me. The most I have done in the last two weeks is heat up a frozen pizza and make a turkey sandwich.
How you can keep up with your laundry, amazes me. I struggled with this before we had foster children, but it is even worse now. I had to re-wash clothes that were never even worn because I threw them on the floor/bed and the cats and dogs slept on them.
How you can keep your home clean, amazes me. The second a kiddo walked into our home, our house transformed into a bit of a mess. My mother-in-law walked in and said, "it definitely looks like a kid lives here now." Since vacuuming is loud, it just isn't going to happen around here anytime soon.
How you mama's can selflessly love and care for your baby after giving birth, amazes me. Even though I am so tired it hurts, I am not healing and re-couperating from child birth on top of that! I really don't know how I will do all this if/when I ever do give birth.
And lastly, how you beautiful mama's still look flawless just months (weeks, or days) after having a baby, amazes me. I thought about doing a workout DVD today... and decided to write this blog post instead.
Thank you for all the advice, and for those of you who signed up to bring us meals this month (Mr. Wolf is especially thankful), and for the prayers for us and our sweet foster babies! It means so much!