Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Love

I met a family yesterday, while waiting for the school bus, that has 9 foster children. I asked their ages and had an immediate "ah ha" moment. A little girl, who is exceptionally mean to Megan on the bus, is part of this giant foster family. Armed with this information, I gently explained to Megan that she needed to be nice to this girl... that the girl wasn't nice as a means of protecting herself from more hurt etc etc etc... all the things I've learned in school. I explained that this little girl didn't have parents who loved her... and Megan's face said it all... it was the "well neither do I look." I asked her if she felt like she wasn't loved and she answered truthfully with a "sometimes" as she began to cry. It was time to get on the bus... it was about to pull away... but I did my best to assure her that I do love her... as does her father.

Here is my struggle... I know that I am guilty of not being the most loving mom....I yell, I am impatient, I don't like to be touched or to touch... but I am not the worst mom ever. I was adopted because my mother let strange men beat the crap out of me... surely I am a better mom than that. I really don't know how to fix this... HELP! I did buy her a heart locket today and a sappy card and I am going to sit her down and explain to her that we do love her and I am sorry our lives have been so hectic that she has felt otherwise, but the necklace is to remind her of our love... even when she isn't feeling it. Any other suggestions?

--jessica

6 comments:

Rebecca said...

My mom was always really faithful about making sure to give us a hug and say "I love you" every single day, without fail, no matter what. That was so super important to me, and I never doubted how much she loved me, even when I got older. I don't do so well at that with my kids, but I try to do it as often as I remember. Maybe Megan is one of those kids who needs it every single day.

holly said...

I agree. Some kids need constant reassurance that you love them. Ally is one of these kids. It's just a personality thing. I think Megan is not like you (friends following where ever you go.) For each word spoken in anger, forgotten moment, or haggered day she needs 10 times that is loving moments. It's a constant all day thing.

Sarah said...

It may seem like a lot of work, but to figure out how to let Megan know beyond anything else in this world of your love for her will give her a security in life she won't get anywhere else. For instance, I have to be SURE I hug my daughter every day -- and I'll be 100% honest -- sometimes I have to grit my teeth to do it. I don't like people lounging on me, either. But I would never deny my child food for a day, even when I don't feel like making a sandwich or dinner, and it's food for her soul to get a hug from me. I think it's also important to admit when you know you aren't being a perfect mom. I generally have to do this about 4 times a week, "I'm sorry I yelled this morning -- I was really frustrated about you two fighting. Remember that even when I'm angry with you, I still love you." I think the necklace is a sweet idea and a good start. Be sure you say something daily to assure her, too. My parents said to us when we had screwed up horribly, "There is nothing you can ever do to make us quit loving you. I can be disappointed, but I will never stop loving you." I still remember that as the safest feeling in the world to know they would always be on my side.

Sorry for the length. I just know that parenting takes purpose and intentionality and we don't think that it should. You're definitely on the right track, Jessica.

janjanmom said...

I highly recommend the book "The Love Languages of Children", it lets you know how to love your child according to what his/her needs are. I have an acts of service child, a gifts child and one we can't discern yet. We all have a way we want to be loved. You can't give gifts to a "time" person, it makes them feel bought off and resentful. But to a gifts person, you just hung the moon. I am sure the library would have it-or at least some version of it.

Don't be hard on yourself though, parenting is very hard and I know you are a great MOM!! Satan will use your doubts and feed them all day.

She felt safe enough to tell you something really big and you will get in there and do something about it now, that is what being a good mom is all about!

SuperMom said...

I was just going to suggest the Love Language book, but janjanmom beat me to it.

We all have certain ways we give and receive love. Find out what Megan's is and give it to her with both barrels. Even if it's not the way you would choose to express your love to her, it's more important than she is feeling loved her way, not yours.

BTW - We are all learning. We all yell. We all screw up. Don't beat yourself up :-)

Chris Nystrom said...

Maybe you could just like buy her stuff all of the time? That is what a lot of parents do. Just kidding.

Sounds like you had a rough background. Congrats on being a survivor.