So, how's it going? That's a question we have gotten frequently in the past almost 2 months. I can't believe it's been almost 2 months already! Here's the real deal. It's hard. It's one of the hardest things we have ever done. We are gaining. We are praying. We are crying. We are praying. We are smiling. We are praying. Do you see the theme here? We have relied on God for our strength. And that is why we are able to continue.
We are so thankful for each of your prayers- they have been felt. Thank you to those of you who sent us kind words of encouragement, clothes, food, and other forms of support. They have been such a blessing to us.
Here's a day in our life- to give you an idea.
6:00 Jacob & I get up, read & pray, get dressed
6:15 Curly gets up- she has a harder time getting going in the morning- so we get her up a little earlier
6:30 Z-Man gets up
They both have a visual chart that I made that shows what tasks they are supposed to do in what order. They are not very familiar with structure and it's hard for them to focus on what they are supposed to be doing to get ready for school.
6:45- we are supposed to be eating breakfast. I admit... my father would not be proud of how many times we have had cold cereal. He always claimed cereal wasn't truly food- but I think it will do for now. I am trying to get organized and have eggs more often since we have chickens now, but haven't quite found the time to accomplish that. I am learning how some things are just going to have to slide for now... like eggs for breakfast. Sorry, Dad!
7:15- we should be finished with breakfast, but Curly likes to be reminded when to take a bite every. single. time. So this doesn't always happen. They brush their teeth, get their back pack ready, oops! realized Z-Man had homework that he didn't remember last night, quick do that, wait! your outfit does not match... go change into something so you don't look like you are not well taken care. I'm thinking of letting this one slide sooner or later too. They are clothed, right?
Jake also leaves at this time.
7:40- We leave for school. I take them to school, otherwise they would have to get on the bus at 6:45 am. I don't want to have to get up any earlier. It is on my way to work, but it also means that I get to work an hour early.
8:00- I get to work and relax in the quiet, dark bank. This has probably become one of my favorite times of the day.
9:00-3:00- I am actually working at the bank.
3:20- the kids are involved in an after school program that is called Kansas Reading Roadmap for extra learning. They are adjusting to a new school and friends and this has been really good for them!
3:30- I get home and start on laundry, supper, cleaning, or in my Creative Touch office.
5:30- Jake usually gets home.
5:45- The kiddos get home and we eat supper.
6:30- We spend time reading or playing games with them.
7:30- We start getting ready for bed- showers, brush teeth, pajamas, story time
8:00-8:15- Kids are in bed and lights are off. Who am I kidding? Sometimes I am also in bed with the lights off... The first 2 weeks Jake was also in bed by this time. He has adjusted well... I have not.
If I am not in bed we try to spend time together whether its cleaning up or just chatting.
Things we have learned:
*We really don't know much about parenting.
*I need at least 9 hours of sleep.
*We like quiet time.
*I didn't know there were so many cute things for a 6 yr. old girl to wear!
*It is very important to compliment other parents and tell them they are doing an awesome job. Most days I haven't felt like I was a very good mom. So encouragement is something I'm trying to do to other moms.
*Z-Man is a typical 8 year old boy. Seriously. I grew up with 7 boys and I don't remember it being this... challenging. He definitely is more challenging because of the trauma he endured, but most of the things I was concerned about- other boy moms have told me it was normal.
*Our patience level gets maxed out too frequently. We are working on that.
*Apparently I never feed Z-Man. He is ALWAYS starving!
*I can't imagine being a single parent. Seriously. I don't know how they do it.
*We both NEED coffee.
*It is super tough working full time and taking care of everything and everybody at home. I didn't think it would be that bad, but I'm seeing more and more things get dropped because I don't have time to do them. Then I get mom guilt when I'm doing something that needs done and the kids just want me to spend time with them.
*I am not a good multitasker
*We are the best cooks ever! (Good thing they are not picky!)
*I am not good at remembering the camera.
*Prayer means so much more. We can't get through the day without it.
*How important it is to take care of ourselves. Focusing solely on the kids does not make us good parents.
*Simplicity. In order to become better parents, we have had to let go of some non-essentials in life. I have learned that I love simple. Simple meals, simple schedules, simple decorating= simple cleaning, etc. We have learned how to say no and not let it bother us.
*Kid's are so forgiving. Thankfully!
*Routines are essential. Consistency is key.
*I can't go anywhere without my Simplified Planner. It keeps me focused on daily life and tasks at hand. I put everything in there, from birthdays to appointments to LAUNDRY MUST GET DONE TODAY OR ELSE! to meal planning or prep work that needs done.
*Parenting is humbling.
*Parenting is rewarding.
I'm sure there is more. But if you lasted this long through this post, kudos to you.
New Foster Parents