When I was a kid, every time we drove by a bad accident, my mom told me to close my eyes or look the other way. She didn't want me to see anyone hurt, she didn't want me to see anything traumatic. She tried her hardest to keep the innocence as long as possible.
This is the exact opposite experience my kids had before coming into care. They were victims to so many horrible kinds of abuse, and were exposed to things that no people, let alone children, should ever see. They have a rough past and know way more about certain subjects then children should.
I'm sure you all know that it's incredibly difficult parenting a child with a trauma background. It's also incredibly isolating. There are so many times that I feel so alone in this. Other parents don't get it, and sometimes they even question my parenting methods, not knowing that this is the way it has to be.
My foster daughter went to a sleepover a few weeks ago at a friends house. I've known the family for years and we've become pretty good friends. This was my kiddo's first slumber party. She decided that it was a good time to explain to all the other 8 year old girls what sex was, and all the different positions that people have sex in. After I heard about this the next day, I had to be the one to call the other parents and apologize. These parents are trying to keep their kids innocent and my kid was the one to give them too much information. I haven't really talked to the mom who hosted the sleepover since that phone call.
Unfortunately, these awkward moments are pretty common. My foster son loves showing off his cigarette burns to other kids on the playground. Or the scars on his legs. And then saying "My other daddy did this." It's confusing, and situations like these don't really get us invites to playdates.
Sometimes it feels exhausting listening to other moms talk about trivial things like breast feeding vs. formula, or cloth diapering vs. disposables or the best pediatricians in our area. I don't want to say that their concerns aren't valid. These are their own parenting struggles or choices that they have to make. But sometimes it's just hard listening to the playgroup banter between moms when I'm internally debating which bedroom door alarms are the best, or if my kid needs to up their weekly therapy from 2 times a week to 3.
We chose this life, we chose to become foster parents. It was no ones decision but our own. But sometimes it just feels like too much. And I wish I could just worry about normal parenting things. It's just hard to relate. I feel so alone in all of this.
I love my kids. I love the life my husband and I have. I wouldn't want it any other way. I just wish there were more resources available to foster parents. Or maybe a bigger support group nearby. It can just be so tricky trying to navigate this world on your own.