“Have a baby” they said

“Have a baby, you’ll make such a great mum” they said.

But what they don’t tell you makes me wonder if it’s part of a conspiracy.

Are all sleep deprived mums banding together to get the next ‘sucker’ with their “you’ll be great line”?

Or have they not experienced the pleasure of counting their hours of sleep on one hand?

Am I the only mum out there with a little one who has suddenly decided that sleep is no longer high on her list of priorities?
The only mum who’s little bubba has decided instead or getting sleepy and being tucked in and falling asleep, to now feel the need to be hugged and cuddled until she’s asleep and even then she will probably wake as soon as you try to put her down so you have to start the whole process again?

Am I the only mum, who sometimes in the middle of the night finds myself crying along with the inconsolable infant in my arms. Feeling helpless.
Feeling useless.
Feeling like maybe I am just not cut out for motherhood?

Am I the only one wondering why people don’t call and say, “Hey baby is 9 months now, the world you were comfortable in is about to get tipped upside down”.

Has no other baby been through this?

Have I done something wrong?

Too many cuddles? Not enough cuddles? Going to her too quickly when she cries? Not getting there quickly enough?

Is it just because she has a cold and needs extra loves?

Is a developmental stage?

Is it me?

So many questions and no answers.

So many views online. Let them cry it out, don’t let them cry it out. Co-sleep, don’t co-sleep.

At the end of the day, all I know is….

I love this little baby to the moon and back, and it causes me pain to hear her crying and then I wonder what am I doing?

Do I regret having this little baby in our home? No.

Am I complaining about being sleep deprived? No.

I just want ‘my’ baby to be happy, to sleep, to know she is loved, to know she is safe and when she’s crying up a storm I just don’t if I am doing that.

It makes me wonder why no other mums tell you about the hard stuff.

Did they not go through it?

Did they forget about it?

Is the love for these precious little people so strong it gives them selective amnesia?

Support

We speak. They listen. They act.

Our foster agency is in a word, awesome.

One of the short term carers spoke with her support worker about issues some of us have been discussing on facebook (closed group) and, ta dah. They organised a support group for short term carers with placements going GOM18 (long term).

It was a lovely session. Carers and some of the support workers together, on a Saturday, yes they do have support groups on weekends so those who work can also come along, chatting about the issues we want to chat about.

For MM and I, we went along because “Jade’s” case is due to go to court next month.
We had questions and we got answers.

Can we go to court to see how it works?
No. Unless you are invited by the social worker, only birth family can attend.

How can we let the court know our thoughts on “Jade” being removed from us to be placed with strangers?
You can petition the court, it gets attached to the file and then it’s up to the judge if they read it or not (yes, seriously they can choose not to read it). The petition doesn’t have to go through the social worker, we can just send it in, so I don’t need her permission to have our say.

What other things can we do?
You can make a report to CARL (Child Abuse Report Line) if you think she could be in danger, or even to state that you think it would be detrimental to her to be removed.
You can contact the Guardianship Office and speak directly with them about the situation.

It was a lovely afternoon, but I feel we are in for a long next couple of months. Some of the other carers have had their cases adjourned many times which must be incredibly heart wrenching. For those carers, they are being considered for the long term care of their children, and they are just waiting for that official judgement to know the children will be staying with them.
For us, we want to be considered as the long term carers for “Jade” but at this stage there is a family friend that is being considered first, so for us, the court process will be heart wrenching because it may become the beginning of the end of our time with “Jade”.

MM is sitting beside me saying “But it might also be the beginning of the beginning of our long term placement”. Gotta love that man and his optimism! I am so blessed to have him.

Mary Poppins versus Angelina Jolie

Who are you?

Are you a Mary Poppins in the carer world, happy to care for children as long as they need you before moving on to the next child?

Or are you more like Angelina Jolie, adopting them all as you go along your journey?

I have to keep reminding myself we are Mary Poppins despite desperately wanting to keep “Jade” and before that “Kylie” and “Catelyn” and well, the list continues.

Most of the time I am fine with our Mary Poppins-ness. Knowing that for however long children are in our home, we love them and care for them until they no longer need us. Happily, for most of the children that have come into our home there have been members of their family that have been happy to take the children and we were just a safe place for them to live while all the checks that needed to be done could be completed before the children moved on. So for me, while I cry every time a child moves on, it’s always good to know they are with family who want them and love them.

I am really struggling at the moment with the fact “Jade” is probably going to be leaving us. I keep reminding myself “You are Mary Poppins” but, it’s still hard.

It’s made a little easier when I hear of babies in residential emergency care because there just aren’t enough carers to go around. Knowing that we can help another child if/when “Jade” moves on.

I have tried to work out how we can have 2 babies at the same time, but MM, as usual, is right. Logistically and financially 2 little ones is too much for us to do. I would want to completely stop work and as we all know how much foster carers get “paid” it would be a struggle for us at the moment. Not to mention buying a second car seat, cot, and probably needing bigger car as I’m not sure “Kelly” would fit in the back of my car with 2 car seats there.

So, each day until we know exactly what is going on, I pour all the love I can into little “Jade” and remind myself that if she does leave us it’s because there is a family there to love her and another child is in need of the love I have to give.