More Time.

accuracy afternoon alarm clock analogue
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“I wish I had more time.” “I thought I had more time.” Basically, my parenting life to date. I wish I had more time with Jackson. Yup, there I said it. I have mom guilt most of the time. I work too many hours, too many days, too often, and too hard. I love my job. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. And I know I am teaching Jackson more than just being a working mom. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have the guilt of wishing I had more time in the day to be with Jackson. Thankfully he has an incredibly awesome dad, who is there for him more than I am. At least for now. But that is not the point of this blog. The point of this blog is this:

“I thought I had more time.”

I know I have shared this poem on here before, but it is worth sharing again.

The Last Time (author unknown)

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms you will never be the same

You might long for the person you were before

When you had freedom and time

And nothing in particular to worry about

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before

Days will run into days that are exactly the same

Full of feedings and burping

Nappy changes and crying

Whining and fighting

Naps or a lack of naps

It might seem like a never-ending cycle

But don’t forget…

There is a last time for everything

There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time

They will fall asleep on you after a long day

And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child

One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down

And never pick them up that way again

You will scrub their hair in the bath for one last time

And from that day on they will want to bathe alone

They will hold your hand to cross the road

Then will never reach for it again

They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles

And it will be the last night you ever wake to this

One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus” and do all the actions

Then never sing them that song again

They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate

The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone

You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face

They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time

Until there are no more times. And even then, it will take you a while to realize.

So while you are living in these times, remember there are only so many of them and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.

For one last time.

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I have experienced plenty of the “last times” with Jackson over the years. Hence why I thought I had more time. Because they snuck up on me. I didn’t see them coming. I didn’t want to admit they were happening. But I have fed him his last bottle. Rocked him to sleep for the last time. Carried him on my chest for the last time. Carried him period for the last time. Had skin to skin contact for the last time. The hard part, I know there are more lasts coming. Some day, it will be the last time I read him a bedtime story or he wakes us up in the middle of the night. I just don’t know when those lasts will be. And that is the hardest part. You wake up one morning and those moments become a last without us ever knowing the last time we did it was going to be our last. Hence, why I feel I thought I had more time. But there is more…

So when I heard those six little words come out of Jackson’s mouth. I wasn’t ready. I thought I had more time. I thought I had more time before he said “You are not my real mom.” I know deep down in my core he only said them to get a reaction out of me. Just two days prior he told me that the world’s best mom was Heather, his birth mom. Well, I did have to agree with him on that one though! She made me the mom I am today. I wouldn’t be able to even hold the title mom, whether “real” or not without her. So, yes, Jackson I agree she is the world’s best mom.

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But I would be lying to you all if I stood here and told you those six little worlds didn’t break my heart into a million little pieces. Whether he meant them or not. Whether he understands what he is saying or not. Because deep down inside, I question daily whether or not I am good enough to be his mom. Remember, the mom guilt I mentioned above. Yeah, it’s real. But more than that, is that what he sees when he looks at me, wishing I was someone else. I know not to think these things and I know he didn’t really mean them the way I took them. But I also know this will not be the last time I hear them. Somewhere inside of me, I thought, well maybe, if we do a good enough job he will just always know we were meant to be his parents and he will never say those words to me. So much for wishful thinking! Maybe I will only hear them this one time. Then again, there will be more times just like it. Maybe I will be better prepared in response.

In any event, I know, he is only five years old and is starting to question his identity and figure out who he is. I know this. We studied this. We knew this would come. This is the age when they start to figure out identity, family connections, etc. This isn’t new to me. What’s new to me is I thought I would have had more time to be prepared for this. He is only five. But then again, how do you ever prepare yourself for it? So my advice to you mommas out there that might hear “you are not my real mom.” Find someone to talk to. Find a support person. Find a support group. Find someone that understands. Find someone who has adopted children to talk to. Because no matter how much you tell me that it will be ok, or he only said that because he was angry, or he doesn’t really know what he said, it’s not helpful. I know those things. I have read numerous books, articles, etc., on adoption and adoption-related issues. I know. But what you don’t know is that even though you know those things and you know those words weren’t meant to hurt you, they still do.

Essentially, I wish I had more time and thought I had more time but will utilize the time I do have to treasure every day that I get to be Jackson’s mom, real or otherwise.

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One of the best lessons I learned a few years ago was the process of learning how to build margins in to your day. I know, I know, we are all super busy. We go from one place to another, shuffles kids from here to there and wonder how we will get through the days sometimes. I wish there was a way I could explain to you how important this is. Not filling your entire day with stuff, leaving room for the neighbor that needs sudden help, the teacher that needs an extra hand, the kid that needs a little more attention. Or if you are lucky, the aunt that needs someone to go to the concert with her. Read More