Mommings is hard.
Single momming is hard.
Foster momming is hard.
I spend so much time perfectly curating my social media with beautiful images and optimism, but if I’m being honest, that’s not what the bulk of our life looks like.
I couple months ago we had a big storm come through during the night. My phone buzzed with the tornado watches and my heart immediately started to beat faster. Living in south Louisiana, I’ve been through more than my fair share of big storms. I am no stranger to tornado sirens, and to be honest, as a single person they’ve never scared me much- but as a mom, I was terrified. In that moment I was confident I could get myself to safety if the “watch” became a “warning”, but could I both get to nugget AND get to safety in time? My heart raced with uncertainties and before long I found myself sitting at the door of nugget’s room just waiting for the storm to calm.
Motherhood changes things. Its re-evaluates your priorities and it shows you where you’re most vulnerable. That storm showed me my vulnerabilities. Alone I could always figure it out- I could fight through and claw my way out of any obstacle necessary. Alone I feel confident, but with a child, my weaknesses feel hung out for all to see.
Despite the perfectly placed images I post online, foster mom life has not been, let’s just say, the most glamorous. Foster momming is messy, unsteady and every week it feels like a new little storm blows through. Just like those tornado watches, I am confident that I could figure out a way to get through this alone, but I am no longer alone, and it’s not just me who has to get through this. So here’s where I find myself sitting at the foot of nugget’s bed listening to her breathe while praying her dreams are better tonight. My head constantly says, I can get myself through this… but what about her. It no longer matters what I can get though myself, it matters what we can get through together. This journey is hard, and it leaves everyone around us in constant tears, but we are learning how to keep happiness in our hearts.
Over the last few months, I’ve heard the word “resilience” bounce through my head insistently. “If you teach her anything, teach her resilience” it says, “because the storms aren’t going to stop anytime soon.” Now, we talk about the happiness that remains in our heart every day. We talk about finding the good around the bad things. We talk about holding on to hopefulness, even when it seems impossible. We are learning that it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to cry and need to be held, but then take that sadness and turn it into courage. Turn it into understanding for others. Turn it into resilience. I am setting a foundation in her that is rooted in love – it’s rooted in knowing that above all, love wins. Because I truly believe, that love can heal all things.
To all the other moms out there who fear the storms for the sake of their little ones-
I see you.
For the moms who put on a brave face even when the sirens are going off-
I see you.
To the mom’s who battle week after week to tell your little ones that no matter what, it will be okay-
I see you.
Momming isn’t easy- but I see you, and you are impacting a life that has been changed for the better because of you. So break down when you need to. Seek out support when you need to. Take time for yourself when you need to. But always pray unceasingly, and keep believing that love can heal all things. At the end of the day you are making a difference. Your trails do not go in vain. There’s a tiny hand that needs you to keep holding it, and there’s a beautiful face that needs you to keep kissing it.
When I find myself sitting here watching her breathe and waiting for the storm to end, I remind myself that I am not in this storm for me. I will stand here holding happiness & love in both of our hearts until she is big enough to hold it for herself. We are leaning that when the tornadoes come, we will sure as hell hide in safety- but then we will get right back up and hold our foundations strong.
Every day when she reaches up to grab my hand and hold it ,I remember why I’m in this.