Feeling Defeated
therapist mom together. Worn out and waking tomorrow to hold compassion and connection in my days. Right beside you. Foster Mom (The Therapist)
Spring Roundup
favorites too! -Foster Mom (the therapist) therapist mom
Therapist Mom: on being legally freed for adoption
. Foster Mom (The Therapist) Read the Artist's response here Therapist Mom: on being legally freed for adoption therapist mom
It's complicated
therapist mom
Sunshine before the rain.
brave, strong girl into their home. And I hope the pain of losing her doesn't last forever. Love always wins, Foster Mom (The Therapist) therapist mom
Hard things
therapist mom all. I just believe we as Moms, and we as a family, are doing the hard work that comes along with doing a good thing together. -Foster Mom (therapist)
Love Loss Race Class
this world of love and loss. On some days, I'm not sure measuring the path even matters. -Foster Mom (the therapist) Therapist mom
The case of just me.
. We are still walking along over here, and still doing our best to survive intact, loving together. With love, Foster Mom (The Therapist) therapist mom
Mom, Mama, Mommy & Supervisor
. Foster Mom (The Therapist) You can always move forward but you can never go back. And you have choices therapist mom We're still painfully new at this mom thing. In recognition of Mother's Day, we hash out a few things. First = Therapist Mom. Last = Artist Mom.
Long game & rebuilding from the outside in
, just keep working at your long game and let your kids pace your way there. -Therapist Mom therapist mom
Sibling Connection & Love in Foster Care
therapist mom I grew up in a home with an older sister and with cousins next door - who were really my brothers and sisters. It feels like I come from a big family of kids, though biologically there are only two of us. I think a lot about sibling connection and relationships and the ways in which those are lost and found for kids in foster care. It has always been our goal to help Mr. Toddler and Tiny forge a stronger relationship with their older brother and sister. There's no real roadmap in foster parent classes that lays out the best way to navigate this. Sibling visits aren't mandated where we live and if we want them to happen outside of visits with Mom, then it's up to us. In trying to protect everyone's privacy, and for the sake of context, I'll say that Tiny never lived with any of his siblings before moving in with us. He was born after the older three were removed and placed with us. All of this took place over a year ago. Tiny has since grown up in a home with just Mr. Toddler. All four of these kiddos have contact once a month at visits with their birth mom, which tend to be chaotic/overwhelming and dysregulating for all involved. That said, this is not so much a post about our boys and their siblings as much as it is about our thoughts on how we try to forge sibling connection and love for kiddos in care. 1. The Ideal Scenario In an ideal world, Tiny and Mr. T's older siblings would have a fully invested, nurturing caregiver who would be their secure attachment base. Someone who could help them develop a sense of security and help them feel tethered in their otherwise chaotic and confusing world. In reality, they have a foster mom who is around a Grandma's age, who has been a foster parent for decades and has admitted feeling very done with fostering. Where to begin. So that is the backdrop to our family story here. We are fully invested in our boys and their siblings. So one of the first pieces the Artist and I really thought through navigating was about setting up visits outside the once monthly visitation room. We also wanted to be mindful to not overwhelm the kids and confuse them or leave them feeling more alone after their time with us. We've talked about this before but I want to drive it home here - we take our kids to required appointments on the regular: visits, court, medical, social workers, meetings with the attorney. Whatever it may be - I want to be the one there helping my kids navigate whatever's going on. I wish to be there in the moment to help answer questions and at least in the aftermath be able to help make sense of what transpired or be able to create a narrative that does not feel so confusing or muddled. It's hard to not know what happened precisely when you have a kiddo returning to your home after something upsetting. It's easier to help and prepare for the next round when you know because you were there. So our first concern in bringing the older two kids over to our house really boiled down to the fact that they would not have any familiar adults here for them to check-in with. We would likely come across as being more connected or attuned to our kids, and I worried they would feel left out or worse, lonely. We are with Tiny and Mr. T day in and day out. We know their routines, favorite games and subtle mood shifts. And the challenge here is that during previous visits the siblings do not connect or really engage with one another. They orbit in separate zones and do not overlap much. We were worried that older brother and sister would come over and feel out of place as they did not connect immediately with one another at this point. We did not want to leave the other two kids feeling on the outs. So in my ideal world? The older two would have caregivers that were loving, secure, attentive and would help them if anything felt overwhelming or hard - the same way we would help our kids. That we would all get together and have a happy reunion where everyone has adults, a safe home to return to and the focus is just on helping the kids hang out and connect. The real world, though, is two Mamas and four kids. While they were at our house the older brother was so clingy and desperate to be carried around like I do with Tiny. I could not put him down. Nuzzling into my neck and clinging onto me, whimpering when I put him down. For maybe a half hour he asked me to sit while he just clung onto my neck like a baby Koala. I tried to redirect him, I tried put him down, distract with toys/food/anything. He was not having it. A few times Mr. Toddler just walked up and stared at us while I tried to narrate, "your brother is sleepy and likes snuggles too", "I wonder if your brother feels a little unsure being somewhere and maybe he's feeling shy, what do you think?" Mr. T has historically gotten jealous and upset when we are connecting with other kiddos, I was aware of how confusing this must feel to him. His older brother holding onto me like his baby brother. The older sister wandered around the house a bit ghostlike for the first hour or so, barely talking and not engaging with the other kids much. And all this happening without an adult to help them with this anxiety or the weirdness of being with people you don't know. I'll also add that the oldest sister was a bit weirded out about our being gay, and attends church regularly and has gotten some not-so-helpful messages about same sex relationships, but I'll save how we managed that for another time. Tough stuff. The siblings foster mom would not drive them to our home for the visit, so we were happy to drive the kiddos both ways. Gave me some time to connect with them and help them learn little things like our names and prepare for what we might be doing together. 2. Structure, structure, structure. Broken record with this, I get it. For the visit we set up stations around the house so the kids could be doing things together without needing to really negotiate rules or work out rules for games to play together. Within this group we have some cognitive challenges, behavior challenges and a baby. To help it feel as successful as possible we had the train table set up, the under-the-stairs fort set up so there was a quiet den area to read or look at books, the kiddie pool filled with pillows, Yogibos and puffy bedding with the slide for gross motor play. We tried to have a mix of things; exciting stuff, quiet stuff, and fun (hopefully fun) stuff. We wanted to be purposeful in trying to help everybody feel connected and part of the play. And the kids really just did circuits around the house going from station to station playing mostly together, sometimes solo. During monthly visits there is minimal interaction between the kids, With other kiddos we've fostered, I've been at some visits where kids connect easily and excitedly. Not so much here, they act as if they are alone in the room, each one selecting a corner and keeping to themselves. There's a lot of trauma-bond, neglect and other complications at work here. That's what we are trying to shift - learning how to play together is the real hope of this time together. And our hope was to set up areas where everyone can just play. All together. If I were to try to put into words the greatest hope I have for kiddos living in our home it would be to help them learn to play. Play is lost when you're fearful, confused or alone. Playfulness is one of the most genuine experiences of childhood, and one we often take for granted - assuming all kids get to have it. Most kiddos I know in foster care have to learn to play again as their development has been so based around safety and survival, playful curiosity and laughter has taken a backseat to more necessary tasks. So the sibling relationship here is one based on survival and the levity and laughter and playfulness is on the light side. We want to help that heal. As time went on, after about a half-hour or so I'd say, it was really amazing. The oldest sister held Tiny for the first time in her life, she tried to carry him and spoke softly him, and tried to feed him a hundred grapes (!). But was so sweet and engaged when I showed her how to carry him, and then we praised her like crazy for how hard she was working at caring for him and how into it Tiny was. It was so incredibly sweet. When I dropped her off at the end of the day she very quietly asked me if I could send pictures to her of "my day with you guys." I told her absolutely we could. My heart was just so full, y'all. The older brother played trains with Mr. Toddler for awhile and they needed some help "taking turns" and using "gentle hands" but they were great. I have so many pictures of these moments I want framed and plastered around our house. We ate, went crazy in the "snuggle pool" as the kids called it and then did some Christmas gifts before we had to separate and head home. I picked up pajamas of the Spiderman and Disney Princess variety along with other toys and you would think I gave them the gift of the Sun and Moon. It was sweet to see them so happy and Mr. Toddler so into them being happy. 3. Don't start what you can't keep-on with. Our hope is that we can do this once a month in addition to their other monthly visit. We wanted to start visits when we knew there would be a reliable or regular schedule - that no matter what, we could be responsible for transport, have our family schedule open and no work related travel and the kids could count on us. So all told, we will have half of the weeks of the month having visit days and half without. We are looking to build a schedule that's the same date every month so that everyone knows what to expect. I'm hopeful that the kiddos will find a good pre-adoptive home soon so they have adults they are connecting to and we can figure out how to do even more often, all together. The Artist and I have talked about trying to figure out how to do brother and sister dates with just Mr. Toddler and his older brother or sister, or Tiny and his sister to help everybody create memories and more importantly have time together. We have a few potential dates lined up and I cannot even tell you how excited I am to have a girl around. I mean, I love (*loathe*) playing trucks as much as the next guy, but tea parties and lunches at the American Girl Cafe are more my jam. And this is how we are headed off into the New Year. Moving along with new hopes, new plans and in some ways it feels like a new chance at a big, beautiful family. Heartfelt wishes for a season of love and hope. -Foster Mom (the Therapist)
Foster Care: Final Steps Toward Adoption
therapist mom
Our Ultimate Foster Care Children's Book List
therapist mom Our ultimate Foster Care Children’s Book list. We sourced all the books we could get our hands on that tell the story of foster care, separation and uncertainty. Here are our current favorites: The classic Maybe Days by Jennifer Wilgocki. A book that holds the uncertainty and tension of day-to-day life in foster care. This book is a classic, and was one of the first of this genre published. We value books where kids in foster care have their story narrated and normalized. An additional bonus, the book takes care to offer pictures of kids of all colors and a range of ages. A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes. Part of the genius of this book is the way the story line is created to hold that a terrible thing happened and the specifics are not named, leaving kiddos able to imagine their own history or challenges in its place. The drawing of the dark and snarled cloud has always felt such an apt metaphor fo the dark days and painful memories. We like this one for processing big feelings or putting words to dysregulated body energy. Not so much a nighttime book around our home, but beloved nonetheless. Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson. The illustrations in this book are simply beautiful. The story line follows a little girl and her Nana going to visit her Dad in prison. There are rituals about what they do when they are visiting her Dad, language around missing him and how life continues on without him in sad and joyful ways. A really wonderful piece of kids literature, and we have read this with kiddos whose parents are in jail, and kiddos whose parents aren’t but family members or loved ones are. This coupled with Sesame Streets Little Children Big Challenges wonderful videos makes for a really great starting point for helping kiddos integrate and have words for what is happening. We Belong Together and The Family Book both are by Todd Parr. Really any Todd Parr book would work here, but the story line in The Family Book, of how families help each other stay strong, and how some families match and others don’t is literary magic. The use of animals families and people families is a wonderful touch that allows you to talk about sameness and otherness in a really open and direct way. WE Belong Together is a great description of the messages parents who wanted to adopt can concretely offer to kiddos, especially in older child adoption. The “why did you want to adopt?” can be a complicated conversation and this book helps make it so pure and understandable. The message in all of Todd Parr’s books offers that love is what holds us tight to one another, and any book naming that message is okay in our home. These is not specifically foster care related, although given the number of same sex couples fostering and adopting (yay!!) I wanted to throw in some favorites. For the gays, or for the loving families of gays, who want resources to normalize same sex parenting for their kiddos or for relatives: Momma, Mommy and Me by Carol Thompson a baby book naming the different ways Momma, Mommy and baby go about their day. Very sweet and bright colorful pictures A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager. A little boy and friends talk about families and they move through wuestions like which Mommy takes you fishing? Which Mommy helps you look for kittens? A nice overview of non-gendered parenting roles. Daddy, Poppa and Me by Carol Thompson. Another adorable, brightly colored baby book with sweet rhyming text talking about the things Daddy does and what Poppa does. Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson. A children book about the two penguins in the Central Park Zoo who fell in love and raised an orphaned egg the zookeeper placed in their nest. I had to do a few trial runs with this book before I could read it to Mr. T as I would tear up every time I got I read this sweet book. THEY JUST WANTED WITH THEIR WHOLE PENGUIN HEARTS TO BE PENGUIN DADDIES. Kids Need To Be Safe by Julie Nelson a book that talks honestly and with an age appropriate narrative flow about removal, unsafe homes and has pictorial descriptions of kiddos living with birth parents. I think the euphemism of “safe homes” or “feeling safe” can be overused with kiddos and is often unclear and vague. I appreciate that his book has pictures and the frame that safety is concrete. It’s a great conversation starter for how our home is the same or different from what kiddos are used to. It helps us frame why we have the rules we do, and what safe means in our home My current favorite books for the Mamas and Papas in my life:   I Love you Rituals by: Becky Bailey. A book with an incredible number of fun, playful and attachment supporting games parents and kiddos can play together. There are games for little kiddos and bigger kiddos. When we are having a tough week around here I pick this book up and dig through for a couple ideas to get us all feeling connected and open with each other again. Attachment Play: How to solve children's behavior problems with play, laughter, and connection by: Althea Soltzer. Another amazing read that has changed the way I approach discipline and helped lower my general frustration level with my kiddos. It offers playful games as a means for reaching toward connection in the relationship and helping your kiddo get what they need to move on and feel connected, confident and flexible. And not for nothing - her strategies have really worked with so many of the complexly traumatized kiddos we have parented, which is something I rarely say about books I have read. Playful Parenting by: Lawrence Cohen. Another book that discuss the importance of play and ways of helping kiddos move through big feelings, roadblocks in the day, jealousy, feelings on insecurity or lack of confidence by engaging playfully and in a connected way with their adults. I go back and re-read this book often when I’m feeling tapped out to help refresh my ideas for how to be the kind of Mama I hope to be. Traumatic reenactment, sleep difficulties, disorganized behavior and all the other challenges that come from parenting kiddos with broken hearts can weigh so heavily on your soul. I often find myself picking these books up when I need to rekindle my creativity and open heartedness in this parenting gig. Healing is often the slow and brave work of moving forward even when it feels you can’t. These books are my current warm breeze after a long winter, my way of holding ontorenewal and growth and hope.   With love, Foster Mom (The Therapist)
That's a wrap. Just kidding.
The Learning Happens in the Reflection One month ago, we were standing in our kitchen when my artist mom turned to me and said, "Remind me again, did you go to a school where white kids were the minority or the majority?" It turned out, we had some things to revisit. We didn't know a tremendous amount about one another's earliest experiences with different races, racism and class. We thought we did. We were wrong. So we designated 4 weeks to talk together, do some research, share and reflect. Our hope was to be intentional about developing a deeper appreciation for our transracial family while being transparent about some of that process. This week we're wrapping up and reporting on our progress. Below, a few words from my wife, the therapist. After, a few words from me, the artist. Teacher, Social Worker, Case Manager and Sometimes, Mom. This past week was a visit week for us. And among all the things I would want to talk about and debrief that occur during that hour, this week I'm really muddling through my feelings about this interaction in particular: The four of us walk into the social work office and I'm holding Mr. Toddler. The Artist is holding Tiny. The waiting room is hectic. Lots of people waiting, parents pacing, people talking loudly. Another social worker sitting in the doorway of a visit room, clearly supervising a visit, turns to me and says "What room are you in?" I say, " I don't know, I'm not sure." Because our social worker is late again, so we are out waiting with the kiddos' birth family all unsupervised and mingling awkwardly, because there is nowhere for us to go and no one to help guide us. She says: "How do you not know? Which one did you sign out?" And then it hits me what's happening here. She thinks I'm Mr. Toddler's social worker. So I say "I'm his foster Mom." She sits up and says something like "Sorry, you looked like a social worker" and we move on. The subtext here is that I'm a white, thirty-something white lady holding a black baby, and under most circumstances in the child welfare world this is best understood as the dynamics of the workplace. This happens so often I oscillate between total annoyance and surrender. I get it. I do. I look the part, and "the part" is understood as a white lady with kids of color. I even wear Birkenstocks, and I'm a lesbian, which is like a two-fer, basically. It's typical that I'm mistaken for our kiddos' teacher, social worker or therapist. Rarely is the assumption that I'm the Mom unless my kids snuggle me, call me "Mom" or I'm clearly doing Mom things (like wiping spit up off my clothes in line getting food or we are in a crowded bathroom and Mr. Toddler is asking me loudly if we are here because I need to poop or pee). There are about a dozen experiences a month which cause me to quietly thank the Gods that the kiddos in my home are not completely aware of language yet, and these situations are most often related to offensive questions about my kids' relationship to me or my gayness. "Where did you get him from?" "Did you get him when he was born or older? I heard it's better when they're younger." "Oh, foster care? Can I take him then if no one wants him?" "Could you not have kids- or I guess how would you have kids, right??!! There's no man!" Another of my favorite therapists (yes, another reference to therapists I love here- we all do what we know until we work our asses off to do different. This is one of my ways of working my ass off to be a better different) reminded me that one of the burdens of being the "difference," the identity that is outside the mainstream construct, is that the onus for education and guiding less informed folks is often on you. As in, when I was holding Tiny in the sling while shopping and someone asked where I "got" Tiny from and I honestly answered we are foster parents, and she said- "Oh! Well can I take him then if no one wants him?" What I wanted to say was angry and full of vitriol. I wanted to vent some of the big feelings I have about the way our family has and has not had support from our community. I wanted to let off some of the steam that is building in me after Mr. Toddler's grandmother yelled at him for calling me "Mama." I almost got really caught up in my own stuff here and was reactive. But instead I said this: "We want him as much as any Mama wants their baby. Don't you worry. He is loved by more people than I can count. And he is beautiful." Because I wished for her take away to be that he is not unwanted, that's an ignorant stance all the way around. His Mom would say she wants him too. And I'm not an angry lesbian trying to steal all the babies because I don't have a man. I wish to be part of the solution in this world and stand alongside those who stand on the margins. That's the energy I wanted to leave in my wake. Creative and Expansive and Outside the Everyday Normal What I'm not really pointing out here that this conversation, and most of them really, are all about race. And you know what? You know who is going to be reminded every time these conversations happen, that the world sees them as different and distanced from their Moms? My kids. I'm hoping we get some of this right and that it becomes a source of strength to feel different- like you have something creative and outside the everyday normal. Maybe that's way too optimistic. When I came out in my early 20's it wasn't easy or something I would say was "fun," but the life I'm able to live, and who I am is born from that struggle. And I am proud of the life I have and the family I am with The Artist. We mow the lawn, grocery shop, eat dinner together, sometimes go on vacation when we are lucky. It's not a gay life, it's just a life. I'm hoping someday this will feel like just a life for my kids, as opposed to their gay, interracial, fostercare life. Some days I'm better about responding to the questions and looks in a balanced manner, and some days I'm reactive as all get out. This month we chose to be a bit more transparent about how we think and talk about race, class, our family and the life we are in and for sure we are nowhere near done. I'm nowhere near done. Foster Mom (the therapist) I'd Give Us A Solid B It's unrealistic to expect that we can give a solid snapshot that will do this dialogue justice. Mostly, I think I'm moving forward with more questions than answers, but I'm glad to be thinking about this stuff while the boys are young. And there are some things I want to highlight. Like basic stuff. There are things I learned, things I already knew and things I was reminded of. Like the difference between race and racism. I know what race is. I know what racism is. Two big things I was reminded of: how remarkable we are as a global group and how deeply I believe that the best way to talk about that beauty is to not adopt a "colorblind" perspective. The many shades of our skin are so unbelievably diverse and striking to me. This is part of why I started photographing our family. During this month of reflecting, I was reminded that not everyone appreciates or values the beauty in this. And this surprised me. Not because of the injustices I see happening to black people by cops in the media, but with some of the things my own peeps assume is appropriate to share with me because we're suddenly raising brown babies. For example, I was totally caught off-guard while recently chatting with a friend, who I regard as super smart and pretty worldly. Open-minded, hip, a minority herself. She shared some exciting news about one of her kids and in so doing, volunteered that she was proud to have raised her kids to be colorblind. I didn't know what to say. And I'm not the type to mince words. I was carrying Tiny when the conversation took place and I did not see it coming. Despite this period of deep reflection, I had nothing to share in that moment. I wanted to be happy for her and her kid. I wanted to not steal her thunder in any way. I wanted to not 'go there' in that moment and I felt like shit for struggling with which route to take. And now, I'm not sure of when 'to go there' or when to not. It's problematic. I'm working on it. Moving Forward My commitment to myself and my family is to strike a balance. We are raising these little guys until further notice and maybe forever. Some days I feel like talking about race, some days I just don't. That's how I feel right now. This doesn't mean that I don't honor our familial identity or ignore our individualism. It just means it's a lot and I've got some stuff to work out so that I can talk to my kids first. It's kinda like being gay. I was born this way. It's a major part of my identity. And some days I just don't feel like making it a big deal. The same is true for my tattoos, with the exception of being born with them. Obvi. Other things I feel committed to: not raising our boys in a bubble. Talking with them about race, racism and black history well before kindergarten and continuing this dialogue forever. Which also means that I'll do my best to be the parent they need when all kinds of big feelings come up in different ways throughout their identity development and life. See also: we all have really good therapists. I don't want our guys wondering about things we may have kept from them while growing up and I'll do my best to be transparent and nurturing about the hardest things in life and hope that that's something worthwhile. Resources We came across tons of valuable resources these past several weeks that we want to share. You can find them here. If you'd like to contribute, there's a note on that page for how you can do that. We'd love to hear from you. We also upped our social media game. We get a little more political and news-worthy on Twitter and on Pinterest, well...we pin things of interest, like kickass books, ways our boys might wanna style their hair over the years and other goodies. We're staritng lifebooks for the boys (which lots of people have asked about) and we'll be pumped to share our thoughts on that in an upcoming post. We also started 2 new hashtags: #AllOfTheSkintones and #LoveSeesAllColor. So you might notice your feed blowing up with those. Don't be shy. -Foster Mom (the artist) Other Noteworthy Voices: Chad Goller-Sojourner: a Seattle-based writer, storyteller and solo-performer whose recent work focuses on the social, political and historical dimensions of multi-identity construction and intersectionality. Riding in Cars with Black People & Other Newly Dangerous Acts: A Memoir in Vanishing Whiteness is the groundbreaking and crushingly honest story of what happens when a black boy, raised by white parents, “ages out” of honorary white and suburban privilege and into a world where folklore, statistics, and conjecture deem him dangerous until proven otherwise. Goller-Sojourner takes audiences on an intense and insightful journey, along the way unpacking race, privilege and policing like only a transracial adoptee can. Culture Club on Medium: "We get in the cracks and crevices of race, class, culture and identity. It's a party. Come as you are." A guy by the name of @dexdigi writes a solid response to an article you may have read in 2014 by a freshman at Princeton University entitled, "Why I'll Never Apologize for My White Male Privilege." Kristen Howerton, mom to 4 kids via birth and adoption and the mastermind behind Rage Against the Minivan has some great insight into talking to her own kids about race, as well as a great collection of age-appropriate books that might help support conversations with kiddos. Jimmy Wayne: a former foster kid turned country music singer/songwriter whose songs and story highlight his mission to bring awareness to kids who age out of the foster system and become homeless. His powerful TEDx talk here. therapist mom
How to just keep moving.
And then they came to our home In some ways it feels I've spent my adult life preparing to raise littles who've experienced great hurt. My professional work, the academic learning, the purposeful thinking and organizing my view on attachment and what healing means. And then they came to our home and suddenly, I'm forging all those thoughts into practice right there in the moment. Sometimes I feel purposeful and other times I feel muddled and like I'm spinning my wheels on how to maneuver out of the tantrums that seem endless. Or the birth parent conversations our older kiddos share with us, which causes them such conflict and loyalty confusion. The work of helping someone reshape their internal beliefs about relationships, trust, connection and rhythm is life's work. And yet, I find myself realizing important moments with our little guys where it seems like the only work I'm really focusing on. I learned what I already knew I've learned the best way out of Mr. Toddler's meltdowns (be they tired meltdowns, hungry meltdowns, too many transitions meltdowns or social workers were here for too long meltdowns) is to just pick him up and keep moving. Holding him close to me while I continue in my rhythm of movement and our life. It seems the best way to hold for him that life continues on and that feelings come and go. They get big, then bigger, then they fade, even when it feels they won't. Moving through our day with him right beside me for a little while feels right and it's working to help shorten and lower the intensity of his distress while helping me feel like I have a plan that's designed for him and our family. Walk toward that light in really dark moments I found myself one day holding his little hand to my chest as I took deep breaths and then slowly asking him to match his inhales and exhales to mine. In that moment I was just trying anything- ANYTHING- to help the screaming stop- no significant purpose, no big fancy ideas- just so badly wanting for both of us to have the chaos and yelling get smaller. And then right there I learned what I already knew, that life moves forward, in hard ways and beautiful ones. And my way of managing, as one of the lucky mamas to these boys, is to be the one who can keep us walking toward that light in really dark moments so that someday when you're old enough and brave enough you'll know you can do this when you're alone too. Most of the talks we have around these parts (real talk- like when were in bed trying not to pass out immediately after the kids are asleep) is what kind of moral compass we hope our kids have when they're old enough to move through this world with some autonomy and then we really think about how to do things to move us in that direction. We ask them to remember to say "sorry" not simply because it's a rule or that we need to have you act deferential to us, but rather because we believe humans belong to one another. And maybe there will come a day where someone steps up and apologizes for how hard things have been for you. And maybe that day never comes. Either way this unfolds, I wish for you to be someone who believes you matter and that you wish to give kindness to the world because you know both the pain of unkindness and the beauty of generosity. Building rhythm We talk a lot as Moms about how to build rhythm. How to help our littles develop a sense of security and connection to their own bodies and to us as parents. I'm learning there are big gestures we do as parents, like making sure there's enough play space and toys for gross motor activity. Things like slides, swings, forts or tents to den and snuggle up in. And then there are the small ways we manage and move through feelings and distress, which are likely the more important choices we make as Moms. We're working hard on this one. Tantrums and meltdowns with kicking and screaming and tears are common. But for now, we've found a path out together. Moving slowly toward the light at the end of the tunnel. All together. Foster Mom (the therapist) therapist mom
In the Beginning
for as long as they are. -Foster Mom (the therapist) therapist mom
Finding the right therapist
therapist mom
The Nitty Gritty
a beautiful thing. -Foster Mom (the therapist)           therapist mom
The Ties That Bond: Attachment Styles
therapist mom thing I've done and without hesitation, the most important. -Foster Mom (the therapist)        
Post-Orlando: How to support your LGBTQI friends
post specific to how our straight friends and family can support us and the gay community. Therapist therapist mom Mom goes first: 1. The people targeted in this attack were chosen because of who they love. I find
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