This blog follows on from 'A Tribute to a Foster Mum'. Last week's blog described only a fraction of what she means to us. In this post I will continue my tribute, and include her family. A pivotal point is the trust my husband and I place in her, that key piece of the puzzle that is Max's life.
A recent weekend away with a friend's son threw up moral dilemmas that I was not expecting. How we parents have to interpret other families' norms, how our own standards clash with those of the culture we're parenting in, and how innocent assumption can lead us into treacherous territory.
These are words that I’m sure we’ve all heard many times from well-meaning friends and family. We know they’re trying to reassure, to be kind and that, really, they mean, “Don’t worry, you've got this, you’re doing a good job.” But that’s often not how the words are heard. For me, I always hear them as, “Don’t make such a fuss; you’re over thinking things; the problem must be you, if you’re finding this so hard.”
I don’t usually like to talk about all the charity work I do. That’s because I rarely do any, save for giving the odd tenner to mates who are doing a bit of fundraising.
The London To Brighton Bike Ride was something different, though. Not only because it’s one of the more iconic routes in the south-east, and not because I could raise a bit of dosh for my chosen cause, We Are Family. I’d wanted to do London-Brighton for a long time because it pulled at my taut heartstrings. It had a sentimental allure.
I’ve recently had a school-related episode that has given me much heartache and pause for thought. Another mother’s ambivalence towards my daughter. How she supported her daughter's ambivalence. And where all that has left my child. Her anxiety levels are rocketing. But it is all so subtle. You wouldn’t know it if you don’t know her. How she speaks too fast, too loud, doesn’t listen, bumps into things and people too hard. Dysregulation, my old friend. Normally I see it coming, but somehow I didn’t this time.
The challenge was my daughter (4 years old) clinging to me at school drop off, refusing to enter the classroom, insisting I go in with her. “I need you! I want you!” she would cry and rather than compassion towards her, I was noticing my growing irritation.