It is real.
We all have it.
We push ourselves to the point of exhaustion then finally ask for help.
Then we get help, or a night out, or even a trip to the grocery store alone and we feel guilty.
I will make a post about that type of mom guilt sometime, but this is about a very different type of mom guilt. One I am assuming that I don’t share with many.
When I was a little girl, I carried a baby doll around with me everywhere I went. I always wanted the one that looked the most realistic. I wanted to be a mom.
As I got older, this desire was diminished. A very unhealthy relationship with my mother made me swear off having children.
Thankfully, I was able to work through those issues and now being a mom is my favorite job.
I have always known I wanted to help children. My childhood dream was to be a “baby doctor.” That quickly changed when I realized I wouldn’t just be cuddling and loving on babies.
When I was young, I did not know how foster care worked. But what I had heard, it did not sound like something I wanted to be involved in. In my house, it was a threat used when my mom was yelling at us. She would hold out the phone and tell us to call the cops because it would be a lot worse wherever we ended up. So, naturally I assumed that I would end up in an even scarier lady’s house or in a children’s home.
I digress, this is not about my mom.
Once I realized I could give love and safety to children that need it most, my heart and mind were set on fostering. Not everyone has my heart for this — which I 100% understand in my mind and realize God made us all with different passions and talents — but my heart just screams wanting everyone to have my heart for fostering. I mean there are 17,920 children in care in Illinois alone. Okay, okay, I’m done. I really do understand that not everyone is meant to foster, and the system would be even worse if people did it that did not have the heart for it.
Back to the guilt…
Fostering. It was my path to becoming a mom. Not the typical path, but it was mine.
I did not have the strong desire to get pregnant and give birth. I just wanted to be a mom. Well, God had other plans for us and we now have the most beautiful, perfect little girl. Please, please, please, do not take this post as a sign of regret. I do not regret my baby girl and I am forever grateful that God gave my body the ability to deliver a healthy baby, but I feel guilty. The same guilt comes with adoption. The more children I permanently add to my family, the less I can help.
Guilty, because now we are not able to say yes to as many children.
Guilty, because that is one more call I have to say no to.
Guilty, because that is one more child I have to say no to.
Guilty, because now I do not have that extra bedroom.
Guilty, because now I only have room for one more.
Guilty, because I want to do so much more.
On this foster care journey, my capacity as a mom has grown so much, and I have learned I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined.
From no kids to three in under two years. Ages ranging from two months to ten years. To now, having two under nine months and one in first grade and a husband that works nights. I am proud of myself, but can’t help feeling like I could do more.