December 09, 2012

They don't pay me enough

When my husband wants to thank a volunteer, any kind of volunteer, he shakes their hand and says, "They don't pay you enough."  It's his way of saying how much their service is worth.

This job of mine doesn't earn me a dime.  I guess that makes me a volunteer?  Though I don't know if I knew what I was signing up for.  After a day like this one, I am thinking that when the volunteer sheet went around, I should have signed up for an afternoon a week at the soup kitchen.

photo by Zion
Today, this mama disciplined a child before enough thorough investigation.  The discipline, as it turned out, was unwarranted.  To my utter dismay, the accused was Jubilee.  I hate the combination of toddler adoption and discipline.  We adoptive parents want our children to trust us and feel loved unconditionally, but she pushes back like any kid does, and she wants to know that I am going to rein her in like any mom does, to any of her other children.  When I discipline her, it is necessary.

Except for today, which was nothing but a big fat failure on my part.  An F minus, a zero, a crash and burn.

Motherhood is so incredibly HARD.

Through bleary eyes I texted Daniel at work and told him what had happened.  "I am the one who needs to be disciplined!!!" I wrote.  He responded that me failing her is just part of Jubilee growing up in a family.  He's so right.  She could have grown up in an orphanage, where the staff would have smiled behind gritted teeth all day long for a paycheck.  But none of those staff would have loved her.  None of them would have stuck around longer than a few years, at best.  She would have grown to hate those plastered smiles, and she would have longed for unwarranted discipline from a well-meaning mother who, despite her enormous flaws, will never


leave her.

Being a part of a family is messy, but it is real, and it is lasting, and it is loving, and it is my life, whether I knew what I was signing up for or not.