Being a mother is more joy than stress, for me. Sure, there have been moments where I thought I was just gonna lose my mind, but then things get better. And there are times, like when I’m sick and there’s no one else to do things, that I feel crushed by the responsibility of single motherhood. I don’t let those times get me down, because they’re normal, and in general being a mom is the absolute best part of being alive.
I read a lot of blogs, and get especially worried when I read about a child who was adopted as an infant, seemed healthy and well-adjusted in every way, and later had many behavioral/psych/social problems despite being reared since infancy in a stable home. All moms have to worry about something incessantly, I guess, and this is what I worry about: that despite being mine since 5 weeks old, M will suffer later in some way for the trauma she experienced in infancy, or for the drug and alcohol exposure she experienced the entire time she was developing in utero. It goes without saying that nothing could or would ever make me love her less, and I would seek out every service and solution should she develop any type of problems later on. But it worries me, all the time, because I want her to be ok. I want her to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted. I don’t care if she gets all As or is a star athlete or can draw pretty or what have you. I just want her to be able to learn, make friends, and ultimately succeed at being a well-adjusted individual in our society.
I have noticed that she cannot sit still like the other 1 and 2 year olds in her music class. (How do their moms get them to do that???) She has several fits per class, whereas the others have not had any or may have had one briefly. She hugs the other moms, even though she barely knows them. I can tell by their expressions that they think she’s weird. She is a bit delayed in speech but it’s developing at a good pace so I’m not that worried about it. She often gets reports from school that she was very whiny and clingy with the teacher. She pushes the kids that are smaller than her, or hits them (not at school, that I know of, but at other activities).
It’s very likely that I just have a strong-willed, spunky child who is starting up with the terrible twos. She is very intelligent, expresses her happy and angry emotions well, follows directions (at least when she feels like it), seems to be sensitive to others’ emotions, has excellent fine and gross motor skills, is affectionate towards me and other family members, and meets all of her milestones just fine. She naps and sleeps very well, and even eats pretty well nowadays, including vegetables.
Since music class seems to be where we are having the most social behavior problems (hitting, tantrums, weird hugging of strangers, fits) we are going to take a break from it. The other moms act annoyed with her and that just breaks my heart. I want to scream at them, “she’s fine! Don’t give her that look!” (the teacher doesn’t, thankfully) but I understand that her behaviors really are quite disruptive to the class. I guess I don’t understand how all of the other kids her age are able to wait their turn, sit still, and be quiet for 45 minutes, but after 2 years of going I can see that they are capable of it. My daughter just is not, at least not yet. Maybe that doesn’t mean anything… but I worry that more problems will crop up at age 3 or 4, which is when a lot of adoptive parents start noticing these issues.
Maybe I am just a mom with a willful kid and ordinary worries. I just don’t know.