When you become a parent, whether it is via birth or adoption, no matter how old you are you have to face that you are now "the grown-up". This has been one of the harder parts of my transition. Here are thirteen reasons why.
I'm lucky in that Lotus HATES throwing up. I'm unlucky in that when she does--it's always on me. I have to clean her before me. It's gross.
In the last few years my diet has evolved from college student to semi-responsible adult. That being said I have a big sweet tooth and I can't indulge it in front of her because too much sugar equals manic-baby. I have to be responsible and buy fruits instead of Entenmanns.
11) Medical office
When we first brought Lotus home, we took her to an international adoption specialist. One of the things she did was take several vials of blood. It gave me a small amount of pride that it took four people to hold my baby down to get it--she fought so very hard. But I had to be held back because she was crying so hard and I wanted to hold her and protect her. I KNOW it is for her own good and I didn't do anything, but it really sucked.
In that amorphous "before" time of parenting D and I decided that, since D is a diabetic and used to shots, he would be the one to handle it. That did not take into account the fact that when Lotus is having fun she wants her Daddy. When she is sick, scared, in pain, she wants MA MAAAAAAAAAAAA. Vaccinations qualify on all counts. I have had to hold her so the dr could give her the shot. Agony.
I overshare. A lot. I want to tell everyone what I think about the orphanage or China adoption in general. I want to tell my child's story. I realize though that it is HER story. I keep things back even to close friends because I am the grown-up.
8) Adult Child
My mom is ill. Very ill. I'll be discussing that in another post--but it is not fun and it is not good. As the person who is closest emotionally and distance wise to my parents I'm the one seeing how this illness has impacted both of them. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.
7) Medical proxy
While my mother is undergoing chemo, she is not supposed to be in an emergency room unless it is for her. When my father got sick, and needed to go to the ER, I had to go with him because the Dr. did not want mom in the ER. Also, the chemo she is on made her "altered". So when Dad needed emergency surgery, I, as his secondary medical proxy had to sign off on it. Fortunately dad recovered quickly, but also, not fun.
****If you live in the US, you should have two people designated as medical proxy, who can make decisions if you are incapacitated. I do not want to think of what would have happened had my father not had the foresight to put me on that list.*****
6) Saying No
This is both to my parents and daughter. Sometimes I have to say no, whether it is for my own sanity or because I can't be the parent who doesn't say no. It doesn't make it fun.
5) End of life decisions-ours
Before Lotus, we had the people who would take care of her if something happened to us. Our closest friends, then others, than others. Our closest friends are still the first choice, but we have had to revise the other choices due to who Lotus has met and is comfortable with. Making these choices to begin with was rough, making them now when we thought "we discussed this" is harder still. Lotus can't weigh in, and we know how important this might be. It is not a good time to be a grown-up.
4) End of life decisions--my parents
Today, at some point, I have to call someone to make sure that everything is all right for my parents cemetery plots. They bought them long ago, but there are questions my father has and he just can' make this call. He asked if I could and I said I would. There is absolutely nothing about this chore that does not suck.
3) Balancing my needs with my child's needs with my parents needs
I have had to say to my parents "no, I will not be seeing you today" because Lotus has needed the fun time. I don't like to do it, but I have to pick her over them. Sometimes I pick me over them, and sometimes I pick me over Lotus. D allowed me to go see Catching Fire in a theater when it was out so I could have some time where I wasn't "Mommy" or "daugher" and I needed it and am grateful for it.
2) Turning off screens
Whether with my parents or child, I find myself turning off the computer/tv a lot. When I am with my parents, I'm turning off the screen so I can spend what little time left talking, asking questions and so forth. With my child because the damned AMA says I should and I have enough mommy guilt that I let her watch anything.
1) Being small
My daughter looks at me sometimes and I feel like I can do anything. I am Mommy! Solver of problems. Hander-down of rules. Then I stand at my mother's bedside and I can't do anything. I can only hold her hand and tell her that she has been a good mom and I love her. I can't fix this cancer and I can't cure her. The knowledge that time is running out is the hardest part of being an adult.
If you are so inclined--please keep my mom in thoughts and prayers. She is holding on and fighting until June and my parents anniversary. I believe that good thoughts and prayers help in her fight--and I ask for them.