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Adventures In 'freakedoutland'


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I never used to think about having kids. It's not that I didn't want them eventually, it just wasn't on the forefront of my mind. All I really thought about was school, work, rent, relationships, things like that. I was certain of almost everything I did. Since la nina entered the picture, I have been certain of almost nothing. Should I do this or that? Should I feed her that? Should I let her do this? Should I do that? I hate to admit I have called my mama with questions more in the last couple of months than, well, ever. Is this normal, is that age-appropriate(our new question), what happens if she does this? Mama keeps telling me there are few easy answers when it comes to kids, but how can I make sure I don't screw things up? She says to just do my best, that's what others do.

La nina asked yesterday if she would have to go back to her mother's house soon. We told her that she got to stay with us for now. She seemed satisfied with that, then she looked right at me and asked, "If I don't go back to my old mommy's, are you gonna be my new mommy?" Then, "Do I have to call you mommy?" We told her that her mommy would always be her mommy, and she didn't have to call me anything she didn't want to. She could pick(within reason) what she wanted to call me, and she didn't have to answer right away. I tried to be calm on the outside, but inside I was terrified. Mommy? I wasn't expecting to hear that for a good while.

I guess it hit me then. I'd been going along day to day, not really looking at the long run. If my SO gets full custody, la nina is with us for life(i know how that sounds, but can't think of another way to say it. sorry). We will guide her through first day of school, homework, lost teeth, sleepovers, peer pressure, growth spurts, bullies... Maybe it scares me because it's still a relatively new concept for me. I don't doubt I will adjust(eventually), but for right now it feels like I was standing on this nice rug and Fate just walked up and said, "Hey, is this your life? Are these really your plans? Okay!" *YANK* So here I am flat on my ass going, "What the hell just happened?!"

I think I'm just babbling at this point. Not that I wasn't babbling before. It's early, I'm tired(in more ways than one). I'm just glad I could vent a little, I guess.

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It's one thing to carry a child, give birth to it, grow with it and know it is yours. It's another thing to have one thrust into your life (I can't think of a better way to say it!), partially grown, and perhaps with a set of behaviors already ingrained that you do not go along with. Just do you best, you are already doing well because you are THINKING about it. La nina can end up having a closer relationship with you than with any other in her life, or maybe not, but possibilities are endless. Keep up the dialogues with your mom, and if your SO gets custody, try to find out from her birth mother info that will keep you all on the same page. I hope it is not a terrible custody case because that can be very damaging to the child in the future. It took 2 years before I could have a reasonable conversation with my daughters father, but now we can both see she is better off when we both can communicate her needs to each other. Raising a child is a rollercoaster of a ride, but like Nymph said, it is wonderful in the end.

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Your mother is right. There are NO easy answers when it comes to rearing children. You just do whatever you think is appropriate. Everyone has different styles and POVs as to what's "appropriate" for what age group.

I had friends that were totally SHOCKED, when our daughter was 3 and my SIL died. I took DD to the funeral (open casket). She didn't know her aunt much (only met her once), but, it was a good lesson, and DD handled it beautifully. Some of my friends thought that that was just too much for a 3 yr old to handle. Maybe for some, yes, but DD is pretty good about those things. Some kids couldn't have handled that sort of situation. Had she been a terror, we'd have left.

This is a great lesson for anyone that is seriously dating, married, or even living with an SO that has kids from a previous relationship. If your SO has kids with someone else, keep in mind that things happen, accidents, custody disputes, situations such as yours, where you may actually get the kids for more than just a weekend. Being with someone with kids is a bigger commitment than many people think, and should be in your mind that it IS possible that the kids will be living with you and the other parent, at some point in their lives. Read some books, do some research, go with your SO to pediatrician appointments, and counselling sessions if the child is going to them. Ask questions. Listen and learn. It's never easy whether you're the biological parent, or a step-parent. Trust me!!

Making the child pick what she wants to call you is a good idea. My step-daughter tried calling me Mom one time, and knowing how vindictive her mother would be if she heard that, I discouraged her from doing so, but told her she could call me something else, but that I didn't want her or her Mom to think I was replacing anyone.

Again, there are n easy answers, just do your best. No parent's perfect. So long as you do things that you and your SO believe to be in the best interest of your family, then that's all you can do! Best wishes!

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With children, unfortunatly there are no right and wrong answers.

They do not come with an instruction manual.

Believe me, I have called several times to see where mine was... I keep hearing "Its in the mail, you should recieve it within the next 100 years or so, sorry, we are really back logged"

Oh wonderful, so I have to kind of wing it too.

I can not tell you how many times I called my mom after my son was born.

That is part of the whole mom experiance, we raise em, and then we offer our advice to them when they have their own families.

It is a very scary experiance to realize you are now wholeheartedly into raising a child from now until whenever.

When she asked if she had to call you mommy if she didnt go back, you probably could not have handled it any better if you had tried.

As for all the questions, should I feed her this, or that, should I allow her to do this or that, should I be doing this or that?

That is what I call " the mom factor"

Your mothering instincts have kicked in, you are trying to do the best you can for her, even though she is not your biological child.

I am told that the drained feeling does eventually go away, after about 20 years LOL

All joking aside, it sounds to me like you are doing what every parent does, the best you can with the knowledge that you have.

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If you weren't freaked out I would be worried. You had a child thrust in your lap

and not under normal circumstances. They were scary to say the least, it is

completely understandable to be worried after everything she has been through.

Your already doing a great job seeking advice and just being there for her. It may

not seem it but just her asking about calling you mom is all you need for an answer

as to how your doing. You and your SO did the right thing there is no need for her

to call you mom, unless she truly wants too.

You probably won't stop being freaked out for a very long time!! Good luck getting the courts

to do the right thing its obvious where this little girl will be safest!!

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