Dear Kittymama and other new parents…

I’ve been thinking lately about one particular internet friend, known online as kittymama, and I’ve been thinking about her because the child she brings home will be her first. And I want her to know, in advance, one thing:

You hate them sometimes no matter what.

Babies, biological, adopted, I’m guessin’ any way you bring them into the family, they screw things up. And I mean that in the most loving, actually dealing pretty well way.

When you have your first kid, no matter how you have them, it messes with your entire existence. And it continues to mess with it, and when you add others, it messes with it again. I’ve hated each of my kids in turn for what they did to my nice tidy life, particularly between 3 and 4 in the morning, which is an hour when no one who isn’t having a really good time should be awake. It’s then that you consider strangling them, or wonder what would happen if you walked out the door and just kept going, that you weep and curse and moan. Well, other times too, to be honest, but really then.

And I keep thinking–if my first child had been adopted, if I didn’t know to an absolute certainty that I, at least, go through this every single time, what would that feel like?

Horrible. There’s an additional sense of needing to love the kid that comes, for me, with adoption. A baby can’t actually tell, especially if it’s kind of fitfully sleeping, or chowing, that you’re loathing it some of the time, but a kid–a sensitive, already abandoned kid who’s had its whole world overturned–who could hate that kid? Who could be so cold?

I think–lots of people. People who’ve spent the day in a port-a-potty, or haven’t slept in weeks, or are watching the rest of their lives flip over and over, unable to settle, completely at the mercy of something you somehow thought was within their control.

That’s just parenting. Sometimes it sucks. There may be people out there who take it all in stride, but I don’t know any of them, and if I did, I wouldn’t like them. It’s hard, being a parent, it’s hard becoming a parent, it’s hard becoming a parent again.

So if that’s you, and you’re thinking it’s just you–it’s not.

6 Responses to “Dear Kittymama and other new parents…”

  1. Dana Slahta says:

    Thanks again for a very honest post. I found myself thinking the same thing while in China. Thank god this is not my first child or I would feel terrible about how little I seem to like her at certain moments. I think every person who is adopting or giving birth NEEDS to hear the not so rosy parts. It makes you feel better and helps you to realize you are normal.

  2. Misty says:

    With each new child brings on new challenges–you are absolutely correct! Our first was very sick and threw us for a loop for the first three years of his life. When his sister came she was a cake walk compared but only because we had a typical baby experience with her. I have no idea what MeiMei is going to do to our family dynamic. Not everything about parenting is sunshine and lollipops. Not even close. I think we all get crazier with each child. 🙂 I appreciate your honesty.

  3. ellen says:

    Oh gosh. That’s me you’re talking about. 🙂 Guess you read my blog. If not, you’re a scary psychic person.

    Thanks for this. I will try to come back and read it once a week. I’ve heard similar things from my friends with bio kids. They all tell me that the big difference is you have time with an infant to get used to them before they become a very needy, challenging toddler. They look at me with big sympathetic eyes when they say that. Also unlike my cyber friends they know just how old (very old for a first-timer) I am! Nobody mentions that much, because they’re polite but I worry about that, too. Guess that’s another blog topic.

    Thanks, Lola, I’m really touched you were thinking about me.

  4. Robyn says:

    I followed your journey while in China through the rumor queen and came back to your site tonight to see how things were going.

    I loved this post. Oh how I loved to read about someone exactly like me! To know that someone else goes through the same things.

    I loved your post so much I read it to my husband. He laughed and said – are you sure you did not write that?

    Thank you for your honesty. It sounds like we are very similar in our parenting approach. We are waiting for LOA for a boy that will be 3 about the time we travel. he is not our first (she was adopted at 12 months 4 years ago). I am dreading the adjustment phase. It was 2 years of temper tantrums with the first adoption, and I’m not talking about our daughter. I am doing all I can to prepare myself for this one.


  5. G. Silva says:

    This morning, my Zen master told me it was okay to feel everything I feel. That was a refreshing change from the endless chorus of “Don’t worry! Never worry! Everything will be perfectly absolutely wonderful! Don’t make us start thinking you’re human!” (Okay, that last bit was slightly sarcastic.)

    He even said I should feel free to panic while in China. Sweet, huh?

    One of the questions I keep wanting to ask parents is, “What are the hard parts? The really gut-wrenching hard parts of parenting?” But I don’t dare. I just wait for blog entries like yours to come along.

    My house is so quiet now. It really strikes me how fleeting this quiet is.

    I’m also amused I used the term “my Zen master.” More accurately, he’s a Zen master who has to answer all my questions once a week…. fortunately, he’s an adoptive parent too…