Sunday, November 15, 2009

What Makes Me A Theta Mom?

While I was sick Menopausal New Mom was kind enough to tag me as a Theta Mom (The True, Authentic Mom). Menopausal New Mom shared with us why she thought she was a Theta Mom so please check out her post here. I want you to know that I was very touched by her request. I'm supposed to share five reasons that I believe have shaped me into a Theta Mom.
Here they are:

1.  When Faith was 12 months old, she began to get sick and stayed sick. I was literally terrified. My precious little baby was capable of having hand, foot and mouth, strep throat and ear infection at the same time and act like it was an every day occurrence. Did I accept the doctors telling me it was normal? No, I did not because there was something wrong with my baby. I wanted to solve the issue. We realized that she couldn't stay in preschool with her being so ill. I chose to stop working outside the house and come home. I didn't work for over two years as we fought to make her better. She had her adenoids, tonsils, and tubes removed by the time she was 18 months old. She saw top specialists. She had more blood work and tests than you can imagine. Still I didn't stop.

My baby girl was almost 2 years old before she weighed 20 lbs. We were told that she probably had cystic fibrosis. Let me tell you hearing those words were like a cut to our hearts. I was so upset but then I kicked myself in the butt and said get up and find a way. I did my research on the internet. None of it was good but I was determined that my daughter would live a happy normal life. We would just change things to accommodate the illness. The illness would not be her life. It would simply be part of it. The doctors were wrong. She did not have it. She had a very bad immune system which really wasn’t surprising since her biological mother did not tell good care of herself while she was pregnant. We fought for several years with her health. But today she is a healthy seven year old girl. She is rarely sick. During her illness, Faith barely spoke. While she was sick, she would bang her head against the wall. We tried to stop her whenever we saw it. But we knew something was wrong because of it. It was so frustrating for me to see her frustration by it. I just wanted her to be able to communicate with me. By the time she was 2 years old, she spoke 10 words. She now suffers from a speech issues but we are working on that as well.

2. I carry a backpack with me as a purse so that I am always prepared. In the backpack, I have toys, crayons, paper, coloring book, snacks, drinks, and wipes. I used to try to carry a book or magazine with me but I never got to look at it. I stopped carrying them because I would want to look at it and my job was to entertain the kids. Period. I take an extra suitcase on vacation full of toys. It is so much fun packing for them on trips. Ok I have all their clothes ready. Now how many toys do we pack away?

3. I tried to maintain that relationship with their birth mother. I had known Marsha since she was 4 years old. I watched her grow up. I loved her as much as if she was my own during those years. She was the first child that I attached myself to when I found out that I would not be able to have kids. So you can see how hard it would be to walk away from her. You see, Marsha was willing to see Faith only when she could show her off to her newest boyfriend. Marsha was not stable enough for me to have around the kids. She was getting into drugs and the wrong people. I could not provide a stable environment with her in it. She would call to talk with me about this and that but never bring up Faith. So being Faith’s mother first, I chose to stop any communication. She has never called since. I still miss her today. But for the safety of Faith, I removed her involvement in our lives.

At one point, I was going to her Myspace and her aunt’s Myspace to get pictures of their siblings. Jason included. We found out about Jason going into foster care through the aunt’s Myspace. She was begging for people to call and tell foster care that it was wrong. I didn’t think twice about calling to tell them that if Jason was not returned to the aunt that we would take him. I thought of Faith’s and Jason’s well being first. They were my first priority. I didn’t think about what my husband would say. I didn’t think about how this would affect my family’s financials. I simply thought about how this would affect Faith (an ultimately Jason) if we did not try to get her brother out of foster care. If we let him fall into the system, I knew in my heart that Faith would wonder why we had not tried to get him. I knew that Faith would look for him for the rest of her life. So we went after him.

Getting Jason from foster care means that I had to change my entire life again. I had to quit working from home. He needed that extra attention. And as a busy little toddler he was so very active. There was no way I could work.

4. I can honestly say that I’m not a typical mother but then maybe I am. Maybe people just need to realize that motherhood has changed. I make mistakes. I laugh at them. I learn from them but I make them. For instance: when Faith was 2 years old, we decorated her room. We allowed her to do some of the decorating with us. We decked her room out. I came up with a design in my head for the room. She was going to have a tea area in the park. Some place for a little girl to feel like a princess. We put down tiles on the floor to represent the tiles you would find outside. We painted the ceiling deep blue for the sky. We painted the main parts of the wall a light pink. We painted the trim green for grass. And then we went about drawing flowers and butterflies. Now here’s where we goofed, we allowed Faith to put her hands and feet into the paint for prints on the wall. To this day, Faith still tries to paint her walls every chance she gets. It doesn’t matter how many times we tell her she’s not suppose to do it. My husband had out filler which is what you use to fill holes in your walls. He left for 5 minutes. I do mean 5 minutes. She got into and put it all over her walls in that amount of time.

I am always learning something new that is best for my kids. I am always willing to share that information as well. Here as well as in stores I found out today. Motherhood is not cut and dry. Things are always changing and we must change with the time. The more I am a mommy the more that I realize how very blessed I am. There is nothing more rewarding to me than watching my children grows. I often wonder what they will be when they grow up. I’m always telling them that they can be anything they want to be. My kids have taught me things as well. They’ve taught me to be patient. They’ve taught me to look at the smallest things in life and enjoy them. They’ve taught me to cherish my inner child. They’ve taught me that my family is more important than anything that I could ever buy. I knew that before just not as firmly as I do now.

I have realized that being a mother doesn’t mean I have to live by someone else’s way it has to work for us. So if I feed my kids’ cereal at dinner, that’s all right by me. I’ve started new traditions with them. I have fun with my kids. I put them first. I do allow them to watch cartoons. I allow them to be a kid. I play with my kids. I get down on the floor and color with them. We play games. I read them books at night. We say our prayers together. 

5. I go out of my way not to teach my children fear. We decided early on not to teach them fear. You see, my husband’s sister is terrified of everything. She’s scared of going into her own basement. She’s scared of dogs. She’s scared of rain storms. As the kids have gotten older, I realized how easy it was to teach fear. We were going to the park. I asked the neighborhood girl to go with us. Faith was jumping from one bench to the other. I was watching as a normal mommy would do. I was holding my breath because I knew that she could fall and get hurt. It’s the hardest thing I ever had to do. When all of a sudden, the neighborhood girl grabbed her and said, “No, don’t do that! You’ll get hurt.” She would never try again after that. She was taught to fear something. We never let on if we are scared of something. I’m terrified of spiders. The kids are not aware of that.

These are just a few of the reasons that I think I am a Theta Mom.  So am I?  The only thing that I can tell you is that I believe that I am doing what is best for my children.  Thats all that matters to me.

I would like to tag all of my readers. Even if you aren’t a mother, tell us what you think one is. Please let me know when you do so. I want to learn about you as well.



Vodka Logic said...

I would say as long as you are doing what you feel is best for your kids you are a Theta mom. That being said there are some things that people think are and clearly aren't. But again there is some level of subjection.

Good luck with your daughter and her brother. Seems they have found the right parent in you. xx

confused homemaker said...

It's beautiful how your family came to be & the way you are teaching them to relate to the world around them. Thank you for sharing the story.

Noelle said...

what a beautiful story...thanks for sharing.

sounds like you truly are a theta mom!

Menopausal New Mom said...

Tami!!! That post was so powerful! I am so glad I tagged you to learn these things about you! What a great mom you are and how blessed your children are to have you!!

In writing my own Theta Mom post, I felt so empowered, I had not given any of the things I do or did much thought but after writing my post I realized that I could accept that much deserved pat on the back.

You deserve a standing ovation! Thanks so much for sharing and you are definitely a THETA MOM!!

blueviolet said...

I would say that you're a theta mom through and through! I was truly touched and inspired by your story!

Corrie Howe said...

I enjoyed reading about you being a Theta mom. When my kids were younger, we'd have them carry their own backpacks full of toys, snacks, etc. They still have them for vacations, but for the most part they've learned to bring books and MP3 players, toys and other things to entertain themselves in the car or at the doctor's office.

kys said...

I def. think that you are a Theta mom. And a dang good one, too. Your story is very inspiring.

PS Her room sounds adorable. I want one like it for me.

Amy said...

I got this tag and plan on doing it next week sometime. I will let you know..

Frugal Vicki said...

I think you are a Theta mom, and a fantastic one. We were told my son wasn't having issues, and like you I knew he was. A single teeny tiny extra flap on his epiglottis could have killed him. And I also have a pint-sized daughter whose tests came back abnormal at first for CF. I know that fear you are talking about first hand!

Anonymous said...

You certainly are a Theta Mom! It's so nice to learn more about you.

Tater Tot Mom said...

What a great and inspiring post! You are most definitely a Theta Mom!

Buckeroomama said...

The term "unsung hero" was going through my mind as I was reading this. :)