Sunday, January 10, 2016

"You're a Good Mom" {Perception & Misconception}

"You're a good mom."

I hear those words very often, and nearly everywhere I go--Costco, Target, church, the grocery store, the doctor's get the idea. And I suppose the strangers' words come out naturally when they see a gal with a 16 month-old on one hip, a 21 month-old on the other, a three-year old tagging alongside.

But while I hear the words, they aren't being said to me.

The words are being said to my 15 year-old daughter, Kaitlin.

Kaitlin, my oldest child who--along with younger siblings Connor & Kylie--has spent 5 years sharing her home & life with foster siblings. She was 10 when our journey as a foster family began....and 13 when someone first called 'mom' as she snuggled tiny baby Charlie--who is now officially & forever her brother--at church.

Church, where her dad is one of the pastors.

Fostering is not a parent's a family journey. One that has affected my kids in ways I did not expect. Could I have possibly dreamed my 13 year-old daughter would be assumed to be a mother? Or that by the time Kaitlin was 15 that she would be the one assuming everyone thinks she is a mom? Never. Many things crossed my mind when we began this journey, but pushing my young teen into the "mom spotlight" was never on my radar and definitely not my intention.

I know that many families have children that fall within a wide age-range, and I'm sure the older children are often considered to be a parent rather than the sibling. So even though we didn't birth all of our kids, we have now created an interesting lineup within our home as we have kids ages 15, 14, 12, 3, 21 months & 16 months. The lineup causes many double-takes, questions, and assumptions that affect each of us in various ways. And for Kaitlin, it means many people will assume one of the little girls is her own child.

Last night, I asked Kaitlin, "What do you think when when people tell you you're a good mom?" And she told me she really doesn't think much about it because it's "kinda weird" . Then, with a wink and a smile, she said, "But I really am a good mom."

She is indeed.

copyright 2016 LeAnne Klopfenstein

No comments:

Post a Comment