False Deadlines


I remember when we were trying to start our family, and when we were crawling through the adoption process, I found it very hard to avoid creating artificial deadlines. I would think to myself: oh, this could be our last child-free Christmas, or maybe next year we’ll be planning a family friendly holiday. Then, when the dates arrived and we still weren’t parents, the disappointment was even worse. I learnt to stop creating artificial deadlines.
Or, at least, I thought that I’d learnt. It turns out that I’m still doing it.
When the boys came home, someone told me not to rush things, that the boys would need to have lived with us for more than half their lives before they could be considered settled. I imagine this person just wanted to warn me that settling the children would take years rather than weeks.
Unfortunately, I took it to heart. I worked out the exact dates when each of the boys would have lived here half their lives. Then I held on tight and waited.
I mean, obviously, I did my best at therapeutic parenting, and tried to respond to the growing boys’ changing needs. But, a part of me was waiting for these magic dates when everything would be OK.
When Middly had been here half his life, I was a bit disappointed, not much had changed. We still had huge problems with Middly. He still struggled to trust us at all. But, I figured that I had another deadline to work towards. Maybe we needed to wait until both boys had been home for more than half their lives. I held on and kept on waiting.
Well, we passed my ridiculous, self-established, meaningless deadline a few months ago. And, we still have lots of problems. We still have problems that we’ve had ever since we met the boys. We have a few new ones too. It isn’t really OK at all.
And, I feel crushed.
Despite knowing that my deadline was meaningless and the boys were never going to magically ‘get over’ their past, I feel miserable and fed up.
If these past five years haven’t helped, then maybe nothing will and maybe we’re going to live like this forever.
I guess I haven’t worked out how to avoid creating false deadlines after all, and they’re still a terrible idea!


3 thoughts on “False Deadlines

  1. I had a similar deadline, mine was that once the girls had lived with us for longer than they’d lived with anyone else, they’d start to feel more secure (I think a SW told me that one actually) pah!
    Hugs my friend x

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