Spend a “night” (each week) with each of your children. This has been the all-time best advice I have ever received. When my three boys were young and all slept in the same room, it was chaos at bedtime. They all wanted my attention, they all had something to say at the same time, and trying to get through a bedtime story was nearly impossible considering their age differences. I was complaining about this one day to an older friend of mine. She suggested I give each of my boys a “night” that I would spend one-on-one time with them. I took this suggestion to heart. It was definitely not easy at the beginning (and sometimes it is still difficult) but being able to spend one-on-one time with my children talking about their concerns and having the chance to tell them individually how much I love them has been miraculous. Several times our talks focused on questions they had about their birth mother or their adoption, they have asked me to tell them about the first time I saw them and how I felt, we talk about school, struggles, or sometimes just go for a drive and get a Slurpee or hot chocolate. I am so glad I took this advice!
Hold your children when you feed them. I was never able to breast feed (for obvious reasons), and most of my children were over 9 months old when they came to live with our family, so my time being able to hold them and feed them was limited. I have loved being able to hold my children, look into their faces, and hold their tiny fingers as they ate. (They grow up soooooo fast!)
Two of the worst pieces of advice (for me):
“Don’t tell your children they are adopted” – I acknowledge that I thought about this option briefly, but it just never seemed right to me. I am the first to admit that having an “open” adoption hasn’t been completely easy, but it has been completely worth it.
Advice I need to heed more often! “Enjoy what you are doing NOW, don’t be worried about what you need to do next.” So often I find myself half-listening to what my children are saying because I am thinking about the load of laundry I need to fold, what I am going to fix for dinner, or some other mundane thing that doesn’t really matter. What REALLY matters is giving my full attention to what matters most, my children *(and husband!)
What is/was the best/worst advice you have ever been given?