Mommy Time Out

So, I came unhinged today. Totally hit the wall and had to give myself a time out.

Vacationing with kids, I’m realizing, is a bit stressful. Vacationing with Hope has added layers of anxiety and messiness. I admit to being keyed up most of the time, waiting for, anticipating something to flip our lids. After my threats to leave the mouse trap, honestly she was great, and we had an enjoyable time away. The bugs, while they frightened her, did not trigger a full on meltdown. Hurricane Arthur delayed us by about 6+ hours in getting home, but in the end, we took it all in stride. We headed down to fetch The Furry One and ended up coming home last night.

That’s it. Vacation over. Time to jump back into reality.

But at some point today, I realized that I’m just not okay. I slept late, and the circles under my eyes are lighter than they’ve been in a while. I had great plans to go to church, hit the Costco, maybe take Hope to the library and veg out on the couch for a while. Yeah, but none of that happened. Instead, I became irritable right after breakfast. I was cranky, blue, frustrated and just really should’ve went back to bed and pulled the covers back over my head.

The last few days one of Hope’s family members has just bombarded me with messages about all manner of things. I just haven’t responded. I couldn’t. It was just too much, too soon. One family member sends messages in the middle of the night, midday, whenever. There are pleas with phone numbers and email addresses. Shout outs that she’s praying for us. Did I know she had whatever medical condition? Didn’t I want to know why she couldn’t step in with Hope? The whole family is waiting for information. They are heartbroken, elated, impatient, waiting, oh respectful, but why the devil didn’t you hit me back yet on Facebook? Last night’s midnight message begged me to call the grandmother and there was a lengthy story to go with it. Her message also gave me a head’s up that there was family bickering going on about me and Hope. #jesusbeabrickwallofprivacysettings

I have dug deep into my empathy well and tried to imagine what it must be like to find your family member who was lost to you and now found. I don’t downplay what that must feel like. I know my own grandmothers’ hearts would have burst from joy had I been lost and somehow was found. I get the Amazing Grace and Prodigal Son analogies. There must be a joyfulness and a bit of frustration in understanding why I just won’t call and put Hope on the phone.

But their emergence from the depths has just really rocked my world. I have a pit in my stomach, and I get somewhat nauseous with every new development. I hate not telling Hope yet; I feel like I’m lying by omission, but I need time to get the support team up to speed; it’s a holiday weekend.  I am trying to figure out how to tell Hope, which I know will just be straight up, because that’s how we do. The family is supposed to send some of her father’s belongings; I kind of want to wait so that I have those things. I’m just trying to figure it all out. I’m beyond overwhelmed.

I’m also trying not to be afraid of the box of crazy that it feels like has just opened in the middle of a slightly more settled life with Hope. No really, I’m terrified. Seriously one week of Facebook messaging and I see folks not respecting boundaries and spilling the beans on family bickering…about us, no less. And it’s just so much, so much. I can’t even get a good cry. Ugh.

So, as we were off to church, Hope went into one of her attention seeking spells—the infamous “I have an ear infection and cannot swallow and am now dying” routine. These spells still burn my house to the ground; I used to be able to predict them, but now they just seem so random. I usually ignore them until she pivots to a more appropriate way of getting my attention. But today, already peeved and riled up by the Facebook drama, I pulled over and, just as dramatically as her spell came on, dramatically announced that we were going to Patient First to see about her ear, nose and throat.

“Oh, I’m not that sick,”Nah, girl, we’re still going because I’m fed up with the ruse. #overit

Two hours and thirty minutes later, I’m out of a co-pay, burned my cell battery down playing bubble poke while waiting for the doctor to tell us in about 7 minutes what I knew all along: not a dang thing is wrong with Hope, who then pivoted to a spasm story—her backup ruse—which was also quickly dismissed by the doctor.

I sat there all that time getting increasingly annoyed by everything. I was annoyed by all the messaging. I was annoyed by Hope’s collection of feigned illnesses that drive m up the effing wall. I was annoyed that the budget is tight this month and a co-pay wasn’t really planned for. I was annoyed that my diagnosis of “Kid with no physical maladies” was confirmed. I was annoyed by how long we had to wait. I was annoyed that we missed church and I really needed to throw myself in prayer on the altar. I was pissed about not going to Costco and the library. I was just pissed about everything in the world.

Oh I’d worked myself into quite the quiet lather.

And then, while sitting in the treatment room waiting for the doctor to discharge us, one of the aunts sent me a Facebook game invitation and all common sense and any shred of adulthood I might have once had went flying right out the window.

Really, lady? A Facebook game invite. Get off my damn Facebook page right now, dammit, lady. #getoffmylawn I had already put the whole lot of folks in a limited access group after friending me. For some reason it was that dang invite that just tipped me right over into emotional chaos. I block every game request I get from anyone. I hate those damn things.

And sadly, poor Hope was the one that just got iced out. She thought I was mad at her, especially after her faux illnesses were called out; I was annoyed but not mad at her and I told her so. I broke down into unexplainable tears on the drive home. She comforted me, and I told her she could watch a movie while I just retreated into my personal space to gather myself after sufficient guilt-tripping, self-loathing. #mommytimeout

I think I’ll get us to make brownies or cookies or something tonight. We need a bit of healing bonding. Sigh. I think I need the resumption of our routine tomorrow as much as she does. Here’s hoping tomorrow—with the Bey & Jay concert for me—will push us to better days.


About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

6 responses to “Mommy Time Out

  • faithcbrown

    I feel like I missed something somewhere…is hope’s dad deceased?

  • tay

    Have you considered blocking these people on facebook? You go to privacy setting, blocking, and type in the people’s names. You do not have to be friends with them to block them. I am so sorry you are experiencing this…
    Have you tried setting boundaries with Hope’s bio-relatives? Are you scared the adoption will be disrupted? Are you afraid Hope will completely regress when she hears that her bio-relatives are concerned, elated, etc?

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Thanks for the read, Tay.
      I have blocked them from contacting Hope, but I will not block them from contacting me, right now. I imagine that some of this is just exuberance and elation about finding her; I don’t doubt they care about her and have wondered what happened to her. I believe they will come around to the boundaries I’ve set. That said I’ll always reserve the right to block them.

      I want Hope to have whatever family she is entitled to. I’m not afraid of disruption. I am afraid of regressive behaviors, more anger, just a lot of backsliding. Those are the things they won’t see, but I guess the things I signed up for in helping her heal.

  • Mimi

    I agree that some of this is the excitement that comes along with finding a loved one and the messiness that sometimes goes on in a family with new info. I’m glad that you are keeping the channel open.

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