We were so lucky, almost 24 months ago, to be able to complete our family with Little Miss (now 7) and Little Sir (almost 5). That was when our adventures began! In the first few months of adopting, we discovered the following:
- 7.30am does exist on a Saturday and Sunday!
- Legoland is so much more exciting with two small children.
- You can never have too many wipes in the house/car/handbag/rucksack.
- When going out, add at least half an hour to the desired start time to cope with lost toys/toilet negotiating/ coat wearing etc.
- Toys multiply over night and somehow move to always being underfoot.
- Lego hurts (standing on it, sitting on it, leaning on it!!)
- A sandpit in the garden sounds like a great plan but sand is incapable of staying in one spot.
- The much loved soft toy always disappears at bedtime and is only found about half an hour of frantic searching.
- It was relatively easy to look after two people’s belongings – it’s impossible to keep track of 4.
- Life is so much better with two small people in our lives!
It wasn’t until we adopted that I realised how very hard parenting is. The thing about adopting is, it really is different to having a baby. I was consumed with tiredness, as most new mums are, but because of the ages of the children, they weren’t napping. So no catching up on sleep when the baby naps. To add to it, we went straight into the Summer holidays. 7 whole weeks of just them and me – and it very much was 2 to 1. In hindsight, I’m pretty amazed that I survived.
24 months later, we have learnt so many more things! So far we have learnt:
- It is more than possible to teach your children to tell the time using a Gro-Clock – 8am wake ups are now the norm in our house.
- Yes, Legoland is so much more exciting with children – and stressful, expensive and someone is bound to cry before the day is out.
- Even at 5 and 7, you will STILL need wipes to hand! They are literally lifesavers!
- Taking a toy in the car is a great way to get a 5 year old to quickly get in. BUT, taking Lego is a terrible idea! Cue crying when it breaks up, 5 minutes into the journey.
- At 5 and 7, kids are definitely more capable of helping round the house – beds are made and dishes put in the dishwasher. It’s lovely to feel like a team.
- Children don’t need as many toys as they want. We’ve ‘put away’ 50% of the toys, and the children really don’t miss them!
- Lego still hurts – I rue the day I decided it would be a good idea to buy a huge tub of it!
- The children literally astonish me every day. I never expected to be having a detailed conversation with a 4 year old about dinosaurs – it worries me that he knows so much more than I do!
- Things don’t necessarily get easier the longer the children are home. In fact in some instances, the challenges become larger and harder – but it’s definitely all worth it!
If you’ve adopted your children, I’d love to know what you’ve learnt over the years! Let me know in the comments.