I know the "mom standard" is that we treat all our kids the same. But the truth is, we don't. It changes daily, or maybe minute-by-minute. Some moments one child's needs will be greater than another's. And sometimes it's hard to tell. And sometimes we choose wrong.
I'll never forget the time that we drove to the Natural Science Center with baby Allyn screaming the whole way 'cause she was hungry. I wanted to go ahead & get there so Rob and Riley could go in and I could nurse her in the car. Good thing it's only 5 minutes away because halfway there I realized I had placed Riley's need to see tigers over her need to eat! Oops.
But there have been other times when Allyn's needs come first. We don't get to stay as long at the pool as some of Riley's friends because we have to leave in time for her to take a nap. He doesn't get to participate in as many extra activities because of finances due to having two kids or the schedule of having two kids. A good friend of mine always tells her kids, "We have to do what's best for our family" in those kinds of situations. I've since stolen that line. It works well.
So now I'm in another place where I have to choose. I have two children I adore who live here in the US. Two children I never leave. I work part-time because I couldn't stand leaving Riley in daycare when he was a baby. I kept Riley home one day a week from his 4-day-a-week class because I didn't want him at preschool that often. I am a mama who keeps her kids close, maybe too close at times, but it's working for us so far.
But now I have another child. A third one I love just as much as the first two. He lives in an orphanage half a world away. Right now, I have to choose. Do I stay home until the US Embassy gives me the okay to go get him or do I go and get him out of that orphanage as soon as possible, knowing that will take me away from my other two for several weeks?
I chose today. Today I bought a plane ticket to Ethiopia with a return date one whole month later. I am hoping and praying that I won't need to be in Ethiopia for an entire month. Please pray with me that the Embassy processes us as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Right now, my third child is the one with the greatest need. He needs to be with his mommy. He needs to learn what a mommy is. Will this be hard on my other two? YES. Absolutely. It'll be hard on me to be away. So hard. But right now, I can't stand the thought of a child of mine living in an orphanage when he could be with me instead.
So I'm going!!! Sept 13th I head to Ethiopia, not knowing exactly when I will get to come home. I am certain I will doubt this decision many times over as it gets closer to that date. But I also embrace this adventure we call parenthood, with all the crazy sacrifices we make. It's what makes me a mommy.