Life is a series of problems we must solve

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‘Life is a series of problems that we must solve – one then the next then the next until we die’. – Downton Abbey

A very depressing quote from the Grandmother in Downton Abbey last week – for those who watch it you’ll know she’s renowned for her one liners and never very encouraging or uplifting. However this one I thought summed up adoption quite nicely! At least how it can feel sometimes – not how it maybe has to be…

Sometimes it can feel like it’s a never ending cycle of problems, solutions (or semi solutions), bit of light at the end of the tunnel, darkness again and on and on. If you have more than one child you’ll also know they tend to take it in turns so that cycle is the same but times 3 in our case or times however many children you have.

We’re often told to compare ourselves to other families with birth children – people try to normalise things by comments like “all children do that” or “other parents manage to go back to work and have children too” and whilst I understand these well intended comments, to make us feel better, it doesn’t  - certainly not for me and many others I know. Even if it were true it still doesn’t comfort me – to know others feel the same isn’t an answer to the questions I may need answers too. I do know that there are many parents who struggle with their children for lots of other reasons than adopters too – children with other special needs, struggles in parents lives that impact on the children’s behaviour, circumstances beyond anyones control – and I recognise that life can be hard for all of us at some points in time.

However for vulnerable children it can seem like a constant struggle to navigate the rocky shores of the different stages of childhood. Just as one wave subsides another even bigger one rears up to threaten to drown you. Two of ours are now in adolescence and we know that’s a turbulent phase. For children who’ve had a good, nurtured childhood adolescence is about pulling away from the solid foundation you know to find your own identity – you want to test things out – do I want to live like my parents? have their beliefs and ideals? or do I want to try something else for myself? But for children who haven’t had a good start, for whatever reason, that pulling away can be much more difficult – they’re pulling away from something that is like shifting sand – it isn’t a solid basis to work from.

So what can we do as parents on this seemingly bleak adventure? I believe there’s a missing part of this quote – a vital aspect to life that without it all would seem bleak and dark.

‘Life is a series of problems that we must solve, and joys that we must acknowledge and celebrate, one then the next then the next and then we die’.

As I’ve said many times in my blogs being able to see the good things – however small sometimes – is a treasure we must search for. If we don’t all we see is darkness – we must look for the chinks of light – it only needs a tiny glimpse of light to dispel the darkness. What is the light you can see today?

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