What I learned during three weeks of temporary parenting

adoption and parenting in Uganda

In Uganda, children get a long break from school over the Christmas holiday. Most kids are out of school from the beginning of December to the beginning of February. My husband and I decided it would be good to have Harunah, the boy my mother-in-law takes care of, come stay with us in the city and experience Kampala. But in a moment of brilliant thinking, I recommended inviting another boy who is Harunah’s age to stay with us too. My logic was they would have each other to play with. It seemed harmless, but I wasn’t prepared for all that comes with taking care of two boys. After three weeks of temporary parenting, here are the lessons I learned as a mom aka meal-making machine. 1. I’m the one in charge Because I was trying to juggle working from home and keeping kids alive, I had a rule to only come in my room if there was an absolute emergency. I guess the word “emergency” is vague because I heard knocks on my door every fifteen minutes. Sometimes Harunah would come in, tell me what Jeremy did wrong and then I would say, “Oh, that’s too bad.” Until it dawned on […]

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Hand Me Downs

Christian Mothers

I am the youngest of three girls in a family that usually housed seven people. My mom worked part-time as a secretary at a church and my step-dad worked full-time to provide for his growing family. As you can imagine, we didn’t have extra cash to spend on frivolous items or impulse purchases. I grew up with a mom who cut coupons and knew how to stretch a penny until it screamed. As a kid, I found myself wanting to spend the night with my best friend, an only child, and never wanting to be in my crowded, generic-brand buying house. I didn’t understand why my friend Brittany got $5 dollars from the tooth fairy and I only got one dollar. I didn’t understand how she could have sodas on any day and I could only have soda on Saturday night when we ate pizza. I didn’t understand fully why her family could always eat out and we had to always eat in. I didn’t understand why she had cable and could watch Cartoon Network and Disney Channel while I settled for Saturday morning cartoons on regular TV. It makes me laugh now, but one time I got the nerve […]

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