Parents, You Have One Job.

*This post is a rant. I share some pretty depressing stories and use some pretty strong language. If you’re easily offended then please don’t read this. This post was and is for me. Feel free to not read. 

This weekend has been brutal. As most of you know, I work in foster care. I’ve been doing this job for 8 years now and still love it. I’ve said it so many times but I’ll say it again, it’s a privilege to do what I do. I work with some of the most vulnerable and hurting kids. I love providing opportunities to make these kids lives better. Whether that’s taking them to the arcade for a few hours to have fun or encouraging them to better themselves by learning new life skills (like cooking!) or helping them with homework. I love it. I really do. Most of the time the kids I work with have never had a positive male role model in their lives. I get to be that to them. It’s a fucking privilege to do what I do. Most of these kids have been through and seen some shit. I thought I had seen and heard it all, I mean I've worked with kids who have been abandoned, neglected and abused (physically, emotionally, verbally and sexually). But nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to go through.  

This past week, my agency called to see if I could take on some new children on my case load. Luckily I could, as I just had another child return home to his bio-parents. They informed me that these siblings had some major behavioural problems and that they were in care because of physical abuse. That wasn’t surprising to me, as I’ve “seen and heard it all before.” After 8 years, you become accustomed to hearing sad stories. What are supposed to do? I’ve worked with kids who have been sexually abused and worse. At a certain point, everything your see or hear will cripple you or you learn to cope. It’s an important skill to learn in social work. This doesn’t make you heartless, it just enables you to focus on the kids future and not their past. You know what I mean?

I wasn’t prepared for this Saturday. I just wasn’t. I’ve never been so frustrated and angry in all of my time doing this. I mean, so angry I just want to punch walls and scream at the top of my lungs. So angry, that I didn't feel anything. All I wanted to do when I got home was drink, with the hopes I could forget. Which I did and it didn’t work. I know, not the most healthy thing to do, but I didn’t know what else to do. So what had me so bent out of shape? It was the extent of the physical abuse I saw. These kids had scars on their faces from where their stupid mother fucking parents hit them. What the actual fuck?

Let that sink in. 

These idiots hit their kids so often and hard that they left physical reminders. Everything in me wants to scream, “FUCK YOU!” to those parents. “Fuck you, you weak, careless, loveless, little shits.”

What drives someone to do that? To cause that much pain? That much suffering? That much abuse? I will never understand it, and I don’t even want to try. Can anyone?

Parents, You. Have. One. Job. Don’t abuse your children. It isn’t hard, even if your kids are being little shits. They’re kids. They’re going to do that. It’s part of growing up. There is never a justifiable reason to lay one finger on your child. Seriously.

If you need help raising your children then ask for help! All you have to do is ask! Put your pride away and seek out help. Go to a local church, community centre, family, friends, or an organization for struggling families. Hell, give your kids up for adoption, as hard as that might be, it's better for them than to be around you! I’m serious. There are so many loving couples that can’t have kids that want them. They can provide for them in ways you can’t. It would be the most loving thing you could do for them and the biggest sacrifice of your life. BUT at least your children will be safe, healthy, and happy. You have one job as a parent and that’s to ensure the safety and well-being of your child. One. Job. It isn’t hard. If you can’t do that, then please stop having kids. Stop having sex. Whatever it takes for you to stop the cycle of abuse.

Even after saying all of that, I still don’t know what to do or say except that my goal moving forward is to make those kids lives the best I can when they are with me. I will try and to make their lives as painless and happy as I can. I will try my best to show them how a man is supposed to act and be. I will try and teach them as many life skills as I possibly can. I will be kind to them. I will show them proper discipline when needed. I will do my job to the best of my abilities. I will hope that these kids will not be permanently psychologically scarred. I will try my best, and that’s all I can do.

If you've read up until this point and I've somehow inspired you to help kids in need I’d recommend volunteering at your local Children’s Aid Society or private Foster Home organization. Or, Get involved in your local youth shelter, women’s shelter or pregnancy help centre. People need your help. Please, dear god, go and help families and kids in need. 

My job is hard but it is the most satisfying thing I've ever done in my entire life. If I've learned anything in the last 8 years I've learned that you will not regret helping people in need. 

Go and make a difference.