Foster Care

MAINTAIN

On January 7th 2020, I really tried to write a blog post- I swear! I was so pleased with myself thinking: “Wow you have extra time to be productive? You’re writing a post and it hasn’t been two weeks or more? You go girl!” I was hype, but then I realized that not much happened in that first week so I deleted what I wrote and decided to watch Amazon prime instead. Now that I’m sitting here on January 14th 2020, I’m realizing that not much has happened physically but I’ve been thinking about a lot of things.

Today L turns 5 months old, a week from now we will have had for 2 months! She has gained nearly 3 pounds since being with us and we have chubbed her up a lot. It’s kind of hard not to chub her up when she still wants to eat every 2 hours on the dot- needless to say we’re exhausted sometimes, but we are happy to have her here. One week from today she will also be starting school full time, Monday though Friday 8:30 to 3:30. It’s going to be an adjustment for everyone (once again), but I am trying my best to see the bright side of this opportunity for her. I have to admit that with L as a placement, I’m not as gracious or forgiving with her biological Mother. Her Mother strikes a nerve in me that not many people can and I tend to hang on to her every negative word. She tries to cut me down, telling me that I only use the “expensive” or “fancy” baby equipment, that I don’t need to be involved in the details for L’s schooling, that I put her diaper on so tight the baby can’t breathe. My Lanta, for the first 2 weeks of L’s placement, I would kindly shake my head and smile as she told me what to do or what I was doing wrong. I would receive compliments on my patience, but then I would drive home quickly and yell at Josh while punching the couch. Eventually it got to the point where my caseworker could see how over-bearing she was and arranged our interaction so that it was always supervised or kept to the bare minimum. Which I feel is unfortunate, but that’s just the nature of the entire situation. I still hope that someday she can pull herself together and provide a stable, nurturing and loving environment for her beautiful baby. I’m trying my best to be more patient and understanding with L’s bio Mom, I can’t imagine how hard it is to watch someone else raise your child but that doesn’t mean we have to be friends.

I guess I’m trying to take my own advice when it comes to this situation which flusters me so. For example a few weeks ago, a friend of mine started frantically messaging me about a problem she was having. I knew that there wasn’t anything she could do in her current state, so I told her to clean. For whatever reason, cleaning is one of the best coping methods I have when I’m frantic or anxious. If I’m amped up and mad, I take my energy out while vacuuming, switching the laundry or mopping the floors. If I just need to relax, I tidy my room and take a shower. Honestly, I think that’s the thing I tell people the most when they’re upset and ask me for advice. Mad? Take a shower. Depressed? Take a shower. Both? Take.A.Shower. There’s just something about being clean that makes me feel better, personally but it’s not always an option for people when they’re upset. Sometimes they’re at work or they aren’t home. If that happens to be the case, I just remind them to take care of themselves. When was the last time you did a face mask? Meditated? Listened to your favorite band? Went for a walk? Drank a glass of water? Made yourself a beautiful and healthy meal? As adults, we forget to do things that make us happy sometimes. “We don’t have time” to pay a little extra attention to ourselves because we’re so busy with our everyday lives. As a Mother, I’m the most guilty of this but in the year 2020 I have been doing a better job and by taking better care of myself I will be able to help other people more.

It all ties together. Maintaining my health, spiritually, physically and emotionally will in turn help me to be a better person in general. For now I will be focusing on my patience and understanding, two things which are tested daily by my two year old so I will have plenty of opportunity to do so. In turn I can apply these skills to my role as a Foster Mother.

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