What do you worry about?
We were joking around the campfire last weekend about my cousins tendency to worry about things that have never happened… like her son sleeping in and missing his work shift. Her comment was that when she worries about it then it never happens, so it’s not a bad strategy! We then came up with a whole list of things she could worry about for us if she had this superpower… like our vehicle breaking down, our money running out…
If only it worked that way! There are lots of things we tend to worry about that truly are not a productive way to spend our time. There are other worries that carry a bit more weight.
Being a foster home comes with the warning that it is not so much IF someone will bring forth a concern about the children in your care, as WHEN.
Parenting is hard! No one wants to parent with people watching all the time. We all have moments where we aren’t proud of how we deal with our children. When we raised our own children we did the best we could with what we knew. We look back on it now and realize there are things we should have done differently! But that’s the reality of learning and growing! We can’t judge yesterdays actions based on todays new knowledge.
Being a foster parent “can be challenging and stressful. There are many expectations and policies that you have to remember and follow.” This is a line out of the recent training we did. The course was on the Worries of Harm and Danger in Care. I’m glad we got to learn about the process that is in place to protect foster parents and children when someone questions what is going on!
Living life in the “fish bowl” that is being a foster parent means that there are many people examining what you do and how you do it. Anyone can report that they are worried about a child in our care and how we are handling things. When that happens Children’s Services has a process to follow in determining if there is a reason for concern or any wrongdoing on our part. I hope we never have to experience the process first hand!
The reality is, I worry about how I handle things myself! I don’t need the added pressure of someone else critiquing my actions!
This morning I sent my foster son out the door for a day at school in a way that wasn’t the best! He had a homework question that he was supposed to go over with me that he forgot about the night before and then didn’t leave time for in the morning. He took candy out of the cupboard that he shouldn’t have taken… and he was leaving himself only 6 minutes to get out his bike, ride to school, lock up his bike and get into class. I could have overlooked it all and sent him out the door with “Have a good day!”.
Instead I reminded him about the failure to do the math question, reprimanded him for taking candy and then pointed out he was going to be late… he walked out the door with a defeated step.
I blew it!
I know he has drama happening with friends right now and was probably already stressed about his day. I didn’t set him up for success…
If I had to evaluate everything I do as a parent my report card would be erratic! There are days where we truly excel at what we do. We have chosen to be a part of this world because I believe we have skills to offer that will bless the children in our care. We have resources in our faith and family that give us an advantage we enjoy. We also have days where we are tired and don’t put forth the effort to be our best. Those days we need to forgive ourselves and apologize and move on!
So if you’ve had one of those days… forgive yourself. Do some self care and find a better mindset to approach the rest of the day. Covid restrictions have been hard on most of us and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel almost makes it worse. I don’t want to hope that the restrictions will be lifted, I want to be there!
May you set aside your worries today and look for joy with your children and in whatever your day holds.
In the midst of the mess