This question struck me differently the last time it was asked of me.
It was said to me by someone dropping off children that were with us over the weekend so their mom could have a break. What was implied was “do they behave themselves?”. I replied, “Of course they do!”
They behave exactly as I would expect children with various challenges who are handling stress and trauma to behave. We enjoy the privilege of hosting them in our home so their mom can have a break and recharge!
But in actual fact, they are so good for me!!
As in, it is good for my soul to have them be a part of my life.
To learn to be unselfish and to serve cheerfully. To learn that I am often more capable of patience and kindness than I realize. To walk out what it means to serve in ways that are not a part of my typical day. To seek to bless others by laying down my time, my comfort, my space and giving generously of myself and the many resources that I enjoy and often take for granted.
To do all this for the sake of another is good for me.
If you’ve never considered offering short term care for a child (commonly known as respite care) I challenge you to have a look at what would be involved! If you have a spare room and could welcome a child for a day or two on a regular basis it might be a way that you could help stem the tide of family breakdowns.
So many parents raising kids with challenges are going it alone. Whether that is single parenting or just spousal work schedules that make family life challenging, it can be exhausting. I have taken for granted the family that I enjoy close by and the circle of other mothers that have been a part of my parenting journey. Many parents don’t have a support network and with challenging kid behaviours it can be hard to engage in community.
You could be a safety net for a family. You could build a relationship and be a positive influence in the life of a child and their parent.
It’s hard. I enjoy a quiet weekend with no extra responsibilities as much as the next person. There is often a point in the middle of a busy weekend that I wonder why we do this. Then there are the meaningful moments that assure me that we are doing exactly what we are supposed to do.
Eternal impact doesn’t come easily, it requires that we give of ourselves and trust we can make a difference.
So yes, they are good for me!
Happy Fall y’all!
In the midst of the mess