Foster Parenting: One Mom’s View.

Herron Family

I read a book once where a foster mom states that most of being a foster parent is doing extra laundry and cooking. Ha! Not in this day and age. Being a foster parent in this day and age requires training, patience, education, love and a ton of energy to just plugging along.

We went into foster care like most of you: wanting to help kids and family. We have two girls, surely we can handle a few more kiddos right – what’s a little more laundry?
Well, it turned out that it’s not just about putting supper on the table and washing underpants. You are a non-trusted parent, an emotional coach, therapist, peacemaker, life coach and more.
We spent several weekends doing respite care for a sibling group of four, all under the age of 5. What sounded like a long-term babysitting job turned into a 72 hour marathon of feeding, wiping, chaperoning, containing and calming. Giving a caring foster family time to re-group was an uplifting feeling and good goal.
But after two hours, I remembered about the real-life, down-and-dirty hard work of parenting children that have no idea about: home rules, regular eating patterns, socializing or sleeping all night,
It’s not to say that it isn’t worth it. It is a worthy work. And if you are even considering being a foster parent, you know the call and feel the urge to help those who are at a low point in their lives. Good foster parenting is desperately needed. Diligent and caring foster parents will always be in demand.
It’s not about playing with happy children and creating strong bonds. It is about saying ‘no’ and then being willing to stand up and enforce the house rule. It’s about getting up six times with a scared child that can’t tell you what is wrong and what would help. It’s about doing a job that you know is not recognized but is vital to a family, to our community and our nation.
There is more laundry. There is way more cooking and planning. But there is also a feeling that can’t be duplicated. That is sort of addictive. That lets you know your sacrifice is making a difference.
Wash on. Nurture on. Know your work really is making the world better for others.  

Post Written by:  Ann Herron

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