When foster parenting becomes too stressful, you, your family, and your foster child will all feel the effects. Thus, one of the most important reminders for you, as a foster parent, is the fact that you need to take care of yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you neglect yourself, your family will suffer as a result. By taking the following stress reducing steps, you will help to ensure your well being, as you care for others in your home.
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Quite simply, you need to make time for yourself. As a foster parent, this will be difficult, as you will be required to take care of a child full time. Along with this, you may also need to care for your own children, as well as your spouse. You may have a full time job that requires a great deal of your energy, plus there are those other commitments you have, such as church, volunteering, and other organizations you might be involved in. Finding time for you will not be easy, but it is very essential. Make time to do something you enjoy, and that you find relaxing. Spend time with some friends, perhaps over lunch or dinner. Do not neglect your own personal health; make sure you get plenty of exercise regularly and eat healthy.
Now, being a parent is a wonderful calling and a gift. Yet, you as a person, as an individual, are just as much a gift from above, as well. Don’t neglect who you are and what makes you special. After all, your spouse fell in love with you for who you are! Try to engage in your hobbies and interests as often as you can. Read some books for enjoyment or for self help. Don’t forget some personal quiet time, as well. For me, I often find this as I drive to and from work. I am amazed how lovely silence sounds when I turn off the radio, and allow my thoughts to wander. I also use this time for prayers, as well. If you keep yourself happy and in a good mood, it will help to ensure that you are in a better mood and spirits for your foster child, your spouse, and others.
Now, to be completely honest with you, I was looking forward to Kelly returning from her weekend. After all, 8 children is a lot. The diapers, the bathing, the crying, the washing, the dishes, the laundry....the list goes on and on. Yet, I am glad that my wife had an opportunity to spend time by herself. When she came back home, she was re-energized, and refreshed. May you make time to re-energized and refresh, as well. When you do, all will benefit!
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