Becoming a foster parent is a challenging and rewarding task. You’ll need a strategy to protect you from burnout so you can take care of yourself and the child you’re welcoming into your family. Try these 10 suggestions that will help you to stay happy and healthy.
1. Set Realistic Expectations:
Clarify your priorities and know your limits. Reading bedtime stories and eating nutritious meals together are more important than having the tidiest garage on the block.
2. Build a Support System:
Let family and friends know how they can help you. Arrange for respite care so you can take time off for yourself. Accept graciously when someone wants to lend a hand instead of trying to do everything yourself.
3. Get Organized:
You’ll accomplish more when you have a system. Increase your efficiency by coordinating errands and batching similar tasks.
4. Keep Learning:
Take advantage of educational opportunities like parenting classes and books. Talk with experienced foster parents you admire so you can benefit from their experience.
5. Plan for Uncertainty:
Recognize that there will be situations beyond your control. Meditation and prayer may help you to deal with court dates and decisions.
6. Maintain Your Identity:
As wonderful as fostering is, you need to keep your life balanced. Stay on top of your other relationships and responsibilities.
7. Cultivate gratitude:
Spend at least a few minutes a day thinking about what you’re thankful for. Take satisfaction in knowing that you’re helping to make a difference in the life of a child who needs you.
8. Practice Self-Care:
Attend to your own needs. Eat a balanced diet, exercise, and aim for 8 hours of sleep each night.
9. Manage Stress:
Develop relaxation practices that work for you. Listen to instrumental music or soak in a warm bath.
10. Have Fun:
Schedule some play time each day. Watch funny movies or cartoons together as a family. Go out in the backyard and throw a Frisbee around. Turn household chores and homework assignments into a game.
2INgage is devoted to the strength of family. Join us in taking better care of vulnerable children and families in our community. Contact us online or attend one of our upcoming recruitment events and foster/adopt information meetings.