Saturday, November 9, 2019

Adventures in Single Foster Parenting - Lack of Alone Time

I think THE hardest thing about being a single foster/adoptive parent is the lack of alone time. You know to do things like run to the store and grab some milk, leave the house for an hour and have your nails done, shop for birthday presents, or maybe take a shower that's longer than 5 minutes.....or pee alone! Maybe this will get better as my kids get older and are able to stay home by themselves, although that thought alone makes me shudder! It's just that they are there ALL the time, don't get me wrong I LOVE my kids, but orchestrating a few hours to do something for me is like trying to teach my dog to speak French.

My options for alone time:
  1. Doing something while kids are in school.  Right now I am a stay at home mom. Two of my four kids are in preschool, the youngest only go Monday and Friday from 9-11:30. That gives me 2.5 hours twice a week. By the time you drop them off and drive somewhere and give yourself enough time to drive back and pick them up you are down to about an hour and 15 minutes. That hour is usually spent running errands, like grocery shopping, post office, paying bills, or picking up something we need. Not to mention trying to "volunteer" in all the kid's classrooms occasionally during that hour and 15 minutes. So that option is pretty much out. Once they are all school age and gone during the day I will need to get a full-time job, so no luck there either.
  2. Paying someone to watch the kids.  This is easier said than done, especially when you are still fostering! First, I have to find someone willing to watch four kids. Then I have to find someone willing to watch four kids, some of whom have significant behavior issues. Then I have to find someone willing to do all the things my agency requires like background checks, fingerprinting, a sit down with a caseworker to go over discipline policies. Then I have to schedule something way in advance, no spontaneous "I want to run out and grab a coffee". If I find someone willing to do all of these things, I then have to pay them....a lot! It's hard to justify paying someone a whole bunch of money just so I can go to a movie. It's usually not enjoyable anyway cause I'm worried about what's going on at home or getting panicked texts from the babysitter about what is going on.
  3.  Finding friends or family to watch the kids.   This option sounds good, but my problem is I need to utilize my friends and family so much for mundane things, like taking one kid to an appointment or to go to school meetings/court dates, etc. That it then doesn't seem fair to ask them to come watch the kids so I can go out to dinner! Most of my friends have their own families to worry about and again finding someone willing to take on all the foster stuff and behavior stuff is asking a lot!
So what's a girl to do? Id really like to get a hair cut, I mean it's only been 13 months since my last one.

Reposted with permission. Bessy is the adoptive Mom of three boys (currently 8, 4, and 3) who came to her as a foster placement three years ago. The boys have a variety of issues due to their early childhood trauma that they have been working hard to overcome. Bessy works with Beyond Trauma and Attachment (BeTA) to help other families who are working through trauma and attachment issues. She enjoys to cook and bake and watches way too much television! She is currently opening her home back up to help more foster children and hopes to adopt again in the future.  And she blogs at: Blogs at: Young, Single, and Adopting and Living a RAD Life.

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