Monday’s Fostering Blog
Today is the first day of our half term holiday. It has felt like it has been a rather long half term. It has only been 7 weeks – but in the winter that feels like a very long time! The last week was full of endless arguments, bickering and grumpiness – and I have to admit that’s not just the children! Although Charlie, Lauren, Annie and I need the break from the routine, we know that it will be particularly difficult for Alice. She finds the break from the norm difficult – she doesn’t like not having the plan of the day set out.
When we have this kind of break from structure she gets fidgety, she wants to know what we are doing, who we will be seeing, and what we are having at each mealtime. That kind of information may not sound too tricky to be able to give her, however, there are just some days when we just want to chill out, we don’t have or want a plan, when I have no idea what I am going to cook, and I can’t even remember what food we have in the fridge, let alone what I’m going to do with it!
So a week off school will be a mixed blessing. Fortunately, I was organised this year and thought ahead to this week. I have arranged a couple of days respite at the end of the week. It will be a chance for Alice to get some one to one time, and a chance for Charlie and I to have some much needed time with our two birth children Annie and Lauren. We have realised over the last few months that we don’t always give them our attention. We spend so much time ensuring that Alice’s needs are met that there are times when we have failed to give them what they need. I think if they were asked they wouldn’t say they felt neglected, however, we know that our time is divided and we are giving them so much less. That is why we are using respite more regularly. It gives us a chance to give them a bit more attention, have fun, and really spoil them – just for a couple of days a month.
Annie is going away for a few days with her youth group today. They are off to an outdoor adventure centre. She will get a chance to take part in activities like, climbing, archery, and high ropes course. She can’t wait to go. She has been looking forward to it for months, and she has packed and repacked her bag for the last three weeks. We had a mini crisis just moments before she left. The phone that she accidentally dropped down the toilet four months ago has pretty much died a death. We found an old iPhone that she could take and at least use it to call when she got Wifi signal. Although it didn’t solve the problem, it was the best we could do at the 11th hour. We waved her off on the coach. We will really miss her. It’s going to be a quieter week. I guess as the girls get older we are going to have to get used to them going away more and more.
A Less Ordinary Family Foster Care Blog