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Sunday’s Fostering Blog

There are many times in life when you feel like you are juggling too many balls and is only a matter of time before one of them drops. Some years ago a close friend told me to prioritise things in life. I thought that this was easier said than done, but I gave it a go. One of the things I decided that wasn’t so important in our life was the ironing. I decided that I would stick to ironing the essentials like the girls uniforms, Charlie’s work shirts and clothes for going out. Everything else could be put away and folded and we wouldn’t worry about them. I have to say couple of years on I don’t think anyone has noticed that I don’t iron everything, or at least no one has mentioned it! One thing is true – I certainly don’t care about it in the same way that I used to.

Other things that are not that important to us have also lost priority in our lives. Another one of those things is the gardening. Before we moved house last year I really couldn’t have cared less about our garden. Our back garden couldn’t be seen by the neighbours and our front garden had been paved by the previous owners, and so all I had to keep up with was a couple of potted plants sitting out the front. However just over a year ago we moved to a house that comes with Charlie‘s job. It has a large garden – front and rear. The back garden is shaded by huge hedges and so apart from visitors no one really sees it. However, the front garden is on show for the whole community to see and the fact that we are a corner plot makes it even more visible.

Whilst we usually divide up household chores pretty evenly when it comes to the garden, it is left to Charlie. I simply cannot manage pushing the heavy petrol mower around the garden nor the hedge trimmer, so poor Charlie has been nagged pretty much all summer to sort the garden out. It has got to the point where neighbours or commenting to one another about the state of our garden. With the busyness of life with our own children and with the complexities of fostering a child with additional needs both physical and learning the garden really hasn’t been a priority.

I was over the moon when an old neighbour who had moved away had returned for a couple of weeks stay in the area. Knowing our situation and plenty of time on his hands he offered to come and trim the hedges. We have always been so self-sufficient and never really had offers of help before and usually I would find it difficult to accept such help but on this occasion I could have bitten his hand off. I was so pleased and at the same time relieved that the talk of the neighbourhood will soon be about someone else and not our garden. I realised how bad we had left it when it took nearly 2 days to get the work done. I am hoping that we won’t have to touch it again until next year and hope that we tend to it before it gets so overgrown next time. It has been a lesson for us that fostering takes up and consumes a lot of time, others can’t always help with this side of fostering but they can help in other practical ways. And when the offer comes we need to make sure we are not too proud to say yes, because really that will just free up time to do the things that we’re meant to be doing.

A Less Ordinary Family Foster Care Blog