I’m a wife, foster mom and full time student… Some days are longer then others.
My days are now spent running kids around to school and their never ending amounts of appointments. For the first time in my life I actually use a day planner. It never worked for school, but I have noticed that having two kids means I need to be extra organized or else nothing gets done!
I have a 4 & 6 year old. They have been with me for about a month and a half. There have been some challenges, but nothing my husband and I couldn’t handle. They are both girls so I do the morning and bedtime routine or bath time and getting dressed. My wonderful husband keeps them busy as soon as he gets home so I can do some cleaning or finish making dinner, etc. It has been a real adjustment having two little girls in the house.
We wouldn’t change this experience for multiple reasons.
1.It has taught us how to be better communicators. I, for example, am a terrible communicator. My husband is a pro! Having kids though, means we have to talk to each other, especially when it comes to the “he said, she said” scenarios. For those of you that don’t have children, here is an example of a “he said, she said,”
Girl 1: “Ms. Kacy can I go feed the horse?”
Me: “Not right now, I am making dinner.”
Girl one then stomps off not getting her way and goes to ask my husband the same question.
Girl 1: “Can I go feed the horse?”
Now, he can have a couple different responses to this question. He could say yes, which is fine because I am busy, or he could say no because he is busy with something as well. My husband however responds in a different way,
My husband,” What did Ms. Kacy say?”
He either already knows what I said or he is asking if the girls have asked me yet. Either way, he is making sure that he and I are communicating with each other. We aren’t saying no to be mean, the horse is a big creature and I don’t want them to get hurt by going near him by themselves. We are saying no to keep them safe.
What happens is Girl 1 and Girl 2 like to gang up on my husband and say,
“She said yes, but you have to take us.”
His response is, “Let me go ask her.”
We have explained to the girls that it’s not about not trusting them, but as a husband and wife we have to communicate with each other to always make sure we are on the same page.
2. We have learned our parenting style.
Now I am sure many people know that there are pretty strict rules on how to raise a child in the system. I was personally raised on butt whips and so was my husband, but that is not an appropriate form of punishment in a foster home.
We have had to learn some creative ways to enforce discipline in our home. The main one being time out. I have a yellow bench that sits right outside of their bedroom that they know to be the “time out bench.” If they had a bad day at school, or threw a fit in public or refused to listen to directions they have to sit on the time out bench.
It is not their favorite.
Their behavior has shifted. When they first came to live with us you could tell who was used to getting their way and how they got it (Throwing a fit). The 4 year old would even go as far as to run away from me when she did something she knew warranted a time out.
But how did I get her to even sit it time out?
I sat with her.
And sat with her.
Every. Single. Time.
I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time she threw a temper tantrum because she has learned that it goes no where with me.
I think the key to being a good parent is to be consistent. I know I have only been a parent for about 2 months, but trust me, I have learned so much in this short time.
The girls even say, “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am” when speaking to me. There are no more “yeahs” in this house. I love their manners and I praise them whenever they use them without me having to prompt them!
The 6 year old has been having bad days the past couple of weeks at school, and sadly time outs haven’t been working to correct the behavior so I have really had to get creative.
So on bad days, when she doesn’t want to listen to her teacher or she wants to stay on the play ground and not come in from recess, she picks up poop.
We live on a farm, but the yard still needs to be mowed and in order to mow, we need to pick up the dog poop and sticks out of the yard. We have three dogs, so there is always poop that can be picked up.
This seems to be working, so I am glad I don’t have to get any more creative with my punishments.
3. We have also learned that not everyone teaches their children about choices.
Choices have consequences.
We have to teach our children that not everything that happens to them is someone else’s fault. They make the decision, the choice, to do something they aren’t suppose to and now they have to face the consequences of those choices.
One of the big issues we had was then the 6 year old started to pee in her bed,
She gave me every excuse in the book…
“you didn’t tell me to go pee before bed”
“you gave me too much water”
“you didn’t say I had to get up at night”
It was my fault that she was peeing in her bed.
I had no idea I had that kind of power!
We haven’t had an accident in over a week now, but the biggest issue I had wasn’t that she peed the bed, she is a kid and kids pee, it was that she blamed someone else instead of herself.
I might be her foster mom, but I have no control over her bladder. Only she can do that. She has the control and she makes the choice to not climb down from the top bunk and use the bathroom. I told her it was an easy fix if it was my fault, she can sleep on the bottom bunk.
Nope. She didn’t want to do that.
My hope is, that if they learn anything while they are living with me, its that they are responsible for their actions. Not me, not their mom, THEY are RESPONSIBLE. That is the one thing I hope to teach them, because I feel that is they key to being a successful person.
The biggest thing Sheldon and I have learned through this whole experience is that we are totally prepared to be parents..but we just don’t want to be yet.
If I could somehow convince every couple out there to become foster parents before they decide to get married and have a baby..I would. I am a huge advocate for young couples to become foster parents because it is a great way to learn how to:
- communicate with your partner
- and realize if kids are what you really want.
Also being a foster parent means:
- Influencing a life
- Teaching a child how to be responsible
- Love a child
These girls not only influence and change my life and the way I think, but I know I have changed and influenced theirs. Solely based on their behaviors and attitudes and how much they have grown and changed since living here. I will be sad when they go home to their mom, because I absolutely love these ladies.
That’s the whole goal of being a foster parent though, to see them get reunited with their parents, even after you’ve fallen in love with them. The goal is to give them the best shot at life possible.
They are our first foster babies and we will always cherish that….
but I did take a positive pregnancy test two weeks ago…
But that’s for the next blog.