Life of a Foster Parent, Their Biological Kids, and The Foster Kids they Shower with Love
“We have 3 young biological children, then we also do foster care. This means that as soon as we get into a rhythm at home it gets completely changed.”
This weekend we are interviewing Melissa, who has 4 kiddos, ages 7, 5 1/2, almost 3 and 10 months. She is a stay at home/work at home mom, birth mom, foster mom, church mom, school mom, and wife.
Q: So, what’s foster care like as a part of your family life?
A: We find ourselves loving non-biological kiddos in our home and building a relationship with their parents and siblings. We may have 3 children one minute and an hour later have 5! My husband works a typical job out of the home and I work for our church, my parents, and a local non-profit with pretty minimum childcare. This means we are maximizing our kids’ nap times and our evenings home, and our kids get to get involved in the things that are most important to our family. Our door is continually revolving with friends that have become family, people that are family-for-now and hopefully forever, social workers and lawyers, women interested in the nonprofit we work with or foster care or other ministries that we work with...and the grandparents that live a few miles away :)
Q: What are the top things on your mind regarding your parenting life?
A: We are constantly weighing the cost and benefit of things that we choose for our family to get involved with.
For example, with foster care our kids experience the hardship of letting people that we love go - and it is SUPER hard to watch them experience those things. But through lots of discussions with our kids and with each us (my husband and I) we charge forward, knowing that teaching our kids to love others unconditionally, especially those that have lives that are very different than ours, is worth the hard stuff. And we just hope and pray that it pushes them towards our loving God today and the rest of their lives.
Getting involved with hurting people also keeps things in perspective. We can point our kids away from the latest toy that they want and towards kiddos that we get to share with because they don't have any toys. Our hope is that they learn a sense of gratitude and generosity, and that our lives look different. Then when people ask why, we and our children can point them to the cross which is the reason that we do any of it.
That’s quite profound. Thank you. I’m sure those are some both joyful and difficult family moments.
Q: What parenting hacks or advice can you share regarding life balance?
Q: What’s margin?
We've learned through experiences that margin is SUPER important. I am one to pack my schedule to the brim, but then when a kiddo gets sick or a need of a neighbor comes up, I lack capacity to still manage my commitments. So, through lots of error and overwhelmed feelings, I've learned to keep some blank chunks of time on the calendar. If they don't get used up with meeting last minute needs or serving others, we use them to spontaneously invite friends over for dinner!
But when that margin doesn't isn't there and something comes up, get creative!
Q: What’s today’s creative solution for the unexpected?
A: Well, today some things came up and I didn't get my work done when I expected. So, I piled all the kids in the tub for a water party. I sat in the bathroom on the floor with my computer, threw on some pump-up music, and we all go crazy :)
Hummingbird Infant is currently focused on making bath time warm, calm and connected time.
Q: When you talk to your pregnant friends, what should they know about baby bath time that maybe they hadn’t thought of?
A: Depending on the day, bath time can serve several different purposes. Maybe it is needed to get your baby clean. Maybe you're tired, feeling "off,” or in a funk - use a bath to switch things up and have some fun! Or maybe everyone is needing to calm down after a busy day, add a drop of lavender to the bath for and extra soothing or calming experience. Cater your bath time to your needs!
Want to know more? Have more questions for Melissa? Let us know in the comments, and we can continue the conversation.
Hummingbird Infant is passionate about removing the stress from the tiny moments in parenting. Starting with bringing warmth and love to your baby’s bath. Sign up for a chance to win our monthly Warm Hug Bath Swaddle giveaway, or purchase today, and enjoy bath time as sweet time with your baby, where you wash away the cares of the day.