With the exception of my first blissful day of day care for Primo I have spent day care days running around like a crazy woman. I clean, do laundry, vacuum, run errands, rush to appointments, by the time I go to pick Primo up I'm a sweaty, exhausted mess. I have actually started to dread day care days. We rush to get to day care on time and then I never stop running until it is time for pick up.
I seriously need to slow down and take care of myself during these few and far between days of freedom. Instead of freedom and relaxation these days are stressful and I NEVER feel that I have accomplished everything I set out to do.
Last night I read a very short ebook called Shield: A Framework of Self-Care For Foster and Adoptive Families
This is a very easy read, and much of what was written I already knew, but there were some good reminders about the stress of foster parenting and the depression and anxiety that can come up for many foster and adoptive parents.
There were also some really good ideas about preparing for your first foster placement or the arrival of your adoptive child or baby. I wish I had read this book before I started foster care.
This little book was a good reminder to me to not feel guilty about taking care of myself. I have been a parent and a foster parent to 3 teenaged girls and a baby/toddler 24/7 for the last 16 months. No respite and very few baby-sitters, have left me tired, over scheduled and constantly feeling like I'm not doing enough for my individual relationships with my husband and children.
The major ups and downs and changes in Primo's case are really getting to me now, the lack of control over the future and the fear of the unknown feel devastating right now.
So here's to embracing a little guilt free self care. I will not rush around on day care days, I will nap if I want to, get a massage, watch TV, read, take a bath, indulge in a delicious take out lunch, have coffee with a friend, I WILL NOT FEEL GUILTY.