I wanted to take a break from all the deep, difficult stuff for a moment. I want to share with you one of the many beautiful aspects of fostering.
It's beautiful to see a family, a church, and a community come together to support the children in our home. This support comes in a variety of ways. Today I am going to take a moment to give a huge shout out to my Mother-In-Law.
Life has been a crazy transition to two under three. And Bear really has given us a run for our money in many ways. When I say he is energetic, this is an understatement. When people kindly tell us he is "quite active" we laugh. With his oodles of laughs and his tender caring moments comes a lot of chaos and hard moments. Now, I have worked with kids for years. I have babysat our friends 4 under 4 with my 1.5 year old and it was a breeze. But this new little puts all of that to shame. (Let me say, I wouldn't have it any other way. I absolutely love him and he has already made great strides to being a kinder and gentler boy who tries his best to listen.)
As we look towards the future and unsure when we are ready to reopen for a third, we knew we needed help. Let me tell you, it took quite a bit of strength and courage to ask. Asking for help is not weak. I remember when we first got Bug at 2 months old and I felt like I had to have it all together. Prove I was handling it. I killed myself keeping the house clean. I always put on jewelry and make up before leaving the house. I definitely felt that new mom, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest pressure to look like I had it in control. I also had that stereotypical "daughter-in-law" pressure of showing I was a good mother and wife. So after a year a half.... and this new addition.... and looking to our future.... I swallowed my pride and told my husband ".... maybe your mom would be interested in coming on Mondays when we are passing each other between rehearsals to help with the kids and do their laundry."
This has been the third week that my mother-in-law came over straight after work and began doing the kids laundry in the living room while they run amok around her and I get a few moments to clean the kitchen and make dinner. My husband races home from rehearsal and we all eat dinner before I rush off to my rehearsal. She helps my husband with their nighttime routine and puts them to bed. They then get a weekly chance to catch up and talk which has been a beautiful relationship to watch.
I cannot put into words how grateful I am for this help. How love and supported I feel. This is a rather unusual request. But this has turned into the biggest unexpected help I have ever received in the fostering journey. In life we have to remember our loved ones want to help. They want to support us. We just have to find ways we are willing to let them in and simply, humbly, ask.
To help her help us, as well as help the kids help themselves, I laminated everything. I feel super proud.