Three beautiful children call me Mom. I work away from the home one day a week and the rest of the time I (usually) enjoy spending with the kids. I savour time on my own, too; reading a great book, getting out for a run, and drinking a glass of wine after the kids are in bed are all part of a good day. Being a mom is an important role to me and I’m thankful that I get to play it: I get to speak into their lives and watch them experience joy as they interact with the world around them. This isn’t to say that it’s always calm and beautiful—we have our share of raised voices and conversations about respect.
Perhaps this sounds like you?
My husband and I realized that our home, amongst the chaos of sibling “interactions,” is a loving, fun, and safe place to be. We have worked hard on our marriage and are a good parenting team. We value spending time together as a family and teaching our kids to love and respect themselves and others. We fail daily by losing our patience, but overall, there is a great sense of belonging here.
Does this sound like your home?
We learned about the need for these types of stable and loving homes for children from hard places—right here in our community. Many foster parents are retiring and the population, and therefore the number of children in care, is increasing. Newborns to teenagers are in need of a safe place to grow and learn while their parents get the help that they require. Almost every single foster home is currently filled so new families are encouraged to consider fostering.
Did you know this?
We opened up our hearts and minds to the idea of becoming foster parents. We inquired, applied, took educational training, completed safety and criminal record checks, and went through a home-study process with a social worker. It took almost a year to complete all of these steps. We decided which age, gender, and needs would work best for our family.
Would you ever consider this?
I never thought I would ever be a foster parent– it sounded way too scary. What if the child hurt my biological children? Taught them bad words? Wrecked my home? What if they had lice? What if I couldn’t keep my cool and yelled at this fragile child? Or, what if I fell in love with this child and then had to say goodbye? What if I couldn’t handle the heartbreak?
Maybe these are your concerns?
A child has joined our home. Our kids, aged three to nine, have welcomed this little one with open arms. They willingly share their toys and even prized comfort items. They understand that I need to give Little One more attention right now and they try to help by playing games of chase and reading books. I am pleasantly surprised by their patience and understanding.
Would you give your children this opportunity?
There has been a steep learning curve; how should I respond to the tantrums? How can I get this child to sleep? How do I interact with birth mom? How can I ensure a sense of safety and attachment?
Fortunately, I enjoy research and I have some wonderfully supportive and resourceful friends in my life that can help me navigate this new territory; I have solid cheerleaders in my corner.
Would you be willing to ask for help?
This child does not have a name for me yet, but through the constant hugs, quick smiles and desire to always be around me, I’d say my name is Safety, Comfort and Love.
Could it be yours?
Louise Chapman is a wife, mom of three, and indulger of dark chocolate. She loves her husband’s cooking and outdoor family time. She works as a science teacher and photographer and can be found blogging over at Talk Nerdy To Me. There she talks about parenting, marriage, and the eye-rolling, heart-melting moments that come with those roles. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.
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