Today is drop off day and everyone is edgy. I am edgy because there is so much to do and the kids are edgy because it is a change in routine. For MANY years we avoided respite because it is such a disruption to routine and at times the thought of getting respite when we are barely hanging on by finger tips was virtually adding rocks to our backpacks to see if we can handle it! However after many … suggestions from our family therapist we have started embracing respite more frequently!
Does it still seem not worth it? Um sometimes no because you know the day they come home is like trying to disarm a nuclear bomb … while on a stagecoach …. heading for a canyon. As we have used it more frequently and the kids are able to get into some kind of a routine it does seem a little easier.
Yes they will still be short with everyone around them, yes we will still need them to remain close so they don’t physically assault each other, and yes at least one will be puking due to being completely overwhelmed!
No I will not feel like I have just walked out of a day spa, like I have been on a vacation, or like my cup has been refilled. What I do feel is that I am able to survive the bumps of reuniting the masses and my marriage is so much strong for those few days of uninterrupted attention.
What do we do during our respite time? We often take time to make an amazing dinner, watch movies that are not animated, do not have superheroes, or children as the main cast members. We complete the laundry, finish projects that littles think they can help with but really can’t, and go to stores that have breakable. I know we are walking on the wild side!
I used to think I was broken or something was seriously wrong with me because I never felt “filled up” after a break and our team was very adamant that we “need to find time to fill your bucket”. One 4th of July I was talking with a dear friend that has worked her way through the ranks of fostering and adopting kids with needs and I asked her straight out if she always felt “filled up”. Her reply really hit me with wisdom that I needed …”no I don’t feel full (well except for the dread of getting everyone back into the home safely), but I feel as though I have been able to meet a few of my needs and often it looks like normal chores”. I truly needed to hear that!
Once I was able to look at the entire respite piece of my life in a much different light I was finally able to see why it was so important! I have needs just as important as these children and yes I deserve to fill them just as I work to fill theirs! Yeah I guess it is “filling my cup” in that my needs are getting met, however it is not the joy I was wanting (I was wanting that brand new woman who can conquer the world feeling), I can however see it is the “filling up” I need!