A Day in the Life of a Foster Mom

Note: Sometimes I’m afraid that all I ever talk about is foster care and adoption. I’m very aware of what happens in today’s cause-saturated culture when you bring something up repeatedly. It seems our ADD doesn’t affect our ability to focus on movies, but it’s definitely taken its toll on our ability to commit to anything beyond our choice of vehicle.

Anyway- that’s a different blog. πŸ™‚ Sorry- soapbox moment.

I’m frequently asked questions about my experience as a foster mom, and for the sake of those with the questions, I thought I’d write a few blogs. So…

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FOSTER MOM (while her husband is off in Columbia- the country)

5:15AM – Wake up. Will yourself to get out of bed and run. Snooze alarm.
5:20AM – Alarm goes off again. No time to run. Might was well get another 5 minutes…
5:30AM – Alright, fine! Get out of bed and into shower.
5:40AM – Stand under hot shower mentally preparing for the next hour.
5:50AM – Turn on audio Bible & begin getting ready. Oh, wait. I need to wake up the teenager…
5:51AM – Pause audio Bible. Run up the stairs and wake up first 3 boys & 1 girl.
5:53AM – OK- NOW get ready.
6AM – Dressed, CHECK. Makeup, CHECK. Make sure the teenager is showered (smell his hair.) Get breakfast for 4-yo.
6:10AM – Wake another boy, and get him in the shower. Discover 2-yo is awake. Take him potty.
6:15AM – Get 2-yo dressed, and NOW boy #4 can get into the shower.
6:20AM – Wake little chica who, it turns out, was on the wrong side of the bed. Remind her she gets to pick out her own outfit (from the pre-chosen options I set out), and ask her to choose and dress herself.
6:25AM – Return to kitchen to find older chica is STILL sitting over an uneaten bowl of cereal staring into the air as if she’s pondering some great, mystical thought. Remind her we’re on a time schedule and she isn’t dressed yet. Notice kindergarten kid thinks jorts are proper uniform attire. Remind him I sat his uniform shorts out last night and, yes, he DOES have to wear underwear to school.
6:30AM – Do I need to blow dry my hair, or will the frizzy look work for me today? I could always do the trendy messy bun… nope. Can’t handle it. I have to look presentable at least once per week. Begin blow drying hair.
6:33AM – Attempt conversation with 7-yo while blow drying hair. Won’t work. Shut off blow dryer. Can I sign his folder? In 5 minutes, I say. Return to blow drying hair.
6:37AM – Hair mostly dry, remember I didn’t pack up my computer. Start packing my things. When carrying them out to the car, pass kitchen and notice not one child cleaned their dishes. Sigh, and ask if everyone has their lunches. Notice boy #2’s lunch is mostly filled with beef jerky. Will myself not to shout over the whining, and inform said boy that he needs at least one other food group.
6:40AM – Notify the house (yes, by shouting) that all but the teenager have 10 minutes to load up. Respond to shouting upstairs to discover that little chica is in tears, because she can’t decide what to wear. Yup. Still not dressed. Sigh a larger sigh and quickly dress the bawling mess – of course in the outfit she has NOW decided she did NAW-HAW-HAW-T want to wear. Roll my eyes. Remind her how important it is to listen and obey, and that Mommy has a boss that I have to obey, too, and he says I have to be to work by 8AM, and… (yes, she blocked me out after listen and obey…)
6:45AM – 5 minute warning! I’m still not packed up, and my hair has decided to air dry to a nice, fluffy frizz. Bun, it is.
6:50AM – Brush little chica’s hair. Remind everyone to brush their teeth (even though we’re supposed to be loading up. I can’t curse that kind of breath on any teacher.)
7AM – 10-minutes late, we’re all in the van, but not without some tears.
7:01AM – Follow walkers (in the van) across the street to the elementary school. 3 down. 4 to go. (The teenager rides his bike to school. Score!)
7:15AM – Begin journey through the middle school drop-off line. Choose lane carefully…
7:30AM – I chose poorly. Still in lot, but 2 more kids down. Only 2 to go…
7:35AM – Eureka! On the way to the preschool, and I’m still only… 10 minutes behind schedule.
7:43AM – Little bitties are checked in and happily sucking down Fruit Loops (which they don’t get at home) at an alarming pace. Sigh deeply and enjoy the quiet…
7:55AM – Arrive at SAGU. No time for Starbucks today. The Keurig will have to cut it. Delight in work until lunch break.
Noon – Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh…. lunch. Sit back, turn on Hulu re-runs on my computer and enjoy my frozen dinner.
3:30PM – Thankful I’m off early b/c the hubbie is out of the country, I head home to prep for the evening.
3:45PM – Enjoy some time with the bio kids. Laugh at their silliness while prepping for dinner. Remind everyone to put their things away and start homework.
4PM – Notice kindergarten kid isn’t wearing underwear, again. SERIOUSLY?? Where did this kid come from? After a lecture on modesty and cleanliness (yes, I waxed eloquent), he heads upstairs to put underwear under his shorts. Now- cuddle time.
4:30PM – Pick up. Start a load of laundry.
4:45PM – Head to pick up the other kiddos.
5PM – Arrive along with a million other parents to pick up the kids.
5:15PM – After bathroom breaks and waiting for a 3-yo to walk down a flight of stairs, we’re in the van. “Yes, you have to sit in your booster seat. No, I don’t have any food with me. We’ll eat when we get home. Keep your hands to yourself. Respect one another’s space.”
5:20PM – NOW we pull out of the parking lot.
5:21PM – The first battle has begun. “She licked my hand!” “Well he stuck it in my face!” “Mom, can you sign my folder??” Goodness, gracious.
5:25PM – The little chica has busted out her own tune, “I love my car seat! It is the beh-eh-eh-est. My sandals are so coooooool!!” Laugh out loud. She’s a blast. Life is good.
5:35PM – Arrive home. One kid is in tears, because he’s already going to bed 5 minutes early for telling his sister her face looked just like her butt.
5:45PM – Dinner time. Everyone washes their hands, plants themselves at the table, and I deliver the most tasty meal they’ve ever had. Praises are heard around the kitchen. (Just kidding!!) In reality I ignore the food critics and spend my time racing between refill requests, helping the toddlers and scarfing down what’s on my plate.
6:25PM – Convince 2-yo it’s in his best interest to eat his meat. Kitchen clean-up is in progress. Glance at little chica, who is now wearing part of her dinner. Laugh out loud at the cuteness and carefully transport both toddlers to the bathroom for shower-bath time (an Esca invention b/c baths disgust my husband).
6:45PM – Toddlers clean, CHECK. Kitchen clean, SORT OF. Big kids working on homework and chores. Reading and cuddle time with little bitties. I LOVE this time!
7PM – Transport toddlers up to bed. Lots of tears ensue. Baby massage for 2-yo calms him a bit. Princess story for little chica and her eyes are wide. Big kids are wrestling downstairs. I’ll have to deal with that in a minute…
7:15PM – Both toddlers are in bed. I break up the illegal wrestling match to begin shower rotations. The 11-yo begins his nightly rant… as if a shower is a form of torture. The 2-yo is screaming upstairs. Run up, calm him, and remind him I’m not going anywhere. Deep breathing exercise (for him), and we’re calm again.
7:45PM – Reading time w/the big kids. Sign folders. Make notes on jeans day, who needs money, who has to bring a special item this week, etc.
7:55PM – Last snack of the night. The kids are “starving” (since it’s already been 2 hours since they ate last!!)
8:05PM – Teeth-brushing reminder.
8:15PM – Bedtime. Reading can continue until 8:45PM.
8:17PM – Collapse in bed. I should do laundry. I should read that book. I should work out. I blog instead while watching one of those music performance shows.
9PM – Make a round turning lights out and reminding the kindergartner that jumping on the bed has never been allowed in our house. Pray over each kid, answer older chica’s questions (there are always at least two), and finally head to my room.
9:10PM – Reflect on today, and realize that the highs and lows are all part of the beauty of this mess. Who wants a life that is exactly as we plan it? Who wants some vain notion that we can actually control every detail of our lives? I breathe deep, let go, and remind myself that no one expects me to be perfect- least of all the only One I live to please. Yup. Life is good. But about that laundry…

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3 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of a Foster Mom

  1. I love you Sara πŸ™‚ I was so curious how in the world you pull off 8 kids, especially with Aaron out of town. I’m amazed & continually encouraged by you. Think & pray for you all often!

  2. Sara, thanks for taking the time to write this all down! I love the way it made me smile and nod and think maybe I could do that too… Maybe I couldn’t. We serve an amazing God – we’ll have to see what he has in store for us. (We’re at five kiddos now, got brave enough to follow God into foster care after number four, feel at or above “capacity” but have so developed a love for this amazing ministry). I’d love to chat more about this with you. I wish we were closer – you could drop off laundry baskets. The rhythm of laundry, which used to drown me and was the matter of prayer, has become pleasant, although constant. The floors are another matter – how can five children make such a mess of the floor, so quickly? Im now praying through that one.

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