Focus being: – The reason why you started doing what you are doing; – What you aimed to accomplish in the lives of the children you are caring for/fostering, etc.; – The driving force behind having become involved with safety or foster care. Write it down or type it up & print it out, and stick it inside your cupboard, or any other place where you will often be reminded thereof.
Something like: Alleviating trauma and providing unconditional love, to help bring healing to these hurting, abused and or neglected children. Yes, as safety/foster parents our focus should always be on them, not on us. As soon as we start counting the negatives & sacrifices; feeling sorry for ourselves quickly follows … and we start loosing focus! If we want to acknowledge it or not, it then becomes about us and our needs. Our safety/foster children (having come from emotionally charged backgrounds) pick up on it so quickly! They then react to our ‘negativeness’ and we then react even more severely to theirs (seeing it as just another reason to feel sorry for ourselves) and the whole situation starts snowballing.
Should you feel your focus starting to slip, rather take a time-out. Phone a support group member or a pro-foster care friend; or meet up for some coffee. Read or re-read books or articles that you find/found encouraging. Get your spouse or a trusted friend to take over the care of your foster child for a day. Use this time to take a breather and regain your focus!.
Always remember that we are just human and as such make mistakes. Don’t be to hard on yourself and allow your mistakes to start dictating your actions!. Be quick to ask for forgiveness (and to forgive yourself) – it will aid healing, recovery and bonding!