Fostering and adopting children can be extremely rewarding, but it also comes with its own unique set of challenges. The longer you’re at it, the more likely you will experience burnout. That’s why self-care is vital for parents of all kinds, but even more so for adoptive and foster counterparts.
Fortunately, you can do things to keep yourself healthy and happy during your parenting journey. Keep reading to learn more.
Lack of sleep can have consequences such as irritability and moodiness. You may find it hard to concentrate or make decisions when you’re tired. Furthermore, you may be more prone to illness and injury because your immune system isn’t working at its best when you’re sleep-deprived.
So, as a busy parent, take time and sleep well to avoid anxiety and irritability.
Adoptive parents should strive to eat nutritious foods and get regular exercise. Unfortunately, when life gets busy or stressful, exercise is usually one of the first things to do for many people.
But there’s evidence that exercise can help reduce stress levels and improve your mood, sleep quality, and cognitive function — all important when you’re a parent dealing with challenging behaviors or emotions.
Make Time for Yourself
Adoptive, foster, and kinship parents should make time for themselves — whether a few moments of meditation each day or going out with friends at least once a month. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate; it just has to be something that brings you joy and helps you rest, recharge, and relax.
Many adoptive and foster parents always say “yes” to people who ask for their help. This is admirable, but it is important to know when to say “no.” It is okay for you to limit how much time you can spend helping others. Take care of yourself first, so that you can take care of others.
It’s easy to feel like you have to do everything yourself — especially when you’re a parent. But if there are tasks that you could outsource, do so. This might mean hiring a housekeeper, getting takeout instead of cooking dinner yourself, or asking for help with grocery shopping.
Whether you are the biological or adoptive parent of a child in your care, it is important to practice self-care to help you stay happy and healthy. There’s no one-size-fits-all plan; do what works for you.
Yet keep in mind that self-care is not a luxury. Ultimately, it will help keep your head straight and be a better parent and advocate.
To learn more about adoptive, foster and kinship parents, don’t hesitate to contact us.