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A lot of people may choose to become a foster parent during a time in their life when they can give children in their care their undivided attention, such as when they’re retired. For other people, however, it might not be that simple, such as if you’re still working full or part-time or trying to run a business.
Working alongside caring for children isn’t impossible, as there are many parents raising children and working full-time, too. Nevertheless, if you’re considering becoming a foster parent and wondering how this might affect both your foster child and your business, read on for some tips for balancing both.
Work-Life Balancing Tips For Foster Parents
Take Some Initial Time Off
If you have vacation days left to take, or if you run a business and can decide when to take a break, it’s a good idea to do this during the time that your foster child will be first settling in. This means you can create that initial bond without having to worry about your business hours being compromised or, likewise, time with your foster child.
Create Boundaries With Both
Boundaries are going to be essential for a work-life balance when raising a foster child. For work, you need to be able to say no when needed. This could mean no to overtime and extra hours so that you can spend more time with your child, and it also may mean saying no to additional responsibilities that may otherwise see you more stressed.
Boundaries at home can mean communicating effectively with your child when you need to work and why you need to work. If you are fostering with a partner or spouse, you should speak openly about any extra support you may need from them too.
Choose A Foster Agency That’s Going To Make It Easy
The agency you choose is going to make all the difference in your foster care journey. If you have a busy job, and especially if running your own business, you want an independent fostering agency that’s going to provide ongoing support and not add to your stressful workload. This support can also include agency professionals helping you to better understand how to balance work and foster care.
Work From Home
This can depend entirely on your own circumstances, your job, and your ability to concentrate when working from home. As mentioned, boundaries will need to be set in place if you’re going to work from home with your foster child in the same house. While it’s important to ensure you’re not disturbed when you’re working, being more of a presence at home can still help you to more easily juggle work and childcare – especially as you can then take your lunch break, for example, eating with your child instead of being out at the office.
Think How You Can Eliminate Time-Consuming Tasks
Before you became a foster parent, you might have spent all day at work and then taken care of home tasks in the evening, such as grocery shopping and cleaning. You might now want to think differently about that to save time, which you can then spend with your foster child instead. For example, you could order groceries online and have them delivered so that you don’t have to spend extra time shopping at the store.