Do you ever feel like you live in a fishbowl as a foster parent??
Or does your home feel like it has a revolving door of kids, case workers, support workers, licensing, etc.?
Were you like me, when I first started, you cleaned everything, made coffee, etc. before the workers came over? Now you tidy up a little and hope they bring their own coffee instead?
Murphy’s law states that if anything can go wrong, it will.
Here is Murphy’s law in action. The time you actually do clean really well, the meeting gets cancelled or rescheduled. Then, on the day they rescheduled you seemed to have missed that email and there are people at your door right when the babies need to be changed and the highchair and floor look like they’ve not been cleaned in forever. The dogs are fighting over the cheerios underneath it the highchair and the cat has coughed up a hairball. You get the picture.
It’s our life.
A few months ago, I was having a super busy day and a very difficult week. It was month-end, and I was doing my paperwork. As I mentioned last week, I am a procrastinator when it comes to paperwork. It was due or probably overdue by this day. I had papers, receipts, etc. spread across my kitchen in an unorganized-organized state.
I was also doing laundry that day. I have 3 kids still in pull-ups and other issues that make even more laundry than normal. So, I am washing, drying, and putting it in baskets on the couch for me to fold later while watching a movie.
You get the picture? My house looks like someone turned it upside down and shook it.
What is Murphy’s law? If something can do wrong, it will. So, when my house looks like a hurricane hit it, Murphy’s law says that someone is probably going to show up. In this situation it so happens that we had a crisis and the police and ambulance ended up having to come to the home.
The police officer said at one point, “boy, I thought we had a lot of laundry! We have two children.” I just smile politely at him and think “you have no idea bud.”
When the EMTs arrive, they need to do paperwork with me while they prepare to transport the child. There is not one spot on my kitchen table that is clear. I have to take my unorganised, but organised to me, piles, and pile them elsewhere.
The EMT says “wow that’s a lot of papers”
People tell you that nobody will notice your house in these situations. LIARS!!! They do!
But do you know what they didn’t notice?
Have you seen those leggings that were TikTok famous? They were supposed to give everyone who wore them an amazing booty! Even this 61-year-old lady! A TikTok challenge emerged from them, wherein people wore the leggings and filmed other people’s reactions to seeing their booty look so bootylicious.
Well, I have those leggings. I was wearing those leggings on this particular day.
Let me tell you it’s a lie about people noticing. Not one person mentioned how nice my booty looked LOL. Not a police officer! Not an EMT! Not even the medical staff at the hospital.
I tried to get them to notice. I bent to pick up laundry. I dropped my pen! OOOPS NOTHING.
My point to all of this is people may or may not notice things. Living in our fishbowl, the community sees you and may notice you on the not-so-great day. Someone may pop in at an awkward time, that’s what Murphy’s law says will happen.
You may have cleaned your house, you may look amazing with your makeup on, and hair all done. Nobody notices.
The bottom line is it doesn’t matter. As long as you know that you are making a difference in a child’s life, you are doing the things that matter. We aren’t doing any of this for recognition. Many of us prefer not to hear those comments like “There’s a special place in heaven for you!”
Also know that Murphy’s law applies to everyone. All of the caseworkers, neighbours, and police officers have those moments too, and they too are doing their jobs and in most cases changing lives and helping others.
Hang in their foster peeps. You are amazing, and I notice all your hard work!