I'm feeling a little at-loose-ends these days.
Don't get me wrong, it's crazy busy around here. Peter is competing on the school track team and also assistant coaching an Upward soccer team of Kindergarteners. He doesn't drive yet, so that's a lot of transporting. Edmund is learning to play tennis (more transporting to lessons) and both Susan and Edmund are competing their respective (different) school's Academic Bowl teams. M (should I start calling her Lucy? can't decide) is busy, busy, busy. She's not walking yet, but crawls and climbs with great gusto to satisfy her seemingly insatiable curiosity about the world and everything in it. Mr D is just starting a super busy time at work, where two of his responsibilities suddenly get a lot heavier at the same time.
It's just me, feeling unsure what to do with myself. It's not that I can't occupy my time. There's laundry to do, a house to clean, small projects to complete. It's all stuff I've spent the last 4 years wishing I had more time to do, but now? Now that very time I wanted lays heavy on my hands. (There's something in there about being careful what we ask God to give to us, isn't there? What we wanted isn't always what we need?)
I've been thinking about this a lot the last several weeks, trying to figure out why being "done" fostering has left me floundering. I think I've finally figured it out.
I've lost my job.
It's not the money. Fostering was never about the money. And it's not the changing cast of characters as children come and go. It's the work of fostering. As the full-time parent, I've always done the bulk of the appointment going and meeting attending and documentation writing. And that was a big chunk of how I spent my time from day to day, week to week, month to month. Go to this meeting. Listen in on that phone call. Email those people with everything said in the phone call. Document the behavior. Track the medications. All of that is done. Over. M is no longer a ward of the state; she's a member of our forever family. So, all the red tape is done. That should be cause for rejoicing, and it is, but... But.
But, right now, as I try to transition away from "we're a foster family" to a simple "family of 6," I'm also transitioning away from things that I did because they were "part of the job." And it's left me feeling, just a bit, the same way I did when I left the workforce to be a stay-at-home mother. I think the feeling is even stronger because, due to M's age, I don't feel that I have time to jump into a bunch of volunteer commitments to keep me "working" again. So, it's just me, just parenting, just home all day with a baby. And it feels a little strange.