By Lisa Scott
Being a foster carer has its challenging moments at the best of times.
During these unusual circumstances we find ourselves in, I have had to prioritise on food as I have eight mouths to feed, so I have to confess to some bulk buying in recent days as well as educating our six children on how to not be wasteful such as:
- Being mindful on the amount of toilet paper they use, 3 sheets rather than 23!
- Limit the gallons of milk that they consume, replacing it with squash or water.
I have been shopping daily buying fresh produce so the freezer content becomes our emergency stock and only to be used when I can’t get to the Supermarket. In light of the new announcements I will now only shop for food when necessary-I am going to have to be super organised and make a list of essentials.
I also initially encouraged some of the children to come food shopping with me as I don’t think they fully understood the impact this situation is having on our lives in the early stages as it began to unfold. This has now changed in light of the announcements yesterday and the children will only be going out for exercise once a day as instructed.
My birth daughter sent me a text saying she desperately needed to do a “cosmetic shop” (there I rest my case!) but I am reinforcing the messages in an age appropriate way.
We always have future plans in our lives, this may be holidays, nights out, leisure and this is difficult as we cannot make plans and predict the future at the moment. So my strategy is to plan daily on meals and how we are entertaining ourselves. This helps with routine and stability, which is so important to everyone in our household.
At present, we are all well, however should anyone of us show symptoms then we will all isolate and have discussed as a family our ideas to keep busy so we don’t all go stir-crazy.
- Cooking together ( but not including anyone who has symptoms)
- Independent skills (ironing/washing)
- Tidying cupboards/drawers
- Playing board games
- Possibly dog walks to get fresh air (as long as we don’t come into contact with anyone) and follow the announcements made yesterday.
- Create a vegetable patch
I am also very conscious of everyone’s mental health and general wellbeing, so keep checking in individually on a daily basis.
My SSW and children’s Social workers are available on the phone should I need them and Supervision has been conducted over the phone. Luckily I had my annual review last month and one good thing I suppose is that I won’t be getting any “unannounced visits” during the current situation.
My young people have had un-supervised contact and this is now being reviewed in light of recent announcements by the government to restrict or lock down social contacts. The children had become increasingly concerned about their parents in regard to food supplies and their health issues. We are trying to offer reassurance to the children and report any issues raised as we would normally do to the child’s social worker and my own SSW.
As for now we are all good however I am sure things will change in a few days in this ever changing world.
Bye for now and stay safe