When I was in Michigan last week speaking at an Adoption/Foster Care/Kinship conference, many people asked me how I made it work. Leaving my kids at home - that is. Well here's the thing...there is a lot at play that makes it work for me and my family.
First, it has been almost 14 years. Time helps! For years I chose not to leave at all. Then for the next years I left a bit, but kept it at a minimum. Now I can leave without a lot of fall out.
Second, I am very intentional about having everything in place before I leave. Food is made by me. Plans are all in order and posted. Kids all have something of mine. And so much more.
Last but definitely NOT least, I make sure that I Plug In as often as possible. Call or text while I am gone. (needed less and less these days), but most importantly...when I get home I work really hard to get plugged back in even though it is the last thing I want to do cause I am tired. This time I took my girls to eat and a movie. I literally arrived home, changed my clothes and turned around and drove 30 minutes to the theater. Not that I didn't want to see my girls, but the couch was REALLY calling me. They needed it though...they talked non-stop, running through every detail of every minute while I was gone. They needed my undivided attention for a bit. Then, we sat at the theater - one on either side of me. Then back in the car and more talking. A few days later now they have softened up and we are all plugged back in...emotionally Plugged IN!
If you have to leave either physically or are busy emotionally, causing you to get unplugged, make that intentional decision to plug back in - our kids need us and don't always know how to ask or even that that is what they need. But trust me, even if you don't feel up to it or it is the farthest thing from what you want to do....go for it; it really cuts down on fall out behavior!