One Key Mental Shift that Made Me a Better Foster Mom

Try fostering if you haven’t — it’s life changing.

Author’s second foster dog resting on author’s thigh

Katy, my second foster dog, also my best fur friend for the past 4 weeks, is on her way to her forever (or “furever”) home.

For me, it’s really bittersweet. She is the sweetest, most affectionate, yet most stubborn dog I’ve ever seen. Due to her “high maintenance”, I lost 5 pounds during the first 5 days of fostering her.

But she has taught me some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my life. Most importantly, I’ve had a completely different experience with her than with my first foster dog — which, now in retrospect, is a key mindset shift that made my life all the better.

Sure, I get attached, too, especially since I don’t own any pets myself. The separation is not easy, and it probably won’t be easier as I keep fostering — because each dog is so unique in its own way. To be honest I’m already missing her.

While my eyes are filled with tears, my heart is filled with joy. The shift started with this question: “Why do I foster?”

And the answer is: I foster to save lives. When I send my foster to her forever home, I’ll have the space to save one more life.

With this answer sitting at the bottom of my heart, I am able to love my fosters unconditionally before they get adopted, and hand them to their forever parents when the day comes.

It’s freeing, liberating, and enlightening.

“You suffer because you try to fulfill yourself. You think of yourself in a limited way.”— Frederick Lenz

For those who claim they can never foster because it’s hard to let go, they are probably thinking about themselves. That’s where I was when I had my first foster, that’s why I cried my eyes for two days.

What if we have an unlimited amount of unconditional love to give, and the act of giving is enough to fulfill ourselves?

This thought instantly made me feel happier, lighter, more grateful, and more connected. I show up with more presence and energy, more patience and kindness.

Not just that, this mindset shift has also made me a better businesswoman. Instead of thinking about “What’s in it for me”, I’m thinking about: “What’s in it for my audience/clients?” This is the very thought that keeps me learning, growing, and giving value.

“When you think you’ve given too much value, give some more.” — Michael Port, “Book Yourself Solid”

Tim Dennings says, “Failing in business had nothing to do with economics, and everything to do with too much selfishness.” I say it’s not just in business, but in life, in relationships, in pretty much everything.

Being a foster mom has completely transformed me, in a way that I never could have imagined. If you haven’t tried fostering, if you can, I invite you to do it, and experience how it changes your life.

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