That time of year again where everyone is making their “life changing” resolutions AND HERE IS ANOTHER ONE. Well, sort of. Change is a process not a flash solution. Innit. Isn’t it? Probably.
To recap my resolution of 2017 :
“to just keep doing the best I can. I am not super mom. But I have this super awesome kid. And although I yearn for the yesteryear where my rose tinted memories suggest I had no worries or responsibilities - this is where I am at.”
Pfffft, Nailed it! Hahaha. For reals though, I did begin finally asking for help in 2017 - whether it be 5 minutes to myself, or a date night with the husband. Only took two years, but I am stubborn. So I will continue to work on asking and receiving help regularly in the years to come.
For my 2018 resolution, I hope to work on my patience and to better handle situations with those who test it. I have not quite worked out as to how I will go about doing this, but I figure it will come to me - as and when needed. I hope!
Living with a toddler and alongside 6 teenagers (not to mention being inside a school and regularly interacting with hundreds of students) could test Ghandi’s patience. Some have called me quick witted - the same fast response I occasionally use when frustrated. It does not make the situation better, as a joke would, but leaves everyone a little taken aback.
So that is what I hope to work on this year. More patience for my daughter, more patience for my boarding sons, more patience for my family and more patience to everyone. As we are all trying our best, and sometimes things get on top of us. Breathe first, respond second. Otherwise emotions leap forward with a wollop.
It is difficult living in a school. No escape from work. None.
Even when trying to leave the grounds - - texts, conversations, thoughts all travel back to school. It is my second child -and third, fourth, fifth, sixth.
Those boys in our care.
Teenagers are a world in themselves, but I cannot help compare the simularities with our toddler. Both desperate for independence but need guiding. Both thrown fits when things do not go the way they think it should. Both demand and both eventually listen. Both need structure and a good example. Both have brains that are sponges and need a good night's rest to function at their best. Both are on the brink of a whole new stage in life.
One moving from baby to child, the other child to adult.
So this first half of term was absorbed by these children. Adjusting, learning, trying, aiding, teaching, listening, speaking, arranging and organising. Going above and beyond - it wiped us out.
The last week we were running on empty.
Cannot let that happen. So after a refreshing half term break - where we recharged the parenting batteries - we are back.
We are trying a new approach - one that still provides, offers, guides but mostly so that everyone knows we care about them. To do that - we need time to care for ourselves.
So here we are.
In the school.
Never have I ever thought I would be living in a Boarding House in England and working as a House Parent. Never having ever experienced or really thought that much about boarding and the lifestyle surrounding it - how could it have been on my radar?
Preconceived assumptions of the kind of students that attend boarding school come from films and television*. The majority of which showing Boarding School used as either a punishment or a coming of age hormone fuelled ''awakening''.
Except for the Harry Potter series. So I prepared by putting myself in the mind-set of Hogwarts' House Parents/Masters/Mistresses. I was going to hone my Professor McGonagall and maintain a strict but endearing personality with the boarders.
And then I realised our House is more looks more Slytherin than Gryffindor (Even our school colours and Coat of Arms). And going by all the rules I am slapping up on the walls, I am more Dolores Umbridge.
I know. It surprised me too.
Never have I ever thought I would be looking after a handful of international student let alone teenagers. Have I always wanted to adopt an older child? Yes. This is far from that. Did I ever consider fostering? Yes. Did I ever consider multiple teenagers at once? No.
I figured there would be some hiccups in the beginning as we were setting up for the new school year. No worries, as I had my trusty HP characters to fall back on. Yet again, I hiked up my bra and put on my Molly Weasley cap. Rules because we care.
And then I realised that teenagers do not consider why there are rules but instead sulk when you try to enforce them. That they are stuck in this weird limbo of a vast stretching future of independence creeping into their sight of vision but they can't call their GP to make themselves an appointment. They hate when you repeat yourself as that is nagging but then they turn around and do exactly what she just said not to do while arguing with you how ''they did not know''.
We recently rewatched the Harry Potter films, shock! You had know idea, right?
I now feel for the Professors and Heads of House. I want to shove away the HP storyline and delve into how Minerva McGonagall came to her position. What Severus Snape says in the staff room after receiving another eye roll from the HP Gang.
*Of which I have seen or read, not assumptions including everything from all time. Doi.
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.