A typical Weekday Duty Schedule
5:00pm ‘’On duty’’+
5:15 prep time, roll taken, attendance mandatory, a lot of chasing up
6:00 supper in the dining hall
6:30 roll call taken and general announcements made
7:00 in office or putting on/helping out with activity or sport
9 roll call, general well being check ins and notifications shared
11pm ‘’Off duty’’++
6am get up and ready*
7:00 ‘’On duty’’ first round of wake up knocks on student rooms
7:30 second round, followed by herding students down to the dining hall
7:45 breakfast in dining hall, roll call taken
8:00 back to boarding house
8:20 third round, followed by herding students off to school
8:40 lock student rooms
+but really you never gone off, as rooms are unlocked after school, students making various requests throughout the day, a lot of continual liaising
++except if there is an emergency, fire alarm, or a whim that posses the boarders
*variable, between 4 - 6:30 depending on Peaches
**except emails still come through for many reasons, all urgent and needing replies. Or if a maintenance request is being filled. Or for any other reason - as you live IN the school.
Confused? Why wouldn’t you be. A duty shift starts in the PM, ends before midnight, picks back up in the morning and ends again before school. What may be confusing you is the off duty - on duty. These are when we are official not on the clock (being paid) but are technically on duty if someone needs us (still, is unpaid).
Oh. Okay. Well, not too bad you may be thinking. Well, our shift is every other day - meaning : we work either an AM or PM shift EVERYDAY. Sometimes both shifts if we work on consecutive days - which happens often.
Oh. But you get your weekends off, right? Sometimes. We get our Saturday and Sundays ‘’off’’ every third weekend. (And I say ‘’off’’ because we live IN the boarding house with the students. As a parent, you know, you are NEVER off duty). Otherwise - we working. Like now, as I am blasting the ‘’Guilty Feminist’’ podcast and trying to get a post done all from the office of the girls’ boarding house doing my 10am to 6pm shift this fine Sunday afternoon.
So, my friends. THIS. This is currently our life. It gets a bit much. There are no Snow Days or Labour Day Mondays off for us - just like parenthood but mushed in with also being an employee.
This is boarding.
And I don't know what Professor Snape's shifts were scheduled like, but I can totally understand why everyone thought he was grumpy.
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.
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.