This week I did not have to go out in search of things to test my courage, they all came to me!
It has been a really trying week in our household.
We have taken in my 15-year-old niece, Jazz.
Jazmine’s Mum, Tamina (my sister) sadly passed away from cancer when Jazz was only 2, and since then she has been raised by her Grandma, (my Mum).
The generation gap between Grandma and Grandaughter has been a challenge, and their relationship has hit rock bottom after some trying times.
We are opening our hearts and home to Jazmine, we want her to feel safe and secure and loved in her new home, and we just want her to grow into the best young adult she can be.
But that does not mean I am not silently packing myself in the meantime! I have no idea how to raise a teenager, and it is safe to say that Jazz has become a bit wild in recent times. I also have the interest of my children to keep, I want them to also feel safe and secure in their home, the change has already started to tug on everyone’s emotions.
I have found myself crying at the drop of a hat.
It should be my sister getting to raise her daughter, life just is not fair at times. I do feel for Jazz and all the changes she has had to have in her life as well.
I not only worry about how emotionally and physically draining it is going to be, but how financially draining it will be to have an extra person in our house, then I feel guilty for feeling these things! It is one giant emotional train ride.
We have had to enrol her into a new school for next term, try to work out how to get her to the current school for the remainder of the term, and many other little obstacles.
Jamie – my husband has spent his two days off in the week creating a space for Jazmine to call her own. Together we have spent hours sanding, fixing, painting, cleaning, scrubbing the room. In the end we looked at each other in complete exhaustion and said “We have given our all”. The room is not perfect, but at the moment it will just have to do.
My kids seem to be noticing the change in the house, and becoming a little more sensitive as well, so we all seem a tad “delicate” at the moment.
This week we have all felt fear, and we have looked it in the eye.
If it was any other situation, perhaps I may have decided that I was not up the the challenge of fear just yet, and walk away.
In this situation I cannot walk away, we just have to get on with it, start learning the ropes along the way of raising a teenager. We have set some ground rules, and expectations, we have given boundaries and reminders that we will enforce them.
We aim to work together as a team to make this happen.
To start with, I felt weak when thinking of my behaviour this week, emotional, scared and confused, but then I gave myself some slack.
I am emotional, scared and confused, but despite that all, I am jumping in, even if I do feel like I am jumping in blind with no idea, I am jumping in anyhow.
Courage is not something that only I can take credit for this week, I have to say that I am so thankful for the kind, loving support from my friends, family and especially my lovely husband.
Everyone has been so supportive, and encouraging, and sometimes having a support team like that is just what you need to spur you on to do what needs to be done.
There have been many moments this week that I have not believed in myself, or my ability to make this new situation work correctly, but then I get the odd text or email from someone saying “I believe in you, you can do this”
Or my husband whispering to me at the end of the day:
“It will be ok, we will work it all out in the end”
And so I start believing too, no matter how scared I am of what lays ahead for us, it will work out in the end, we will make sure of it.