first family I visited was a family with four children, the eldest
being 7. I also had 4 children with a seven year age gap so I was in
my comfort zone. The mum was extremely able and competent as a mum so
it was more a case of just that little bit of additional help,
particularly adult company and helping a bit with the children.
My second family was totally different experience; a single young
mum with two children under 3. I thought I had got it sussed what
being a single mum was because my husband worked abroad a lot and my
own daughter is a single mum with two little children. I thought I
knew what the different issues were but I didnít at all.
This particular mum herself hasnít had a supportive upbringing in a
family environment and I didnít realise beforehand what a huge impact
that has had on her ability to parent her children. She did not feel
loved by her mother and she needs the love from her two little
children, so the whole thing of setting boundaries becomes vastly
I have done a lot of talking with Janice, my Co-ordinator because
it is out of my comfort zone and I have no experience of this kind of
family situation. I have visited and played with her children when she
did not know how to play with them and it is in situations like these
that we donít realise how much we learn to parent from the way our own
parents and grandparents are with us as children.
I would say to someone who was thinking of volunteering Ė well go
for it! The preparation training is very thorough and equips you for
all sorts of situations, and the Co-ordinators are always there if we
are not sure what to do next.