Can you tell I'm a little excited? I've been seriously lacking in writing during the school year, because school funnels writing away, and seriously after writing and editing umpteen papers, the last thing I want to do is to be on a computer. But it's summertime. The kiddies are off in a few days, vacations starts, pool parties, patio nights, long lazy days, and I finally got the urge to write again.
As most of you know, I'm studying Child and Youth Work. For those who don't know what the hell we do, we basically work with kids. More often than not, we work with kids who have problems. Whether developmental, behavioural, socio-economic, legal etc. We're pretty spread across the board. Schools, group homes, community agencies, detention centres, children's aid or equivalent.
It's exciting learning and practicing and working with children. A lot of it was stuff you instinctively know as a parent, some of it came from growing up in a high risk community, some of it came from my previous work and there is a whole bunch of new things that connect all the dots.
What's challenging though is being a CYW and a parent. I mean its good because it's harder for my kids to outsmart me. It's great because I have a new understanding of how local schools work, what resources are available and can better make a judgment on how well a school is performing socially. It's hard because I tend to over think some things. It's hard because when I'm in my kids schoolyard, I want to participate with the kids. It's hard because parents ask me for advice, and I'm caught between a rock and a hard place.
One of the hardest things is separating the mother from the worker. I want to nurture every child, make everything better, and I worry when I come home. I went through my placement this year having a very difficult time decompressing and it added a lot of unnecessary stress, which ultimately affected my physical health. Thankfully this year's placement looks a lot more positive with better support for debriefing and such.
The best though has been the community and the brilliant things I have picked up and has enriched the lives of my kids. I've made amazing friends, I have a giant network of childcare in a pinch and I know they'd be awesome. lol I've also brought so many games and ideas and fun back to my children it's made life great. I love that I can go to a school talent show and genuinely enjoy and get shivers from the hard work these kids have done, the immense talent, the amazing support they receive from their peers, and the ability to be in awe of how great they are. It's also given me an opportunity to understand my kids more, to see their needs and put a larger scope to it. It also makes me grateful for how easy I have it as a parent. When I see parents out there struggling with real issues for their children, suddenly those 6am squabbles between brothers don't seem to be such a huge problem.
That said, I'm still excited for summer, largely because I get to spend time with my children. To enjoy their discoveries, play silly games, appreciate their quirks (my boys are weird, but it works for them and I love it) and soak in all the time and sunshine I can with them.