Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Parenting from abroad.

Our youngest child is in boarding school in the UK, having returned there from South Africa in 2013 ready to start his GCSE's. On July 6th 2017, his school days will be over and we can pat ourselves on the backs for successfully raising 5 children into adulthood, who currently still all talk to us, so we've done something right.

Our children have not gone to University, but they have gone into careers with further training. Our eldest child is disabled and in a care home in the UK. 2 of the boys joined the British Army and 1 went into hospitality. The 3 boys all had accommodation with their employment, 2 have now moved on, changed jobs and have their own homes, living with their girlfriends. 1 is still in the army, but the youngest is an altogether different challenge for us now.

The 2 older boys left home, from our home, the family home in the UK. We were at hand to help them move, prepare them for their move, move them in and have them visit on weekends, or us to them. The 1 who is still in the army, left home from South Africa and moved 6000 miles away to make his application, living with family while he waited for his starting date. He however asked all his questions from me, but he knew what he wanted to do, where he wanted to go and then he was off. We attended his passing out parade in Catterick and he moved on his own to Northern Ireland, where he has made a new life for himself, mates, a car and a girlfriend.

I stopped parenting on a daily basis in 2014 when the last child left home and then we moved from South Africa to Dubai. I went through empty nest syndrome, but I guess a move from one country to another softened the blow a little.

The youngest is proving to be a bit more difficult in regards to his future. He is applying for apprenticeships, we have no idea where in the UK he will end up living and working and we need to be there to help/sort him out over the coming months.

So on July 6th 2017 I will become a full time mum again to an 18 year old, an adult. We have a base in South Wales which I'll be moving into in mid June. I'll be staying in the UK until his apprenticeship starts, paying his deposit for somewhere to live and purchasing the basic items he will need.

I'm hoping we can get him a room in a house, with his own tenancy agreement, bills included, so he can start life with everything he needs, no additional bills to pay and his own space where he can feel relaxed, safe and comfortable as he transitions from the safety and security of boarding school, where he has had a slightly more sheltered life than his 3 older brothers.

I will find returning to Dubai difficult, as I won't be there for him to pop home to see on weekends, bringing washing or just wanting a home cooked meal.

I was able to be there and do just that for the 2 oldest boys, but not the youngest 2 and being so far away, makes it difficult for me to manage.

Not managing my children's lives, but managing my emotions as I go through yet another transitional stage in my life.


16 comments:

  1. Oh that must be so hard! I think we all feel bereft when our teens head off to uni but at least there they have a support network of staff and other students. I hope all goes well for him - and you x #tweensteensbeyond

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  2. It sounds like you have it all planned out...It sounds like your boy will have a great start to his adult life. It must be so hard for you to not be there for him. Good luck x
    #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. it is difficult, but we'll get there, I'm sure

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  3. It must be tough, but I hope he gets an apprenticeship and you can get him settled while you're over in the UK. Good luck!

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    1. I'm going to be spending a lot more time in the UK for sure

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  4. 'They are all still talking to us' was what stood out for me here. Well done you. You have most definitely done something right - it's clearly working. I have much admiration with the way you have managed your large family across different locations. Wales next eh? Maybe we will get to see you! Thanks for sharing at #tweensteensbeyond

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    1. I'm going to be in the UK for a while and if I get him sorted asap, I'll be free for a bit of travelling

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  5. Suzanne you sound like you have done a brilliant job and it is clear you are committed to making sure they all benefit from your support when needed. My parents lived in Singapore & Dubai when I went to University but despite the distance I always knew they were there for me. Good luck with helping your youngest find his feet. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. thank you, it's good to hear others managed

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  6. It sounds like you are well prepared for this stage in his life. I am sure you will both cope well with whatever is ahead for you.
    #TriumphantTales

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  7. Suzanne you are the queen of transitions, you have been through many and I value your sage advice. I can see that this is a big one as it involves a youngest child. I hope it all works out. I live in Cardiff! Drop me a message on twitter when you get here I'd love to meet up! Thanks so much for joining us at #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. thank you, would love to pop over and meet you

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  8. Wow I don't know how you do it. Being so far away from them must be hard at times. But it sounds like you have done a great job as they all sound fiercely independent. Well done. I hope the UK weather treats you well. Thanks for joining in at #TriumphantTales, hope to see you back tomorrow.

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    1. the uk weather is killing me, who would have thought it eh?

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