Merging Homes

Joanne Te Paiho, October 2012

Tena Koutou. It has been some time since my last column; I hope the winter months have been kind to you all. I took some much needed space away from my work over the winter period, to make some changes, rejuvenate, do some work around my internal world and lay to rest some of my historical journey. You could say that I've been away doing my eat, love and pray thing. This has turned out to be a life changing event in redefining what is most important to me. One of the things I discovered along the way was that I previously had little time, to be a Nana to my three grandsons. With work obligations and parenting responsibilities and looking after me, this very important role barely got a look in. Although I was about in intervals, for the boys and my daughter, I didn't have a lot to give at the end of my hectic weeks.

I can now happily report that this Nana role has been ignited in me, after having merged homes with my daughter and her three very busy little men. This is still in the transition stages, and has been a rough and tumble kind of ride. Bringing two families together is not a straight forward venture, as we have all rather abruptly recently found out.

My daughter and I have very different ideas around the domesticated areas of our home; I say that that with some emphasis around the word different, so we have had to work really hard to find a balance that works for both of us. We are still in the process of doing this. And I guess it's here that I want to relay to anyone who is planning to engage in a similar living experience, know, that it is a process and that having patience is a must. Being two very strong headed woman, this has been fraught with much conflict, and at times, timeout has been called. This has helped to take a breath, some time to discover new ways to do things, and the opportunity to come back together, hopefully, fresher and with some renewed goals in place.

I guess, the preciousness and the gems of this new living experience are wide and varied. The one that comes to mind as I write this, is waking up to my oldest grandson standing next to my bed at about 6 am watching and waiting patiently as I stir awake, just so he can have morning hugs and cuddles. If he has had to wait too long he will just lightly begin to tap me on the shoulder and gently shake me awake or just slide in beside me. He also said to me, on arriving to our new home, that now he doesn't have to miss me because he can see me every day. Not long after he stirs me awake, he is closely followed by his younger sibling, who jumps in on the other side for his morning hugs. My baby grandson,(who on hearing me call him a baby, would be sternly telling me in no uncertain terms, I not a baby, I a big boy) is still fast asleep. From the rebellious screams that echo from his room when being dressed for his busy day at day-care, it has been clearly established that he is not a morning person. So it is all fun and games in our Whare at the moment, some days being more fun than others. I will keep you all updated with any new developments on my home front, and for any fellow travellers out there, I would love to hear of your experiences and maybe some words of wisdom you may have to share with us all. One thing I have learnt recently, is that this whole parenting thing is such a journey that continues to evolve as we grow and take on board new tools. Having an openness to change and learning new ways of doing stuff seems to be a must on this parenting pathway. As parents, we all have something unique to share and learn from each other.

Take care all, and remember to either come in and see us here at Parentline, Community House, King Street or give us a call on 06 355 1655, if we can support you in your parenting journey.

Nga Mihi Kia Koutou

Jo Te Paiho