Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

A life less ordinary

on September 26, 2013

My last blog post, inspired by a linky from another blogger Katie at Mummy, Daddy, Me. has really got me thinking back to my old job.

I was a Personal Advisor to Care Leavers, many of whom were parents themselves. All of whom were aged 16-24.
I can not shake the feeling that an ‘ordinary moment’ for me would be something that many of them could hardly dream of, let alone achieve and that makes me feel a whole myriad of emotions.
  • Sadness that anyone of the young people I worked with as well as countless others I didn’t, face such a struggle.
  • Gratitude that my little family and I are so lucky.
  • Concern over why the system that cares for and supports children, young people and families really isn’t doing a good enough job and
  • Uncertainty about what I can do to help now I am no longer a part of that system.
The job of a personal advisor is stressful, poorly paid, an emotional mine field and incredibly, incredibly rewarding.
No one goes into the role for the money so you tend to find yourself working with like-minded individuals who really care and want to make a serious and lasting difference to the young people they meet.
But you can’t always do that.
This week alone the news has reported on two horrifying cases of child abuse and neglect and those are just some of the cases that have come to light. There will be many, many more incidences of children that are the same age as mine, the same age as yours, that aren’t being nurtured and cherished and loved as they deserve to be tonight.
Children that will go to school tired or hungry or dirty or hurting thanks to their parents or caregivers.
In the UK.
In the 21st century.
And they are the babies that can become the teenagers that skip school, hang around, go on benefits, have children really young and begin the whole cycle again.
They can become the feuding friends on Jeremy Kyle, the groups that you cross the road to avoid and the mums that you feel aren’t really ‘your cup of tea’.
If you are really honest with yourself for a minute you can picture exactly who you think it is I am talking about.
No one starts life like that.
I can not bring myself to believe that anyone has a child thinking- ooh- I really hope I mess this up, but they do. It happens and, those parents can be from any walk of life.
On a different day, dealt a different deck, it could have been you.
Every time I think that I am having a rough time when my husband is away I take a reality check and imagine for a minute how much tougher it would be if:
  • I didn’t have a loving relationship with the girl’s father
  • I didn’t have a loving supportive network of friends and family available to help and listen whenever I needed.
  • The only examples of parenting I had to go on were like a blueprint of ‘how not to do it’
  • I was literally half the age I am now.
  • I was living in a damp, one bed council flat on the 14th floor with two broken lifts
  • I never, ever got a break or some time to myself.
And I realise that I haven’t got a clue.
Lots of Love,
PS- as you can probably sense from this post, this is a big passion for me and I intend, through my blog to help build a picture of a life in, and after care for young people in the hope of raising awareness and understanding and hopefully, being able to help in some way.
As ever, your thoughts, comments, stories and suggestions are very welcome.  🙂

5 responses to “A life less ordinary

  1. Sue Bryant says:

    I am a 67 year old grandmother of 7 who thoroughly enjoys reading your posts. A very thoughtful one today and I so identified with your feelings. x


    • Mumaleary says:

      Thank you so much Sue. I have been so deeply affected by the news of the last week or so and I will never forget the young people that I have met and worked with so far in my career. I think that knowledge and understanding are key (as is lots of love)
      Glad you like the blog. X


  2. Emily says:

    Bang on the money as always Leary.

    Being a PA was the toughest job I have ever had and was often like banging my head against a brick wall. Seeing the struggle any of the young people had and the red tape they got caught up in and the hoops they had to jump through for things we take for granted, and sometimes just how they were treated by some (often those with ‘power’ over basic essentials and decisions) was heartbreaking.

    Some of them were far from angels, but remembering how they got to that point would, as you have said, give you a reality check and make you think whether you would be any different if that was you.

    On the other hand, I also met some of the most fantastic, caring, determined, intelligent, and strong willed young people in my life who reminded me everyday why I did the job, and, why I continue to love working with young people.
    Lots of love and keep up the good work! X
    (My sentence structure is not great but when Ittried to sort it out the cursor went nuts and wouldn’t go where I want it! Grr)


  3. […] my life as a mummy and the lives that some care leaving parents live. You can have a read of it here if you […]


  4. […] my life as a mummy and the lives that some care leaving parents live. You can have a read of it here if you […]


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