A couple of years ago, things were really tough at home. My parents were fighting a lot and in the end they split up and my dad left. It was hard on all of us, but especially my mum. She now had me and my two little brothers to take care of on her own, while still holding down a job.
We all had to get used to life without our dad. As the oldest, I felt responsible to help my mum where I could, but all I did was argue with her and cry about our situation. This didn’t make things any better. I soon began to realise that sulking would not solve anything and that I wasn’t the only one feeling sad and trying to deal.
So I changed my attitude. One afternoon I decided to help my little brother with his homework, while I did mine. He felt important sitting next to me and I felt great knowing my mum wouldn’t have to do it with him when she got home from a long day at work. I continued to help him and my mum said she was really grateful. I also offered to take turns with my mum reading bedtime stories to my youngest brother and I started helping in the kitchen during mealtimes – setting the table, chopping veggies and washing dishes. I even asked our aunty to show me some easy recipes I could make for dinner to give my mum a break every now and then. It was so great to surprise her with dinner on the table when she walked in the door!
Things are much better at home now – and the best part is that my mum and I are closer than ever. We still have arguments every now and then, but we’ve supported each other to bounce back from a really tough time. No matter what happens we always have each other.
I’ve learnt that family is really important, and if we all stay positive and work together, we can get through anything.