During the recent storms, our house was flooded. The dirty water came down the street, picking up debris as it came, down our driveway and through every room in the house. The water level outside on the road was so high, it went over the bottom of the doors in our car and flooded it, on its way to the house.
The water left debris and sewage, in most rooms, to a height of 20 cms up the walls and furniture.
The insurance arranged emergency accommodation for a couple of days. As adults, we can handle living in a strange place and facing a bit of uncertainty, but as parents, all we want is for our children to be comfortable and not feel scared.
Every three days we had to pack everything up, try to get the kids to school on time, then wait for the phone call to tell us where we were living for the next few nights. Needless to say, for three weeks the uncertainty and effort to keep some sort of normality and routine for the kids was draining.
However, when a Tuckerbox delivery arrived for us, I felt guilty and embarrassed.
I felt guilty because we hadn’t lost anything! We were insured and the only thing we were suffering with was a break in our routine. I felt embarrassed that someone thought we needed a handout.
For those of you who are unsure of what the Tuckerbox program is, it is a completely anonymous food delivery to a parent, that someone nominates as needing a bit of support. In my case I received a bag with three family meals in takeaway containers, a box of muesli bars and a few other items to put in the kids lunch boxes for a few days. The delivery contains something different each time depending on the family situation.
Once the embarrassment and guilt had subsided a little, I started to realise what a help this delivery was.
With everything else to have to think about and prioritise, the last thing on my mind was going grocery shopping, either for dinner or for the kids packed lunches.
I can’t explain what a relief it is when you are literally frazzled, to find a home cooked meal ready to go, easily on the table to feed the family. Or when there is a snack to give to the kids, even when I haven’t managed to get to the shops.
I guess the point of this is to say Thank You to the school community and to say that everyone needs help at some point, even if they don’t like to admit it.
The Tuckerbox program is a fantastic initiative, supported by the best school. It is there to support each other. I am sure I am not alone when I felt guilty and embarrassed. I am also sure I am not alone when I felt a sense of relief when my kids had a hot meal on the first night.