After struggling off and on for 3 years we knew that we were at breaking point as a family and needed help with our daughter of 4 years old. We had tantrums, spitting, lashing out, problems with things having to be a particular way, not getting dressed… the list goes on. We questioned ourselves daily on what to do next and I spent hours researching what I thought was wrong with her and convincing myself that she had ADHD or Autism. Every morning we had a fear of what we were waking up to and how we would tackle it as part of our busy everyday lives.
It was having a major impact on our relationship with our 17 year old son. We were blaming him for losing his temper when his sister was in the wrong claiming “he was the adult” and should know better. We were hiding from the fact that what she was doing was wrong. Were we bad parents as we didn’t know what to do? Had we given in too many times when all we wanted was to give them a solid family unit and nice memories?
In our desperate need I emailed Katherine and arranged a call. Katherine called when she said she would. As a Mum I felt embarrassed having to ask a stranger for help. What would she think of us failing and not being able to control our child? I spoke to Katherine for 15 minutes and she explained what the problem was. How could someone be so confident from a single call? She explained her job and how it would work if she came to stay with us. At no point was I pressured to book her. She told me to speak to my husband and think about what she had said. I instantly warmed to her and my preconceptions disappeared but my husband was sceptical. How can someone make a difference in 3 days? What if we spend this money and it doesn’t work? We’re having a stranger live with us, what will she do?
Things started to get better at home. Did we really need Katherine now? But the problems soon returned and we knew we really did need her. The night before she arrived I felt ill, worrying what she would think of the behaviour she might or might not witness – would our child be on her best behaviour for 3 days so Katherine wouldn’t see the struggles we faced?
When Katherine arrived I felt relief. Things couldn’t get any worse and I needed every bit of help from her as soon as possible. Within 5 minutes of walking in she could see the problems. Something again I was surprised about. She instantly started advising us on how to resolve these situations and how to break the problems down. We did not have to worry about our daughter being on her best behaviour – she well and truly pulled out every naughty stop.
Katherine immediately fitted into our home, we didn’t feel judged on our parenting skills, questioned, or that we had made the wrong choices. Nothing fazed her at all. It was like having a family member staying with us. We couldn’t have imagined that we would be so relaxed having someone we had never met in our home. When the 3am tantrums started, Katherine was up, providing advice and helping us through it, and then back up at 6am. This was not something we had even anticipated she would do.
The 3 days were emotionally draining both physically and mentally but we knew we had to stick with it. We started to put in place the things that Katherine was suggesting straight away and were always asking for her reassurance. After only 24 hours we could see a change. On Katherine’s last day I felt worried about what would happen when she left – would we all slip into our old ways? Would we remember everything? We shouldn’t have worried as she prepared a full report for us. I actually felt emotional, like my friend was leaving. This is how at ease she makes you feel.
Life in our home is 200% better now, we know how to deal with the situations we couldn’t handle before. Our daughter has structure, we can control the tantrums confidently and get the result we want just by following the advice and guidance that Katherine gave us. Our home is now a happy home, something friends and family have noticed. My only regret is not booking Katherine sooner, knowing what I know now I wouldn’t have hesitated.
Thank you Katherine. Truly a professional, caring and genuine person that we will always remember and think in our heads “what would Katherine do?”.