Happy to be a housemother – Aunt Judy, Chai Wan Small Group Home
In July, Ming Pao interviewed one of our housemothers — Aunt Judy. She has worked in the Home for 11 years. This interview re...
In July, Ming Pao interviewed one of our housemothers — Aunt Judy. She has worked in the Home for 11 years. This interview revealed her feeling of being a housemother. It is an excellent article for supporters of the Home to get to know more about us. Having permitted by Mingpao, we would like to share the article with you.
Aunt Judy (Judy Cheung) of Chai Wan Small Group Home was awarded the Outstanding Staff Award. In these 11 years, besides taking care of her own children, she also needs to take care of the children who live in the Small Group Home, lacking parental care. She not only accompanies them, but also gives them guidance.
With eyes like meniscus, Aunt Judy always looks like smiling and has a kind mother appearance. She is mother of two sons, aged 20 and 12 respectively. Together with her husband, four of them live in the Small Group Home and look after 8 children of the Home. Since the children will move in and out, she has been the “mother” of over 30 “children” in the years.
Looking after 30 children in 11 years
Aunt Judy remembered that when her second child was born, she wanted to work again. Knowing that the Home was recruiting housemother, her husband encouraged her to give it a try. However, she did not even know what Small Group Home meant. “In the very beginning, I thought the job nature was to look after 8 children. I wondered if I could do it or not.” Soon, she realized that she not only needed to do the housework, but also needed to care of them, being a “real mother”.
“Both my husband and I come from big families with lots of siblings living nearby and playing together. So, I don't mind if the children are noisy. Instead, I won't get used to if they are too quiet.” Though there was no big problem in adjusting the new living, Judy still needed to start a topic with the children at the very beginning.
The youngest son became the bridge of communication
On the first day of being a housemother, after saying “hello” to the children, she moved back to her room embarrassingly without saying anything. At that time, her youngest son helped her break the ice. “My son felt bored, so he climbed out from the room. He was so lovely that he attracted some girls playing with him. After that, we started having something to chat and became closer.”
Until now, her youngest son is still the communication media, but in another way. “When I blame him, the other 8 will learn.” Whenever these children are naughty, Aunt Judy will scold her son as warning to others. “Everyone has emotions. Parents always get stirred up by their children. When they are naughty, you will be furious. When they make you laugh, you will be very happy.”
It is those who have already left the Home that make her worried the most. “Two to three of them always called back and some not so often. But some of them have not shown up anymore after leaving the Home. They do not want you to know about their living. But you cannot help worrying about them.”
Still worries those grown up
Until now, Aunt Judy keeps concerning for the children because of her promise. “At that time, I was closer with the girls. They requested me to be their housemother until they left. I thought that they were just secondary students, it would be a long time before they could leave the Home. I keep my promise until now.”
Most of the children in the Home lack parental care, so all of them treat Aunt Judy as their dear one. Her children would contact her when they were available. Sometimes, they would give her a gift. “Girls have more to share. They will give you some hand-made flowers or stars on special days.” What message did the gifts present? “Forget it! So embarrassing! It is something like I am so lucky to meet you, etc." The messages are the secret between the housemother and the children.
“Aunt Judy is nice but harsh!”
One of the Form 3 students who has just been transferred to a band one secondary school said, “What I said in the school interview were taught by Aunt Judy. I can successfully transfer to the new school is because of Aunt Judy.” He said, even everyone thinks that his success is because of his performance.
“Aunt Judy is good but harsh!” said by one of the children. Hearing this, Aunt Judy walked away with a smile.
Article quoted from Ming Pao on 26 July 2005