Sisters we need to talk..

About managing expectations.

A Huge Thank You!

Firstly we just want to say a HUGE thank you to each and every one of you who has chosen to offer homes to those fleeing the war in Ukraine. Generosity and kindness like this not often found on this scale in our modern lives…this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a real difference.

We do however need to be realistic in expectations and not add extra pressure to something that is already a big upheaval for both sides.

Things to consider:

🌻 People have not chosen to leave Ukraine. Yes we know that they HAVE chosen to on some levels but it is not a free choice in the way that we might to choose to move to a different county. It is a choice to save their lives and all will be leaving behind friends, relations and homes which they don’t know if it will be possible to see again. This brings a huge burden with it…..given a real choice almost all would have chosen to continue with their lives as they were before 24th February.

🌻 People are traumatised. Not only by things that they may have seen and heard before arriving or by fear of what may but by the very nature of having to leave all that is familiar and come to a strange country where you may not even understand any of the language.

🌻 Social systems and culture differences are real. It has become apparent to many that the way we do things is often quite different here than in Ukraine and this can be confusing – even for those living in Britain now having to navigate government systems that we previously may not have experienced has brought new challenges.

🌻 People are independent adults, not children. This may seem obvious but at the start of this year the families arriving here were all living independent lives, making their own decisions and choices and following their own path. Whilst we realise there needs to be compromise from everyone to live together, recognising this freedom of choice puts that into context a bit.

🌻 Relationships take time and work. Another really obvious one…..but ask yourself who here expected their family to arrive and slot straight into the role of new daughter / sister / grandchild / mother / best friend? Something to think about and recogise that if this doesn’t happen it’s no ones fault and it is not a failure – it’s just people being people.

🌻 The nature of gratitude. This is a tough one. Everyone likes to see their efforts and sacrifices acknowledged and appreciated, absolutely we do. However sometimes saying thank you all the time loses its meaning, acting like a visitor on ‘best behaviour’ for 6 months is not sustainable and people with the best intentions will not agree on everything. The biggest gift you can give someone is freedom and space to heal and to grow in whatever way they need to – and the knowledge that you have changed (and perhaps even saved) someone’s life is something to hold inside where words are not needed.

If we all go into this experience with an open mind (and heart) then it will always be a success even if things don’t turn out as we expect.

#weneedtotalk #expectations #reality

Just to note: we are happy for the text of these posts to be shared to other groups if you think they are helpful, as long as they are shared accurately

"Sisters we need to talk about..." Is a series of discussion topics hosted by Sunflower Sisters on their private community group on Facebook.  The group is open to ladies only and is a support group for both sponsors and guests, you can take part in the debate by joining our private community homepage by clicking the button below.

This topic was originally debated on Facebook on 05/09/2022