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Cindy, Clorissa, Ashlee, Brandon and Chad

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Cindy, Clorissa, Ashlee, Brandon and Chad

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Cindy Callender is still learning to juggle work and four children. But with planning and sticking to a routine, life has become easier. It also helps that her children – Clorissa, 14; Ashlee, 12; and Brandon and Chad, 11, are a big help to her and each other.
With a demanding job as a meter tester, Cindy, and husband of 15 years Victor Callender, has set up a routine that entails up by 4 a.m. making breakfast and getting lunches ready; getting them in and out the bathroom and out the house for school. Then collecting them from school if needs be. As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses going to meetings and preaching forms part of their lives. Then making preparations for the following day and finally getting to bed by at least 11 p.m. Wednesday and Friday are laundry days.
Life has changed much for Cindy, and as she laments about the many grey hairs she has found, for her the most rewarding thing about being a parent is that she has the “opportunity to shape four young minds and to instill wholesome values in them so that hopefully they will become responsible adults in this society.”
On the flip side, Cindy finds that she has to be aware of the negative influences in society and so “I have to be constantly drilling what is right into their heads hoping and praying that most of it will remain with them and they would always make the right decisions when any situation arises.
“One thing that can cause stress is being able to provide adequately for their needs whether spiritually or materially. Apart from that [there is] having to run around doing drop offs and pickups for the activities that they may be involved in and somehow they always find something to be involved in,” she said smiling.
The kids are playful with each other and during the interview Chad had to get his shoes from the car. Clorissa went for them. Cindy says now that the children have grown older it allows her more time for herself. She looks forward to hair appointments and the occasional show or the movies which was difficult when they were younger. On occasions the girls have made breakfast and Chad ensures “that when we come home he will wait for me until I come in so as to ensure that I am safe and all of them have given me flowers.”
Cindy recalls a funny moment when the kids were smaller and the family was moving house the children all packed themselves in a box. Cindy says family time is important and every year the family goes to different places of interest in Barbados and also goes for drives.
Cindy had uneventful pregnancies – Clorissa was born a day after due date. Ashlee, a week after her due date and the boys were born at 38 weeks and they were 6lbs14ozs and 6lb 4ozs. For the gender of the girls it was neither here nor there for Cindy but for the twins she was curious. She admits that with her third pregnancy she had a bout of depression.
“When I found out I was pregnant for the third time it was a bit depressing since the other two were still young but I was in total shock after the doctor suggested I was having twins. I must admit I cried. I was wondering how I would handle the challenge that I now faced. But I remember my mother told me not to worry just to put my trust in Jehovah and everything will work out. But it certainly turned out to be a joy.”
She has many memories of them growing up – seeing them move from nursery (emotional days) to primary school to the easier transition of secondary school. With age comes more talking Cindy says – “from the explanation of why, where, what and who to the dos and don’ts to explaining why you say yes or no to their requests.”
Cindy is looking forward to her children being adults and excelling at their goals. She wants them to remain lovers of Jehovah and keep serving him. She says she couldn’t have raised them without the support of family and friends. For the first year and a half of their lives her mother-in-law kept them until they went to nursery. She also gets a helping hand from members of the congregation when they attend meetings.
“Renee and Rhea are two cousins who would keep them for a week from the time they were small. So without family and friends it would have been much more difficult.”