When you look up mother in the dictionary it reads: female parent of a child.

When you look up boarder, it simply reads: a child who lives away from home.

So, put “boarder mother” together and we have: the female parent of a child who lives away from home – if only it were that simple.

My definition of boarding mother is: a strong, dedicated unbelievably great female parent of a child who has the wisdom to put her son’s educational needs, wellbeing and lifelong endeavours before her own. A woman who journeys with her son for every change in life, is there for every hallmark moment as well as everyday life moments, but sometimes from a distance.

A boarding mother teaches her son to be passionate about life by sending him to a school where he has unlimited opportunities. We have unconditional love for our sons, we teach them lifelong lessons and never stop caring.

We give undying, unending support. We trust out sons, we trust boarding staff. We are always there, whether physically or over the phone. Boarding mothers have incredible inner strength.

Perhaps the definition of a boarding mother should also read: a female who has the ability not to pass out from the fumes emitted when she opens her son’s suitcase after a term away at school.

Boarding mums are simply amazing. We know the sadness that comes with dropping our son’s to school and we also know the joy of having him back for holidays. We carry the load well, but it doesn’t mean the load isn’t heavy.

For me, being a boarding mother at TGS was always a lifelong dream and the past six years have been wonderful for Clancy. I will be ever so thankful to TGS for Clancy’s boarding journey. He has been blessed by warm and dedicated boarding staff and the experiences in boarding have given him lifelong skills that will enable him to cope beyond school. TGS boarding, in partnership with parents, produces outstanding young men. Men of good character, a wicked sense of humour and good grounding.

My first experience with TGS boarding was 11 years ago when I came to pick up my nephew, Sam. I was greeted by a tennis ball bouncing down the stairs of Stephens House, followed by a cry of “Howzat!” At that moment I knew I had picked the right school. It was a cold, rainy day the boys were ‘being boys’ and playing cricket up the hallway of the boarding house.

There was a polite boy who stopped and asked if I needed help and then a Head of House who genuinely cared but, didn’t sugar coat things and tell me my nephew was fine. He told me Sam had been struggling but he was getting better.

That’s what I wanted for Clancy. A boarding school that was going to be honest, straight to the point and caring and let boys be boys!

It hit home for me just a couple of weeks ago that this dream is now coming to an end. It was a Sunday afternoon and was raining lightly, as I got out of my car, I had a giggle at the boys running around in the rain playing touch footy, being boys! The music blaring was Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream it’s Over” - a sure sign my perfect dream is coming to an end.

I have loved every moment of being a boarding mother at TGS. Yes, there has been a few ups and downs, but it’s been a very positive experience and I have always felt well supported by parents. It’s been an honour and privilege to be President of the Boarding Parents Support group for the past five years. The School has always valued my opinions, whether they be my own or on behalf of the Boarder Parents’ Support Group.

All boarder mums have been through homesickness, the teary phone calls, the happy phone calls, the ups and downs of it all, and we are all watching our boys grow and flourish at this great School.

We are TGS Boarder Mums! We have our boys at one of the best boarding schools in the country and at Toowoomba Grammar School we produce outstanding fine young men. We are not a school with boarders, we are a boarding school. We really are lucky mums.

- Kym Wright,
Year 12 mum and President of TGS Boarder Parents’ Support Group (2018-23)

Kym Wright and some TGS boarding mums

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