Tag Archives: parenting teens

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman – a rant

Its been quite the week for female rants in our house . Quite a collaboration too , all 3 of us females here have each had a whinge about one thing or another .

Share you say ? Unburden yourselves ?

Dont mind if we do….

Earlier in the week teen girl came home with a touch of the outrage about her. This is nothing unusual but this time she had something pretty meaty to get her teeth into. 
An initiative in school had been launched to encourage more elder girls back into sport and exercise . Teen girl is the sporty type and was happy to have something new to try. However …this initiative Fit for Prom was a lunchtime fitness class for elder girls a brilliant idea with an awful name and message. Teen girl and her friends found the Fit for Prom message to be nothing more than a dangerous message that actually if you weren’t slender , toned and ‘fit’  then you shouldn’t really be going to prom. It gives me hope that this group of girls saw fit to take it up with the teacher.
Thankfully the girls PE teacher agreed with them wholeheartedly and said she felt uncomfortable with it too! Apparently this initiative was funded to allow school to put on these extra fitness class. They agreed to keep the funding ,drop the name and keep the class. Worryingly when researching Fit For Prom I found hundreds of articles on how to lose weight quick for Prom , how to tone up for your dress (all aimed at girls of course the boys just need to show up) 

I’m all for encouraging teen girls into sport but using the kind of body shaming that stops them participating in the first place is beneficial to no one.

So….we’ve dealt with this best we can. 

Then comes….lady Doritos….

*Sigh , tut, eye roll , bang head against wall*

If you missed it there was much talk of a new kind of dorito being launched , just for us ladies. Handbag size bags , they wouldn’t crunch loudly or leave ‘dorito dust’ on your hands . Us feminine ladies do not like crunchy crisps or licking our fingers don’t you know!!!

As you can imagine this went down a storm in our house. 

Me : Bloody patriarchy trying to literally silence us.

Teen Girl : Well I’ll just get crunchy ones and crunch triply loud.

Small girl : Licking your fingers is the BEST bit!!!

We don’t want lady Doritos here!

It transpired that these were not going to become a thing , everyone involved denied all knowledge and it was all a big misunderstanding (of course) I’ve read maybe it was a publicity stunt ,get us girls talking about Doritos. I’ll not be getting them again.

Sigh…..let’s see what this week brings in the way of female rants…

PS Dear Doritos,

If you really want to improve your product I’ve a few suggestions:

a) Make it so your razor sharp edges don’t dig right in your gums.

b) Add a slight curve to aid salsa dipping

c) Ditch the BBQ rib flavour

d) Don’t big yourself up with your noisy crunch. Wheat Crunchies blow you out of the water.

Thanks , a lady x


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A little bit in awe of teen girl , an instinctive feminist…

My teenage daughter , she won’t mind me saying , has previous for being a bit of a pain in the arse. I wrote this a while back about why , although it can be frustrating I don’t necessarily see it as being a solely bad thing.

I suffer great mum bias of course but as well as being kind and funny and beautiful and ridiculously cool in a way I certainly was not at 14 she just seems to ‘get it’. 

I would certainly label myself as feminist and maybe some of my preaching that I often feel is falling on deaf ears to all 4 of them is filtering down after all but she’s an instinctive feminist. I think I learnt feminism. I think I saw things happening in the world I didn’t like and then looked to people more knowledgeable than myself to ask questions to and to ask what I should be reading and what I could do as an individual to help.

Eldest girl though , she just seems to know it , she feels it . I’m in awe of that.

The other day we were walking back from the shop. Chatting about the new bank notes. She mentioned there hadn’t been as much as a fanfare about the new £10 note as there had been the £5. I , said ah that’ll be because there are no men on it! We then spoke about what a struggle it had been to get Jane Austen on the note. I told her about all the vile abuse and threats that campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez had received throughout the campaign to get a woman on the note. 
My daughter’s response came immediately.

 “Well you know why that is don’t you?”

“Because those men took offence to being excluded” I offered.

“Well yes , but especially excluded from being on money . Those kind of men who behave that way see money as power and certainly don’t want replacing by women.” 

This had never occurred to me . Yes I’d concluded that the men threatening to rape and kill Caroline Criado-Perez for daring to campaign for a female face to join the Queen on our currency were suffering from such fragile masculinity that they couldn’t stand to see men removed from on a bank note. To equate that with money and power being synonymous had passed me by. Not her though.

Her feminism gives me hope. 

Her feminism means she rolls her eyes when comment is passed about why she can’t dress more ‘like a girl’ (” I’m a girl , I’m wearing clothes I AM dressed like a girl”)

Her feminism means when the boys at primary school refused to pass to her on the football team as she was a girl her reaction was to win player of the match rather than have a row.

Her feminism means pulling up girls at school who are telling her friends they should be on one ridiculous diet or another. Telling them they’re spreading dangerous nonsense . I’m super proud she told me she did this whist munching on a chip butty but that’s just me.

Her feminism means pink and blue kinder eggs anger her , that nothing irritates her more than being told she’s ‘ too pretty ‘ to play rugby and should be looking after that face , that has rejected gender stereotyping from being a little , little girl.
Yes she likes the last word , yes she drives her brothers mad winding them up just for fun , yes she’s overly argumentative and yes she has a temper and can strop like a toddler at times. 

I’ve always thought and always said though that this girl can and will change the world one day. 

I think maybe she already is. 




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Fab First born…as you turn 17

Dear J,
So you’re turning 17 and I’m not going to whinge at all that you are getting older. Simply because next year means you’ll be…oh I can’t even go there.

I think and hope you know I’m your biggest fan. So here’s 17 ways you rock at 17.

1) You’re meme king!

I like you send me funny meme’s throughout the day. Makes me feel like I’m oe of the cool kids ,even though I know I’m not.

2) You’re my Doctor Who buddy

The others may question why we watch certain episodes over and over. Not you , even better you can choose the perfect episode to suit the mood!

3) You rock dad jokes

Honestly,they are BAD!! That you find them hilarious though is endearing in itself so we’ll forgive you!

4) Our Sporting Bucket list!

I know I know….you’ve done Wembley with Hull City…hey J tell us that story again in case we missed it the first 678 times??

We’ve a few left though eh? Wimbledon, London Marathon , more Olympics??wait for me!!

5) You’ve lovely manners

Everyone comments on it ….

Actually I’m taking that one , brought up right you see!

6) You’re the best big brother ever

I know you think the dream would be to be an only child,but that’d have been such a waste. You’re great to them all (even S though she drives you nuts!)  You’re a fab role model – though you know that has to be kept up forever now right? Like me and Auntie La? No going off the rails!

7) Additionally you are small girl whisperer

No-one can talk her down from a tantrum like you. Teach me your ways….

8) When you love , you love hard

Harry Potter , snooker, The National Train Museum. Some may say obsessive. I say passionate.

9) You’re interested in the world around you

Not just physically around you either. You’ve an interest and compassion for suffering and people going through hardship and turmoil even if they’re on the other side of the world. Even if you don’t know them. You’ve empathy , a character trait many others could benefit from.

10) You’re a food weirdo (like me)

I still don’t get the lasagne thing. You love bolognaise ,yet won’t touch lasagne even without cheese sauce…which just makes it bolognaise in a different shape surely! Not that I can talk!

11) Your kids TV nostalgia is mine too!

Whatever DID happen to Milo ,Jake ,Bella and Fizz eh?

Did the Rubberdubba’s EVER get a peaceful bath?

What the hell was The Shiny Show all about??

And yes ,the guy from Raven scared the life out of me too!

12) You’re easy bribed

Entertain small girl , go to the shops , most jobs are do able for the fee of a packet of fizzy fangs!!!

13) Watching you round others makes me proud

You’re chatty and friendly and warm and can usually find common ground with most people. This could turn out to be your most valuable life skill! I like how warm and caring you are with your friends and how you seem to just be a natural with people! I wasn’t when I was your age and really aren’t that much better now.

14) Your opinions give me hope

You’re open-minded , you’re tolerant and you actively want to change things for the better. As do your friends. When the world is an unstable as it is knowing you all are active in your plans to make a difference well it makes me despair that bit less.

15) You don’t think you’re too old or cool to play showtune karaoke with us.


FYI You will NEVER be too old or cool to play showtune karaoke!

16) You’re thoughtful

You have small girl and I’s PJs on the radiator after a rainy school run. You pick out movies or documentaries you think I might like. You take your brother to football matches if his mates arent going. It’s nice to see!

17) You make parenting easy.

Other than that wretched colic at the start ,which drove the pair of us into thinking I wasn’t cut out for this job. You’ve made being a mum pretty painless.

No drama , no trouble,no horrid teenagey strops or awful behaviour (don’t worry I know you’ve still a few teen years left yet and could turn at any minute, I’m not complacent I promise)

I say this often but that’s because it’s true. Being your mum is an absolute delight. I’ve no idea where it all went right with my haphazard parenting style and you being my guinea pig in the world of mum- hood,but it seems to have and I could not be prouder to have you call me mum.
PS….You sure you’re insistent on going AWAY to uni??? …

Love mum xxx

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Rhyming with Wine


The evolution of the Summer Holidays…

I’m noticing a marked change these summer holidays. I’ve barely seen the teens so far. They’ve all developed these weird social life things (must look at getting myself one of those) It’s gotten me to thinking about how the summer holidays have changed.

As a kid summer holidays are the Best.Thing.Ever!!!!!They last forever and you just get to hang out with your friends all day.

Going back to school was always weird though wasn’t it? Did anyone else used to get really nervous first day back to school because you’d not seen a lot of your class mates in so long??

As an adult pre kids , school hols? Whatevs ! Has no impact on my carefree life. I’m just going about my business going to work and such like. Spending my glorious days off mooching around the shops spending money on myself …. except what the hell??? Why are all the shops full of kids?? The little buggers are everywhere running feral round the shops touching everything. They’ve invaded Costa too?? With their sticky fingers and their snotty noses.When I have kids they’re going to be always perfectly turned out and impeccably behaved…. bloody school holidays!

With pre school children well summer holidays matter not one jot. 

Every single day is basically dealing with other people’s bodily fluids on no sleep. Days , weeks , months merge into one long  sleep deprived hallucination. The only reason you know it’s school holidays time is because you can’t go to soft play for a sit down and a crap cup of tea. It’s full of boisterous ‘big kids’ running around like total maniacs!

When you have primary school aged children the holidays are hard work.

Really , really hard work.

Small people expect to be entertained constantly. 

You use up all your good ideas the first week. You’ve done ,cinema , trampolines, fairs ,bowling already. You have to rely on your free stuff for week 2 . The park ,free museums and movie days. You very soon discover there’s no such thing as a free activity where kids are concerned. The park involves ice creams and that bloody bouncy castle ,museums mean souvenirs and even the brilliant movie day plan means snacks aplenty.

By the end of the holidays you are a shell of your former self. Your brain is frazzled by thinking of fun activities. You can see on social media that everyone else went to much more exciting places than the park to chuck stale bread to ducks . Yes you know you’re meant to feed them peas now Ms Concerned of Facebook. Thanks.

Then come the teen years. 

Where we are now.

I kid ye not my eldest texted me a list of dates he and his brother were available for ‘family stuff’ . What with holidays with grandparents , their dad getting married and the very important football fixtures it seems I have a few days beginning of September.
I mean on days when small girl is at daddy’s and it’s just the teens and I the lie ins are awesome! I mean I don’t actually sleep in ,the internal mum alarm clock sees to that. I can though lay on my bed and read undisturbed for an hour. Living the dream right? No one bugs me to go to the park or do painting or play trains anymore. They entertain themselves quite happily.

The downside of course being they’re not really into mums craft ideas or going out skipping. Activities tend to actually cost and contemplating selling a kidney to pay for a theme park become the norm.

I kinda miss them too ( don’t hate me I know some of you would walk over broken glass for an hours peace in the hols)

So yes summer holidays change , not necessarily for the worse or even the better ,just different.

It’ll change again next summer , we’ll be gearing up for the eldest going away to university…..but let’s not talk about that just yet… I’m not ready!!!

Naptime Natter


The identity crisis bucket list! 

Earlier in the month I wrote about how now the children are getting older and a little less dependent I’m feeling wobbly and unsettled about who I am as a woman, not just a mum.

How do you find out who you are though? I’m a bit short on babysitters, time and cash to go off on some retreat of self discovery in the Himalayas for 6 months.

I thought a good place to start was think about things I like doing. The important word being I rather than ‘we’. I know what we like doing as a family. I’ve spent the vast majority of the past 17 years finding things ‘we’ like doing and I really, really hope there are years and years of that to come.

I am lucky though in that I do generally get a weekend a month to myself when my elder kids are with grandma and small girl is with daddy. I’ve even almost a fortnight in the summer holidays – that’s too long though I’ll be moaning about missing the kids by day 3. I’ve gotten better at utilising my child free time though. I did spend years just sitting home whinging about being lonely. I just need to keep doing that, maximising my free time . Try and find that woman that’s tucked away in here, rediscover the passions and interests that don’t lie solely on keeping these gorgeous human beings of mine alive and well.

I did what I always do.
Made a list.
It’s nothing earth shattering or awe inspiring but just a gentle start of remembering or discovering what makes me tick when the kids aren’t around.
Can I share them?

Go camping – on my own

I’m a fan of doing stuff alone. I’m the advocate of the solo date, I enjoy my own company. I’m quite lucky where I live too with the Peak District almost on the doorstep so one weekend when I’m heartlessly abandoned by my children I’m just going to go walking up there. Look at beautiful scenery and collect my thoughts to the picturesque backdrop.

Go to Edinburgh fringe festival

I’ve always wanted to do this. Wall to wall theatre and art. The children are away for over a week during the summer and I’m going to have myself a little holiday and head Northwards for some culture!

*update – did this , wrote about how I came back a changed woman here )

Exercise

Stay with me here I’m not going to go all gym bunny on you. I loathe the thought of running and swimming so much so it actually puts me off doing it. This is really silly because when I do go for a proper run I do enjoy it. Working up a bit of a sweat with just my cringe worthy play list for company always makes me feel really good. Running is great for keeping my anxiety at bay too. So I’m going to stop being a lazy arse and get out there.

Write the book (or at least try)

Everyone has a book I them don’t they say? Mine is just struggling a bit with the getting out part. Do you know why? Because I feel daft. I worry that people would think “bloody hell we have to put up with her shockingly shite writing with her blog – who does she think she is writing a book?”

It could be true. I could invest time and effort only to produce the world’s worst book, but even if this were to be the case well it’d not have hurt anyone would it?

Let’s crack on with that.

Visit new places

I read a short story by Jenny Colgan once called Paris For One. A woman gets stood up by her boyfriend and ends up visiting Paris alone. I’ve wanted to follow suit ever since. I spent my younger years child rearing so have never really seen anywhere I’d have liked to yet. I might not manage Paris but I could start off with some UK cities surely?

So that’s my list so far.

I’ll bore you to death with tales of my adventures ticking them off but I feel so much happier just having written them down. I’ve showed them to you guys too so that means I HAVE to do them right?

So here’s to making the most of child free weekends instead of moaning about abandonment.

After all the children certainly aren’t pining for me when they’re having fun at grandma’s or having adventures with daddy!

Like my Facebook blog page to follow my adventures

The one where…. My child ruins Friends for me 

One thing I love about the teens getting older is being able to introduce them to TV shows and movies and books that I used to love when I was their ages. It’s so nice now they’re older to make the tv snacks, get on the sofa and watch something together.

Some of my shows and movies are more successful than others. Dawson’s Creek was ridiculed and heckled throughout, much to my dismay.

Friends though. Friends was welcomed with open arms. We went through every series. We began recording the actual programmes we would have ordinarily watched on tv as they just wanted to watch ‘one more episode’ of Friends.

I was smug.

Told you it was good eh?

“Hey! How you doing? ” became the eldests greeting as he got in of an evening. .. to his brother! To himself even! Inappropriate yet really quite funny.

” I’m FINE! “a la Ross when Rachel and Joey are together became code for anything that was clearly anything but.

Smelly cat was sung out loud.

” could I BE wearing anymore clothes ” became the answer to my insistence they wrap up warm to go to the football.

All was good.

I was cool mum.

I am the best.

Then it happened.

We’re rewatching some Friends more recently (yes they loved it THAT much) we’re at a later series, close to the end and my 15yo youngest son spoils it all.

Youngest son : Mum I’m surprised you wanted Ross and Rachel to end up together.

Me: Why? You know I’m a sucker for a love story!

Youngest son : love? Is it though? That whole relationship is just toxic. Ross is too controlling.

I am stunned into silence at this point.

That’s OK though because he’s going to elaborate.. .

Elaborate he does. .

How unsupportive Ross is when Rachel lands her dream job.

The suffocating manner in which he behaves about Mark. Becoming a stalky control freak creepfest.

How he never takes responsibility for cheating, using the “we were on a break” excuse.

I couldn’t disagree with any of it.

I mean Ross was never my favourite – he’s a sexist idiot. Remember the fuss he made about Ben playing with a doll? How he mocked and sacked the male nanny? ?

So the lesson learned here is this-beware of sharing your old favourites with your children, they they might just spoil it.

Reflections from me


Who am I? 

*Did you just sing the Les Mis song there in your head when you read the title? I have been! *

ANYWAY… Before I even begin this blog post I really want to emphasise that I love my children with all I have. I am even loving motherhood right now, I haven’t always and I can admit that. Currently though I’m really enjoying this part of our parenting journey. 

Being a mum does define me and so it should. My eldest is 17.  I’ve been mum a long time. Being a mum has certainly shaped me in a whole different way than I would have been had I not had children. In fact I think being a mum has made me a better person than I would have been. 

So we’re clear on that yes? 

I’d never dismiss motherhood. 

I’m certainly in no way complaining at my life as a mum. 

I am incredibly grateful and so very lucky to have the family that I have. 

The thing is this. Behind the mum-who on earth am I as a woman? 

Before I had children I was only 19. I’d had grand plans to change the world. Nowhere in these plans was any ideas of getting married and having babies. In fact the one steadfast plan I did have was never wanting children. 

I’m so glad plans don’t always work out. Having children allowed me to discover parts of myself I never even knew existed. 

My children are getting older now. The elder 3 are teenagers, the little one is almost 9.

Well meaning people keep commenting how how now is MY time. Time to take back my life, that the children don’t need me as they once did. 

I have a few problems with this mindset. Mainly the children do need me still. Not with the intensity of younger years admittedly. Parenting teenagers is tricky though, you have to pick up on cues that mean ‘I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m worried’ because they can’t always articulate it. Much like newborns  and  their differing cries that usually only their parents can decipher. Call me needy but I’m not redundant just yet. 

The other bits though? Taking back my life? Well that’s a weird one, the little people are my life. 

It is true though that I do have more spare time these days. This half term hols has highlighted the two sides of the coin on this. I had 3 whole child free days. I had the most glorious time just wandering about, sitting in pubs chatting undisturbed. Relaxed- none of the rushing around my everyday life has, lazy lie ins. I couldn’t have enjoyed myself more. 

When I got home to a empty house though I was at a bit of a loss. Did the house jobs I’d been putting off, cleaned, cooked. Then what? 

What do I do to make me happy and content? 

What is it I actually like to do? 

Who even am I when the children aren’t around? 

I have a bolognaise scenario that sums it up perfectly (keep with me not as nutty as it sounds) 

One thing I do like to do is take a book and go for dinner on my own. If ever I go to an Italian restaurant my initial feeling is to order bolognaise, because I love it. 

UNTRUE 

The kids love it, it bores me to tears. The kids love it so I cook it, I eat it and somehow I’ve become indoctrinated into believing I love it. 

I wonder how many other things fit the bolognaise mould. What other things do I think I like that is really no more than mum habit. 

I want to discover who I am as well as the woman with the overactive womb. I want to find out and nurture a bit the woman behind the mum. (bit tosspotty I know, I’m sorry) 

I’m quite excited by the prospect too. 
Needless to say I’ll bore you guys to death with my little adventure of self discovery.. . after all it’s highly likely when I discover this woman, she’ll be a bit of a knob! ! 


Here’s my Facebook page 

Burnished Chaos

Bringing up Georgia

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Daughter , I talk much nonsense but please listen to me on this one thing….

Today my eldest daughter turns 14

 

She has a fight and a zeal and a drive that terrifies me and makes me envious of her in equal parts.

 

She is fierce and strongminded and passionate as well as kind and compassionate- all I ever wanted my daughters to be .

 

I’m proud and in awe of her absolutely , I just wish I could get her to listen to me on just one tiny piece of advice.

 

 

Dear S ,

 

I know that I give you ‘mums little life tips’ very often. Possibly too often , but the thing about being an old lady such as me is that you’ve made lots of mistakes and learnt lots of ways in which you could have improved a situation or avoided a mess and I just want to help you maybe navigate some of those pitfalls without having to actually go through them.

 

Mum messed up so you don’t have to!

 

So if you listen to nothing else , just maybe listen to this one :

(Disclaimer – the sex , drugs , boys and rock and roll stuff ALL still counts , you know the basics of mum lecturing. This is an added extra NOT a replacement for the big ones)

 

This is my one pearl of wisdom for you though :

Choose your battles.

That’s it . Simple eh?

 

I admire your spirit S I do. I wish I could be like you in so many ways . There is such a raw determination in you and I know that eventually it’ll serve you well. It will aid the success I am certain awaits you.

 

There are times though that holding your tongue , taking a breath and thinking is the wiser choice than opening your mouth. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking I’m giving out mixed signals here. Don’t I always tell you never to let injustice pass you by?  Never be a quiet bystander when you see something happening you know is inherently wrong .

 

I mean that too , honestly, don’t be the person who joins in with bullying. Don’t be the one who doesn’t challenge friends who use racist or sexist or homophobic language. Be the woman who builds other women up , not someone who gains enjoyment from pulling your fellow women down. Be a good human. Those there are the basics.

 

The bits that can be let go though , your brothers not bringing their pots out of their rooms or leaving the toilet seat up? You can leave those rows for me to have. Honestly I’m an old hand at this , don’t waste your precious energies on them. When you’re told off by your teacher but it wasn’t you talking. Don’t get into dialogue about it in front of the whole class , that won’t end well for you ! Hold your tongue and maybe talk to that teacher calmly afterwards. Don’t waste your clever comments under your breath on me when we’re disagreeing. All that gets you is your phone taken off you , you know this !

 

 

As a woman you will have big battles to fight.

You’ll likely have to fight to be heard.

Fight for your right to take up space.

Fight to be taken seriously as an intelligent woman.

Fight for your fellow women who don’t have their own voice.

 

 

These things are worth your fury and your rage and your fight. Unleashed and uninhibited. The full force of you S at an injustice , it doesn’t stand a chance.

 

Save yourself for the big things. Let me say here though I am in no way belittling your sense of what is big and what is insignificant. I can’t do that. Should I ever not take your concerns as seriously as you want , please do pull me up on it.Calmly . I hope I am never dismissive of your opinions but I know sometimes as a single mum of 4 children sometimes I’m not listening as intently as I should or I miss things and that must be frustrating. You know how we have our time just you and I every night though ? When small girl is in bed and the boys are playing the Stupid Football Game in their rooms. That’s my listening time , if I’ve annoyed or frustrated you by being distracted come to me then , let me know. Talk things through.

 

I have no doubt S that you have it in you to change the world. I’ve known it since you were a matter of months old. Changing the world takes energy though , lets ensure that we have enough in the bank . The boys smelly socks or an irritating person at school aren’t worth that precious spirit of yours.

 

Know this though, when you do have a battle to fight or an injustice to highlight. When you feel your voice needs to be heard and you need to stand up and be counted. When you’ve considered that actually this is a battle you’ve chosen needs fighting ,  I’ll be right there beside you, female solidarity at it’s finest. If that ends up being about the boys bathroom habits or you approaching school about the lack of girls sport  or if it’s you’re standing up for someone not being treated how they should or you needing to take on Theresa May ? Well if you’ve thought about it and find it worthy of your energy then S I am with you , without question.

 

Love Mum

xxxxx
 

Here’s my Facebook page 

One Messy Mama

Burnished Chaos

Rhyming with Wine

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Dear L, (slushy mum warning) 

Dear L, 

So you’re 15!! 15 years you’ve been around – that just seems unbelievable yet similarly I just can’t remember a time you weren’t there to make me giggle. 

Your birth was traumatic for a multitude of reasons but we got through it. Your earlyish baby days were exhausting with you being the world’s most hungry baby. Toddlerhood with everyone giving me grief about getting you to a speech therapist was a testing time. Ah me and La La could understand you easily, how dare anyone suggest you were anything other than perfect?! 

We sailed through the testing times though you and I with big brother as an assist! In fact about the hungry baby thing – you told me the other day you’d learnt in psychology that some traits from babyhood stay with you. That has to be one. That baby who woke on the hour, every hour to be fed has grown to be the teenager that wakes up some mornings almost transparent as he’s had to go his whole sleeping night without eating? ? 

More than anything L you are the one out of all 4 of you who I see myself in. Your mannerisms, your temperament. It’s a strange thing to see your characteristics (and not just the good ones) reflected back at you in another person. 

Our similarities can work for and against us I guess. It’s so lovely to sit and chat with you and listen to your opinion on issues that really matter to you. You’re a deep thinker and I love that. You’re thoughtful and creative and when these attributes are on display I get to feel a little bit honoured that maybe some of that came from me. 

When we disagree though, about something we feel passionate yet opposed about. When we both dig our heels in and refuse to budge an inch.. .. Yeah let’s gloss over that. 

L it is an absolute delight to be your mum. Truly it is. You’re  such an incredible young man and that I get to be the one you call mum is a privilege (sorry did warn about mum slush) 

That’s not entirely mum bias either, you heard the amazing things your teachers said about you at parents evening last week. 

I’m so excited for you to see what the next 15 years and beyond have in store for you . Though maybe slow down a bit with the rate at which these years are rolling by.

 

Happy Birthday to the boy who makes me laugh like no other, with the driest humour and exquisite comic timing. 

The boy who’s an amazing big brother to small girl and will spend  time with her when she asks even when you’d rather be on the XBox. 

The best Garth Crooks impersonator, best final score buddy and football statistics extraordinaire. The most optimistic Hull City fan I know. 

The person who’s the most talented writer in this family – that’s annoying. 

Let’s just work on the grumpy old man thing now eh? ? I do believe the term hangry was coined for you. 

Looking forward to a weekend of pizza, How I Met your Mother and football. 

Aaaw and let’s just have a gratuitous little L shot, you were incredibly cute! 

Lots of love, mum xxxxxx 



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Parents of small children – this too shall pass! 

I write this post in my bedroom, slouched on my bed with a cup of tea.

The children are playing on Mario Kart together (yes they’ve gone retro)

There is no arguing (yet)

It’s a calm Sunday.

No one needs me.
No one needing me used to really bother me. I hated it, I couldn’t just leave them alone to play together. I’d have to squeeze myself into their games and conversations as I just couldn’t stand the fact I was no longer necessary all the time as I once had been.

Then I got a grip. I realised maybe this was it. Maybe a chapter of a book in peace was my reward for all the teething and nappy changing and separation anxiety and colic. I’d be a fool not to take advantage right?

So, parents of small children. I was once you, my children are now 17,16, 15 and 9 but I once had 3 under 3. I’ve fought the good fight, I’ve got the battlescars, but now I’m at the other side. Let me share with you the light at the end of the vomit splattered tunnel.

One day you will drink tea hot again

Bullshit you’re thinking, putting the kettle on is merely an act of defiance and hope during toddler years, nothing comes from it.

One day friends it will-one day the children will even make the tea for you! Yes you’ll be the one cleaning up the mess but that’s besides the point. Unfortunately if you’re like me and a bit fussy about your tea (I’m a Yorkshire girl it’s in my blood) this novelty will wear off as only you yourself can be trusted to make a decent cuppa but hey, thought that counts.

One day you will have an uninterrupted phone call.

There’ll not be wailing the second you pick up the phone, you’ll not have to chat with a person attached to your leg. There’ll not be cries of “me talk!!” from a little person. It’ll just be a quiet chat. Should teens interupt phone calls the threat to do the same to them next time they’re on the phone generally works as discouragement.

One day Cbeebies will no longer be on your TV

You’ll miss it too! Not just because you fancy Bloom either. Here’s a post I wrote when I realised our time with ‘beebies’ was over.

A time will come when you can bathe alone.

It will. I promise.

No one using the toilet whilst you’re trying to enjoy the aromatic joy of patchouli.

No bath invasions that begin with 2 toddlers diving in to join you and end in you getting out and leaving them to it,cursing having used your expensive bath oils and wishing you’d have just poured the radox in.

No helpful pre schoolers thinking your bath looks a bit boring devoid of toys so throwing in every toy they own for you. .. Plus a couple of loo rolls, a pair of knickers and a bottle of mouthwash!

Clock change will make no difference at all.

You’re always the first one up anyway and, don’t wet yourselves with glee, but you wake up of your own accord! ! They can arse about with clocks all they like but a teen who doesn’t rise until lunchtime is not going to be affected. That extra hour in bed they speak of? It’s real people and you one day shall feel it too!

I know it may seem I’m boasting but I promise I’m not. It’s just I remember during the chaos years I truly believed sleep and solo loo trips were a thing of the past forever.

That’s not the case.

The most pain in the arse bit about being here on the other side though is this.

You get a little sad that all upset your child feels can no longer be cured by a magic mummy kiss.

You feel mournful that no one needs you to read them a bedtime story.

There’s a twinge of guilt that those baby days you often wished away are gone.

You know what you do when you feel that way though?

Pour a large glass of wine, run a hot, deep bubble bath and take a book in there with you. Enjoy a long, uninterrupted soak and remember – you earned this!

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One Messy Mama

Tammymum

Mission Mindfulness