Tag Archives: parenting teens

Out of my hands 

Back when we left the abusive relationship all those years ago.

Back when my now taller than me teenagers were still little tiny things. 

Back when my now college boy was still in infant school. 

Back when my articulate chatterbox 2nd born still couldn’t talk properly (damn you speech therapy it was THE cutest) 

Back when I thought baby no. 3 treating brother baiting as if it were an Olympic sport was a phase she’d grow out of (poor deluded me) 

Back then. 
I had one priority – to keep them safe. 

It was hard at times. I was still so damaged from the abuse, I wasn’t strong mentally but still that fundamental aim remained. 

Keep them safe. 

I often felt like I was fighting the whole entire world and noone would listen to me and help me. For years through the family court nightmare with social services dragged into our lives by him every concern I had was met with ‘he’s their father, he has a right to see them’ 

I had to stand firm and unwavering at a time when I’ve never felt so fragile, but I could do it for them- to keep them safe. 
The children have seen their dad intermittently. They go to their paternal grandparents every fortnight and though he rarely took up the opportunity I was clear he was welcome to visit them there.  I didn’t want to be keeping my children from their father. Don’t get me wrong it suited me when he didn’t bother, I’m not claiming to be a saint here. 

Now though, at almost 17,15 and 14 it’s no longer my call. It’s no longer my decision but theirs. It’s out of my hands. 
This weekend they’re going to stay at his house for the weekend for the very first time. I’m really not dealing with it very well. 
The thing is it’s no longer about their safety. They want to go and stay and I can’t stand in their way. They really like his girlfriend and I actually think she could be the draw of why they want to go. 

It’s not that I believe them to be in physical danger – believe me if I thought that was even a possibility they’d be going nowhere.  
The discomfort I’m feeling is for selfish reasons.  The thought of them being there has triggered all the old feelings. Mentally I’m transported back to when I first came here – fragile and vulnerable and just feels bloody horrid. 
When we first came here my anxiety manifested itself as a ridiculous phobia of fainting in public. My physical anxiety symptoms feel very much like that second before you faint. Erratic breathing, throat tightening, light headedness and back then I was new to the anxiety game and didn’t realise that’s what it was. It used to happen daily back then but it’s not happened that badly in a good 7 years. Then yesterday it happened again. I know it’s because of this weekend and I just can’t stand to feel this way. It feels as if all my strength and mental stability has been whisked away and I’m back to that shaken girl of old. 

I know it’s only temporary though. I know when they arrive home Sunday after a lovely weekend all will be back right with my world. I do know that so I’m going to try to take a positive from this. I’m going to use it to acknowledge to myself how far I have come, how I am a totally different stronger woman now. 

I did what I set out to do. I took my children out of an unhealthy environment and I kept them safe. 
I have 3 down, happy, level headed (most of the time) teenagers and I have to allow them the space to make a relationship with their father if they choose to. 
I kept them safe. 
I just was unprepared for the time to come when it was out of my hands.  

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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 about wobbly and unsettled about who I am as a woman, not just a mum. That particular self indulgent post is just here.

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 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!

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!

 

 

 

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Not Just The 3 Of Us

 

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.


Not Just The 3 Of Us

 
Sha    The Tale of Mummyhood

A guest post from my First born

This is a guest post from my fab first born. I’ve been nagging  the kids to write for me for ages …. Parenting lesson there : nagging works.

 I’ve left it totally untouched despite itching to edit. .. Oh so I’m a pushy mother – old news! 




 
Whilst walking down the street, people cross the road in order to avoid me. They give me dodgy looks, tell their young children to avoid groups of us, we are of course, after all, extremely dangerous, each and every one of us. But which group of people am I being stereotyped and discriminated against for being a part of? I’m the worst of them all, I’m a dreaded TEENAGE

Hoodies up, we aren’t allowed to be warm you see, looking at our phones, heaven forbid the possibility that we’re keeping in contact with people, haven’t seen our parents in weeks, probably slipping each other drugs on the sly, we are really very intimidating.




I bet every single one of you has done it at one point, maybe it’s dark, you’re in an unfamiliar place, maybe walking home from a party and you see one of us, or maybe even worse, maybe we’re travelling in packs at this point, stalking the streets for pray and stabbing them with dirty needles.




What do you do? You turn the corner, you cross the road, anything to avoid having to have a confrontation with the rabble heading towards you.




How would you feel if someone close to you acted like that towards a black person? Surely you would be rightfully horrified, for all sensible people know you can’t judge someone by their appearance.




Maybe you don’t think I’m telling the truth, maybe I’m just being overdramatic, but is it a coincidence that security guards watch us like hawks, especially if we have one of those cursed hoodies on, possibly worse, if you’re really unlucky we might have had the cheek to put our hood up! (the horror!) There is no coincidence in the fact that mothers tell younger children to “come home if there are teenagers around” on their local park, I was told the same myself.




But when did it become acceptable to openly discriminate against a group of people in this manner? Even worse since when did such discrimination go unnoticed? Why should I feel pressured to not wear my hood up, to stay off my phone and not walk in groups, just to be seen as an ordinary human being and avoid such discrimination. When you talk to us you may be surprised to find out that we’re actually just people like you. Maybe we dress differently, maybe talk differently to you, but when did such minor barriers hold a cause for such a divide in society?




You know some of us have jobs, some of us play for sports teams, a couple of us even manage all of this, along with the stress and pressure of college, and the work load of that, I could go for pages and pages about the struggle of teenagers in this society we’ve built ourselves, but I’ll save you of that for now.




The one thing I hope you take away from this is to know that we notice. We notice your dodgy looks, your odd comments here and there. And as shocking as you may find this, it doesn’t make us feel too great about the older generations. It doesn’t make us feel particularly respected in the world we will soon be taking over. We were all teenagers once, so next time you send your young children to the park, don’t send them scared of the people they will one day become.

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 almost 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 first week of the Easter hols has highlighted the two sides of the coin on this. I had 5 whole child free days! I had a weekend away. 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 

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 

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 



My Facebook page is here

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 16,14, 13 and 8 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!



My Facebook page is here

The Pramshed

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Do all families have their little ‘quirks’?..or are we a bit …odd?

You know when you have family in jokes or things that make you all giggle that other people, if you sat and thought about it, would probably find a bit odd? You do know what I mean don’t you? We’re not really totally nutty? There are certainly little traditions and quirks go on here that when I reflect are a little out of the ordinary. I’ll tell you a few then you can reassure me with some of your own?? Deal?? 

We communicate via TV and movie quotes 

I’ve noticed this one for a while. For example, upon entering the house rather than shout “hello” a cry of “hi hi family”  goes out you know in the manner of the odd shop guy from Frozen?? That’s whether it’s me or the teens or the little one! 

Being dragged outside  when you’d rather stay in will lead to “I don’t wanna go” being cried a la David Tennants Doctor! 

A new recent addition after I won parenting by watching all series of Friends with the teens is the call of “I’m fine! ” In a Ross manner when you’re anything but (toe stubbing incidents and the like) this goes well with announcing it’s fajitas for tea. 

Football predictions league 

This is one of youngest boys things. He has a book fit for purpose and everything.

 The rules are very strict. Score and scorer predictions for the weekend must be in for 7pm Friday . 

Mum must do hers first as there are suspicions she copies other people’s answers (how the hell am I meant to know who’s likely to score for West Brom?) 

Only youngest boy may touch and mark the book. 

Look here’s a page from it

The lad can’t get it together to get his socks into the wash basket but he can do this week in week out? I’m currently bottom of the league if you’re interested.. . 

The good sofa spot

It seems the only place worth sitting in the living room is the right hand corner of the big sofa. Wars have been fought over it(or feels like) deals are struck, negotiations the UN peace ambassador would be proud of take place over than spot. I, personally don’t become embroiled in such nonsense. I prefer the left corner of the small sofa and no one wants this spot. Rumour has it it’s moulded to the exact shape of my bum (I started that rumour) 

Stupid names

I love this one, the teens at 13,14 and 16 do not bat an eyelid at the stupid silly names I’ve been calling them since babyhood. I’m not entirely sure if I’m allowed to communicate with them at all in public… but at home I call out “Lukey Snooks” and the answer will be “yes mum?”. It’s not just them either, their poor auntie will never be known as anything other as La La. 

Football snacks 

Big football matches mean mums special football snacks. We’ve actually branched out recently and ‘football snacks’ are now really dragged out for any sporting events worthy of note. Football snacks must include (but are not limited to) 

Nachos (no sour cream or guacamole) 

Bbq chicken wings 

Sausage rolls

Potato wedges

Garlic bread 

Onion rings

Mmmm… Actually that’s not weird, that’s sounds yummy… any sport on tonight? ? 

Mothers day talent shows

This is a cute one! ! The kids, even the elder ones still do me a talent show every single mother’s day. It’s always a surprise (insert shocked look here! ) Small girl will dance or do a gymnastics display, 2 of the teens will play guitar and the other do a stand up routine!! Aren’t they sweet really? ? 

So there’s our little family quirks. .. Now tell us yours PLEASE SAY YOU HAVE SOME! ! 

Don’t worry I don’t expect anyone to outdo the football score prediction league for weirdness!! 

I also think, should the time ever come where another human grown man is integrated into this family, they’d have to be as nuts as the rest of us! 

My Facebook blog page is here

 

Just us 5

I had a whinge here last week about how lonely single parenting is at times. It is too, but to me that’s the only real down side I find in being a single parent. 

You’d have to ask my elder 3 children their down sides in having me as the sole stable influence.. actually let’s not do that, it might not be pretty! 

After my moan I wanted to talk instead about how I enjoy our family dynamic. We’ve been ‘us 5’ for many years now. I like it, I think the kids do. It’s cosy and comfy and it’s home.

We are 5.
Mum,who needs to up her organisational game but makes a good pie. 

Eldest boy- Maths and science  enthusiast who fancies being like Brian Cox, a scientist AND a rock star. 

Youngest boy – Enjoys food. Pasta maniac. Funny beyond words. Best Garth Crooks impersonator. 

Eldest girl – Sporting superstar. Dress hater. Smashing sexist stereotypes one at a time. 
 Youngest girl – lover of all things fairy. Bookworm. Cooking show enthusiast. 

You see how all these personalities combined could make for a slightly quirky household. It just comes together and works though. That’s how families work I suppose! ! We fit. ‘Us 5’works for us. 

Being a single mum does have  its  advantages. I’m lucky to get to be the one who gets to spend time with them, know their quirky little likes and dislikes. The one who knows their interests and what makes them tick! Just sitting chatting with them and hearing their take on the world is a favourite way to pass my time. 

I talk in these blog often about finding Mr Perfect (for me) remember the list? I just don’t know where on earth he’d fit into our dynamic though. This may be why I don’t get too involved with anyone. I’d date , I’ve softened a lot on that front. Having another person around for board games Friday though or an extra bum on the sofa for a Doctor who marathon?Hmmm, not sure. 

Just us 5 works just fine.

What I’m realising recently though is that ‘us 5’, well that’s already changing. As the teens are getting older occasions where all 5 of us are home or doing something together are becoming more rare. I’m aware for the first time really that ‘us 5’ isn’t going to be that forever or even that much longer. In 2 years the eldest will be away to uni, the middle two will be out having a social life rather than playing Articulate with me. 

I can see approaching on the horizon a time when ‘ us 5’ will be a special treat rather than the norm. I can’t be too sad about that either, it’s my job to raise independent human beings isn’t it? 

Maybe if the dynamics are changing anyway a time could come where  we could squeeze an extra person on the sofa for Doctor who? 
Or maybe I’ll need that space to put all my comfort food when the kids are all too cool to be watching TV with needy mum! 

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Or my Facebook page is here if you like my nonsense!