Life Lately.


July is here....thank goodness.
almost end of term, almost summer holidays, counting those days & hours.

I always feel the same around this time of year....
it's a combination of frazzled/tired aka almost-end-of-term syndrome.
same feelings every July....and yet, it always creeps up on me, surprises me.

And then, simultaneously, I have moments when I wonder where the year has gone....
my children are almost into another school year, more work, slightly different expectations.
they're getting older, I'm getting older....time flies etc
where have my babies gone?!  

There's too much a lot going on....
sports days, parents evening, teachers' gifts, end of term parents' socials, school trips, 
all the usual end of term stuff with slightly overtired children who are ready for school to end right now!

I don't want to feel as though I am simply checking things off a list, but some days....you know.


i have a teenager. a real full-blown one.
this is making me feel very tired!!

some moments i try reeeeeeally hard to say as little as possible, i try to under-react....
in order to deal with the over-reacting that may-or-may not be a fairly frequent occurrence in my day-to-day home life.

i attempt to be present & available, to be nonchalant, to answer but always not to ask,
to listen, to know the answers.
interested as opposed to inquisitive.
wise rather than an-all-knowing-smartypants.

you want to share but not too much.
you have to be firm but fair.
you need creative ways of saying NO.

none of this comes naturally to me, so it is most definitely a challenge. some days much more so than others.

it all seems to be such a fine line....
you want to explain but not go on about stuff
be succinct but say the things that need saying
sometimes be silent, sometimes not.

your boundaries stretch
you have to make decisions, sometimes quite quickly, even when you are not quite 100% certain that you've made the right choice....
you hold your breath, cross your fingers & figure, some days, that it will all turn out okay.

it's a learning curve. some days a steep-frustrating-challenging-confusing one.

there will be tears & shouting & door-slamming. and that's not exclusive to just 13 year olds ;)

i  have moments when i feel that i barely know my child.
sometimes i don't like her & i'm pretty sure that she doesn't like me.

the first time your sweet, kind, lovely darling child rolls her eyes at something you've said or done is shocking....you cannot believe it is happening.
you convince yourself you imagined it.
you feel almost wounded
(slightly dramatic I know, but that's how i felt, it's just one of those moments!)
this might be when you first learn to under-react....

let me tell you that when they are 13, it becomes a frequent occurrence....
so much so that some days that you just have to ignore it!

you toughen up.
you have to learn to laugh at yourself, a little more than you did before.
you learn a lot about yourself, not all of it good....
you certainly learn more about what kind of parent you are.
parenting teenagers is not for the faint-hearted ;)

be prepared to hear your own parents in your words....
words you never thought would come out of your moth
the first time that that happens is not even funny, it's terrifying!

i always thought i was a relaxed parent....
i still think i am mostly, although having a teenager in the house makes you question all kinds of things.
you have to set boundaries, ask questions, have conversations....
where before you didn't have to. or so it seems.

the days of Mini Boden, lunchboxes & playdates seem very far away some days ;)

you find yourself discussing stuff that you did not expect to be discussing for possibly some time yet...always good to talk of course, but children are growing up quicker these days, i feel there's no doubt about that.

they go to secondary school at age 11 & change almost overnight. or so it seems.

and of course, it's new territory for both of you, a lot of what they are dealing with is stuff that you never experienced....social media being top the of list. groan ;)

what i have learned is that i most definitely do not have all the answers.
i have days when i feel i am not cut out for this.
i have days when i wish she was 3 years old again.
i wish i was dealing with it all a bit better & many many days i wish i could press rewind.

but - as with everything in life - we do the best we can and, hopefully, we learn.

and, of course, it is just a phase. everything changes.
you can only do your best & what you think is right.


....in the meantime, i am going to the gym as much as possible, i've already packed my summer reading list in my suitcase & i am religiously ignoring the fact that no.work.whatsoever has even started on our house, grrrr.
think positive & just keep swimming....or something like that. 

5 comments:

  1. I feel your pain, Simone - having lived thru it twice (one was very easy - my son, the other not so much - my daughter). There was a lot of tears, door slamming and " I hate you's" coming my way and as heartbreaking and difficult as it was - it was a stage and we all got thru it, thankfully. You're in it for a few more years, but just keep the lines of communication open, don't be afraid to say no and always remember you are the parent first. (that's one thing a lot of parents seem to forget). Keep your eyes and ears open and make sure you know who your kids are hanging around with - and meet their parents too...In a few years you will be the best of friends again - with the ocassional eye rolling....haha...Hold on tight!! Hugs and love to you sweet friend. From where I stand, I think you are doing a wonderful job as a parent, btw. xxoo

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  2. Oh my goodness!! I HEAR YOU!! It's as if I wrote this, although I recognise more of myself from a couple of months ago when things were worse than they are now. Of course that illustrates that it is all a set of phases; some good, some bad. What I do know is that I too have had to reinvent myself as the parent of a teenager and frankly look at many of my contemporaries who had children later than I did and think to myself how easy they have it with little ones! In fact my sister in law had her third child, a daughter, who is now just one. We worked out that she will be 52 when her daughter turns 13 which is honestly quite a daunting prospect - one can only imagine how much social media will have come on by then!! ;-)

    I am grateful when it comes to my daughter that I have stuck to my guns on certain subjects - any social engagement has to be checked and rechecked (all the better with another parent), no phones after 9pm at night, kindness must prevail in everything. It is hard though and I so know that wounded feeling you describe when she rolls her eyes.

    Most of all - what I have found works the best is to level with her and treat her like an adult. Although I know she is a child, I give her the benefit of the doubt and often use the prefix 'it's up to you, you make the judgement...but if it were me...' so she can take ownership of her decisions. I found that telling her what I knew was disasterous. She needed to feel trusted and the more I second-guessed her, the less trusted she felt, so more eye-rolling. So yes it means thorny conversations about all stuff ranging from cigarettes to sex and everything in between. UGH!!!

    I am there with you spirit!!
    Lou x

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  3. Oh Simone, I so understand how difficult this is. Lou is right, it is a phase, it will pass, sadly there are no shortcuts and at times it can be very troubling. I remember all too well experiencing exactly these challenges with my own daughter, it hurts when this sweet little girl suddenly behaves almost like a stranger in the home. I learnt to let the smaller things "go" and fought the big battles. I agree with Lou, they need to have a voice and a sense of ownership for the choices they make. I promise you, it will get better. X

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  4. Simone,

    I do not have children but I was once a teenager and I can tell you this, I wanted boundaries, I wanted my parents to care snd I was just as uncomfortable with the talks about sex and drugs as they were.

    Times are very challenging with the advent of social media, sadly kids and people for that matter do not understand that once the photos and info is out on the internet, it is there forever.

    You are probably do a better job than you think and at the end of the day all that matters is that you love het!

    Take care,
    Elizabeth

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  5. Since I cannot chime in and give you any advice I will just send you a big old fashion hug across the pond. My sweet girl ~ I know it will get better but it's the time between now and then that is the hard part. xo

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