Letting go of the challenges of parenting.

Being a parent can be hard. It’s exhausting, relentless and it can be, dare I say, boring. Although being a parent is wonderful most of the time, I think every parent at some time or another has wished for a sunny beach, peace, quiet and preferably a margarita in hand! But I’ll tell you a little secret that parents of little ones don’t know or even have time to think about….it does change and get easier; almost overnight and then you will miss those challenges with all your heart. The hurdles that we face as parents are only stages in our lives and we need to let them go to fully appreciate the parenting journey. Because of course, a journey always has its ups and downs.

I vividly remember my son going through ‘the yelling phase.’ Basically, he yelled in the night when he wanted something! It could be a drink, a biscuit,  a cuddle, a story, a banana (yes, really!) a new toy….just anything so that he could get our attention. The thing was totally irrelevant but because we had another child that we were frightened would wake up, we tended to go into his room as quickly as possible. This meant one of us was ‘on stand by’ throughout the night and we were exhausted. Of course, we could have left him to cry and yell but for an easier life and because we were not entirely sure he was awake half the time, we got up and went to him. He was only about 2 after all. This became part of my night time thing and I used to dread it. I remember thinking that I couldn’t possibly be this tired and still function. It was awful. And then, one night, it stopped. He slept through without the yelling! Could we be this lucky and have a whole nights sleep? He never yelled out in the night again and this phase in our parenting journey was over, just like that.

When my daughter was about 6 she would not want to go to sleep. We tried the usual stories, milk, teeth, bed routine that had always worked. We tried extra cuddles, we tried rewarding her with a sticker chart and we tried telling her off. Nothing seemed to work. There would always be a reason for her coming down….’ur I can’t sleep….I need a drink….mummy can I just tell you something……ur can I have a grape?’ The ‘Can I have a grape?’ became a family joke but this stage went on for about a year. Yes, a whole year of her coming down in the late evening as she couldn’t get to sleep. Then one night,  it stopped. As quickly as it began, it was over.

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I think what I’m trying to say is that the challenges you are facing right now will soon be done. The ‘problem’ that exhausts you or makes you despair will one day be over. Whether it be a fussy toddler that makes you cry with frustration because they will only wear red or the child who lives off fresh air because they never seem to eat a meal. Whether it be the child who refuses to sleep in their own bed or the child that will not settle in the morning at school. These are all challenges at the time but one day, they will stop and life moves on. Children grow and change whilst us parents try to adapt to the changing direction that parenting takes us.

So when your son asks you not to get stressed when he accidently breaks the window of your Greenhouse by launching a hockey ball down the garden, pause, take a breath and smile. He doesn’t remember the 3 DS games, the new Hoover, the car radio or the countless TV remotes that he broke as a destructive toddler. Those were our challenges as parents so let them go and move on. One day, I shall remind him of the Greenhouse window and hope it will become a family story to remember and retell rather than a challenge to overcome.
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Does your child know they are on Social Media?

More than 80% of 2 year old children have an online presence 
This figure is shocking isn’t it? I was shocked but not surprised to be honest.

This is going to be a controversial post and I am writing it fully aware that many readers out there will disagree with me. I do not want to offend people but I’m offering my views to the world. Take them or leave them. Debate with me. Let’s discuss….

I see myself as lucky. I have 2 brilliant children who are growing up to be brilliant adults. I also see myself as lucky as my children were born before social media really took off. I did not take millions of photos on my phone when they were babies and toddlers as I couldn’t. I took photos on a camera every now and then to document how they had changed or when we were on holiday. I enjoyed seeing them grow and change and I cherish these photos now as I can look back and smile at what they did and how they were. I sometimes wish I had taken more photos but do I wish I’d shared more on Social media? No I don’t and here’s why.

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Does your child know they are on Social Media?

As you share that cute picture of your little one covered in chocolate from their first pudding, think this…..who will see this image? Why am I posting this image? Can this image be shared? and most importantly, will my child want this image to be shared? In a modern world shaped by our online presence, will your child welcome this image online forever? That’s the real question isn’t it? Will my adult child want this image of themselves online forever? Because we all know that online posts create a digital footprint that can last beyond a lifetime.

As our children grow, they are brought up in a household with a set of values and beliefs that shape that family. It may be as simple as the children wearing a particular football shirt or it may be about religious/political beliefs. A child has no say in this but as he or she grows up, those values are embedded within them and are carried forward into adulthood. Those values, together with other cultural and social experiences, become part of the mindset of that adult. As adults, we expect to be able to raise our children in the way we see fit. I agree with this entirely however I believe that by putting images of children online for all the world to see, we are taking away their ability to grow and change in private. A 6-year-old child may want their image online of them in a Christmas jumper because they relish the attention they get from it. Ask that same child at 13 and I can guarantee that they wouldn’t want to be on one of those laugh, click-through sites in their Christmas jumper! By creating an online presence for your child have you not crossed the line from being a responsible parent to invading your child’s right to privacy?

This is a subject where the consequences are unknown as those first children who had their entire childhood documented online are not quite adults. Yet, this is happening now and as an Early Years educator I have noticed a real difference in parents today when compared with parents only 5-10 years ago. Many, many parents stop their child and document everything. And I mean, everything. Their child’s first day at school, that dress up day photo to show Grandma, ‘smile…oh look you have lost your first tooth!’ I see parents taking photos of their children and children posing with their hands on their hips saying,  -‘is this cute?’ I hear children talking about putting that on Facebook at aged 6. It’s a little crazy. It’s almost as if the fun of the event is overshadowed by the chance to get the perfect shot to put on Instagram. Lets play perfect life when in fact, you’re missing that part of your life by trying to record it!

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Does your child know they are on Social Media?

I understand why people post pictures of their children online. I have done this too. In fact, I did this when my children were younger without thinking too much about it but now, I rarely share their images as they would prefer that I didn’t. There is a reason why there aren’t many photos of me aged 13 with that stupid hair cut! Thank goodness that was never shared online! Perhaps sharing family pictures to your friends and family is the only time to connect, especially with families living far away from each other. I understand that too because that is my situation. But is it right? Should we be asking our children’s permission to post things online? I think from an early age, that is exactly what we should be doing. Or at least asking children how they feel about it. Giving them the choice or perhaps be the adult here and hold back until they are old enough to decide for themselves?

I think when our children are born or when they are tiny, we don’t quite get that they are people. That they are their own self, even from birth. As parents, creating an identity for them online is not our job. It is our job to nurture them and keep them safe. It is our job to help them become responsible, happy and fulfilled adults. Can we be sure that we are doing that when we are not respecting their privacy?

Interestingly the government have been debating this too in a new Data Protection Bill which you can read about
here

I wonder if this new bill will help in protecting a child’s right to online privacy?

If that is the case perhaps you should consider the legalities of posting that photo. It just may land you in court one day when your adult child objects to the photo you innocently shared today. Just a thought.

Perhaps you have never considered this at all. Perhaps you have and still post pictures online because you disagree with me. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Finding the lovely in everyday moments.

Lovely.

It’s a word I like and use a lot.

“Lovely,” is defined in the Cambridge dictionary as beautiful, pleasant, enjoyable and kind.

What a lovely word.

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Savour lovely moments.

Lovely is what we need to look for in this world and I’ll tell you why. It will make you a happier and more fulfilled person.

1. Savour the Lovely.

Savour each moment that makes you happy. A funny thing your little one did. The kind gesture from a colleague. The text from a partner that make you feel loved. The walk in the woods amongst the trees. Savour these lovely moments however small and seemingly insignificant. Make a point of remembering them. It’s easier to say you’ve had a horrid day when actually there was only one horrid moment. Life is not all happiness. It can’t be but we can savour those lovely moments that make it an overall lovely day.

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See the beauty in our everyday surroundings

2. Cherish those lovely people in your life.

This should not be difficult but we sometimes forget that those lovely people in our lives need to be cherished. Those friends and family that have time for you. The ones that ring you when you are sick or meet you for a drink after work. The partner who makes you a cup of tea when you’ve had a hard day. Cherish those people as they are the ones that will make your life more fulfilling. Don’t work extra hard for the boss who doesn’t care about you. Work hard at the relationships that mean the most.

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Cherish the people in your life.

3. Find the lovely in you.

Find your inner lovely. When we discover the beauty in the things that we enjoy, we feed our own sense of worth. This brings satisfaction and only then can we be a lovely person. Seeing the positive and savouring it allows us to feel lovely inside. Only then can we share it with others.

4. Share the lovely.

Be kind and kindness will follow. Share the beauty of the world and more eyes will see it. Enjoy the things that are most precious to you and you will share that joy with others. Teach others to be lovely by being lovely yourself.

It’s not always easy but it’s got to be better to see and share the lovely things that are in this world than to only see the negative. I would like to believe this, do you?

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Seeing the beauty in things however mundane and ordinary.

Do you agree with me?

What do you find lovely and why?

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts my lovelies…..

Reasons we should be finding the lovely in everyday moments. (1)
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Life lessons for my daughter as she approaches adulthood.

I look at my amazing daughter and cannot believe that she is in her final school year. How did that happen? I know that every parent says this but just when you get used to this parenting thing it feels like it will change forever. She’s almost an adult and that’s wonderful yet scary.

So here are some life lessons for my almost adult daughter.

The Good

  • You can do whatever you want with your life. Opportunities are there for you. Walk towards them and take whichever path you choose even if it is a different one to your friends. You make your own choices but just remember your mum’s words of wisdom whispering in your ear from time to time.
  • You are amazing. I mean that. I purposely don’t write beautiful as there is more to you than beauty. You are clever, savvy, funny, great fun to be with, calm, know your own mind and beautiful. Your Dad and I love all of you and more. Remember this when other people are not kind to you. You are worthy.
  • You have a warm heart so open it and give yourself to someone you love. Love is the most important thing and one day, you will know when your partner comes along. Don’t let them go thinking there is someone better. There may or may not be but all that matters is that you are happy at that moment.
  • You will never have as much time as right now. Enjoy your own company and that of your friends to do fun stuff.

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The Bad

  • Life chances are there for you to grab but they will not fall in your lap. You will not land a job paying you £30,000 straight out of university or school. You must continue to work hard for everything you want in life. What you want is there but may take small steps….just take one at a time.
  • Boys can be horrid. They can treat you badly but remember that you are a strong and independent woman who does not need their drama. You are not responsible for other people’s crap. Don’t try to change someone who doesn’t want to be changed.
  • Juggling motherhood and work is a challenge. I’m not going to lie. Delay motherhood if possible until you are in a position where you have a choice.

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The Ugly

  • Childbirth is bloody painful but is the most rewarding thing ever. Just don’t enter into pregnancy until you have lived a little first and don’t listen to Nannie; she will put you off for life.
  • Having that last drink at that Club in Ibiza sounds like fun but you will regret it in the morning and perhaps even the morning after that. Have a water instead and walk home with friends (I’m sure you will not do this so my advice….take a paracetamol, eat a fry up and go back to bed).
  • Respect your body. You only have one. So no cliff jumping or swimming with sharks in Australia. There will also be a time when your body doesn’t appreciate you eating trash (about aged 25 btw).
  • Use sunscreen and you will thank me when you are 40.

Good luck…and remember I will always be your Mummy. x

PS I have never, ever done any of these things in the Ugly section apart from the birth part, obviously……..

Life lessons for my teenage daughter as she approaches adulthood.

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Could our children be anxious because of us?

There seems to be more children with anxiety in our society than ever before. This is something that I have been reading quite a bit about recently and the facts are quite staggering. In fact the research shows that as many as one in six young people in the UK suffer from anxiety. To look it another way, one in five teenagers in an average class will be suffering from anxiety (anxiety.org.uk). This is a frightening statistic frankly and it got me thinking about why this is happening.  As a mum, I know that there are many pressure of our teenagers which I have written about Here.

As a teacher and a mum I come across many, many children and their parents. I’m not a mental health expert and I’m only offering my opinions gathered from my experiences in this post. I certainly wouldn’t want to offend anyone but I wonder if the way we parent is adding to the anxiety that our young people are experiencing? In being such caring parents perhaps we are not helping our youngsters?

 

Here are my thoughts:

1. Perhaps by always telling our children that they are amazing at things, we are creating anxiety?

As parents and teachers, we want to praise our children for the things that they have done but I think the words we use are so important. Telling relatives that your child is going to play for a county team because they are amazing at sport actually creates tension, as your child is then expected to make that team. We’ve all done it; I know I have but labelling your child as ‘really good at maths’ creates a pressure for your child to always be really good at maths when their flair for maths may just be a stage. We want our children to enjoy what they enjoy or are motivated by, not become burdened by adult expectation.

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2. Do we overplay a ‘blip’?

As parents, we worry when our children get a bad grade in science or stick on a reading level but we really shouldn’t. All children plateau with their learning as that is the nature of learning! I’m often dismayed to hear that children as young as 6 years old are having tutor support because they received one poor maths grade. It may be just that they need to consolidate what they have learnt and then they will start making progress again. Tutors are great for children who need a little confidence or who have a barrier to learning such as dyslexia but all children will plateau at some point. This does not mean that they need extra tuition. If our children think the ‘blip’ is important enough to need support, they become anxious about their performance. Learning is a process that is complex and children must feel confident in their own abilities to make those next steps.

3. Do we overplay friendship issues?

One moment of unkindness is not bullying. Seeing you get upset when your child is working through a friendship issue will make them think the issue is more important than it really is. It really isn’t. All children have friendship woes, it’s a normal part of growing up. We need to help our children talk about their worries but not add to them by making small issues bigger than they actually are. I’ve noticed in my career that more and more parents are rushing in to talk about their child’s friendships when they should be allowing their child to figure some things out for themselves. Many, many children hit, scratch, kick, bite, pull hair and say unkind things. We need to teach our children tolerance, kindness and how to say sorry and forgive. Holding a grudge about a certain child that once pulled your child’s hair will also add to your child’s anxiety. They need to learn to get along with their peers and this anxiety about another child will not help them.

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4. Do we hide our feelings from our children?

I do this. I find it tricky to show my children if I’m sad or worried by something. I think that this is not healthy though. Obviously we shouldn’t be sharing things that are not appropriate with young children but if we are feeling sad we could tell our children that. ‘Mummy feels sad today but your smiley face is helping me feel happier.’ I think that children need to know that life can make us feel a range of emotions on a daily basis and that’s ok.

I’ve done all these things as parent at some time or another.
As a teacher, I know that praising effort is more important than praising attainment and I have always tried hard to do this with my own children. It does develop confidence and that is the one thing that young children need to try new things. Try it. Praise your children for the efforts they have made with a new skill rather than praising them when they achieve the end result. This is especially important for bright children when things come easier to them because they need the confidence to push themselves out of their comfort zone and learn that small failures are ok. Resilience to failure learnt young is better than feeling anxious as a teenager when exams hit.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Take care everyone. X

 

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When life’s moments become hurdles.

I was inspired to write this post after reading a post by the lovely Roda Here

I read her post and her thoughts resonated with me.

I’m going back to work soon; in another week. There is the usual preparation that all teachers get after 6 weeks off but for me, I am returning to a 4 days week job rather than the 2 days I worked last academic year. I’m already making mental notes. I’m already planning out what I need to do/make/change and this creates a slight mania in me that I don’t like. I enjoy my job so why do I make these life moments into hurdles?

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Hitting 40 was a turning point in my life. I think it is for many. All my life I was making life’s moments into a thing. Always planning the next stage in my life. “After we get married we shall save for a house…..after the house we shall have a baby….after this baby I shall move jobs…..” etc etc .The problem with life planning is that these special moments become hurdles. Planning a baby and realising that we needed fertility treatment……planning a job move just to climb the career ladder rather than stay in a job I loved.  Was all this planning really making me content or happy?

With age comes acceptance and the realisation that life moments are to be enjoyed! Let life take you in the direction your heart craves NOT the direction your head thinks you should be travelling. Knowing that sometimes things cannot be planned for.

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So, for the next week I shall be leaving the plans and enjoying my children and family until school starts. The plans can wait whilst I enjoy THIS moment. I needed to be reminded of this as I was making lists! Enjoy each moment as they come and go. Do not make them become hurdles in life to be jumped over.

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6 Teen Sayings of the Summer

I read an excellent post by Four Princesses and the Cheese Here

A brilliant post about the things Kirstin’s little children have repeatedly said over the summer. It made me laugh as I thought about what my teenagers have been repeatedly saying over the summer. So here is my version….. thankyou Kirstin for the inspiration!

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1. I’ll do it in a minute…..

Well you clearly won’t though will you?? Whether it be chores (my kids get chores each day) or taking your dirty dishes to the kitchen you won’t “do it in a minute!” You will leave it until I remind you and then get cross because I am apparently nagging you to do your chores! Sometimes your chores need to be done so that I can get on and do mine. For example, I would like you to walk Dottie dog so that I can mop the floors when she’s out….actually hang on, you don’t walk Dottie because that would mean getting out of bed before lunch. Doing it ‘in a minute’ means doing whatever the ‘it’ is when you are ready to do it. Perhaps you should say, “I will do it when I want to?”
2. Is that what we’re eating??

Yes, clearly this is what we are eating! Actually, I’ve decided to lay the table with food that I think you may like to eat but if you don’t I’ll just go and prepare something else…….obviously. We have actually eaten this before as I’m not a cook and I have about 3 things that we eat in rotation. Dad cooks more than me and you know that so yes, this is what I am eating and this is what is being offered to you. Eat and be happy.

3. There is never any food in this house!

Clearly as I let you both starve. Let’s look in the cupboards…..oh look! There is lots of food in there. In fact, there is also lots of food in the freezer. No, we haven’t got any treats/snacks/cereal left as you have eaten all of that in 2 days since I went to the supermarket. Why not eat an apple? No? Try toast then and why not drink more milk! I only bought 6 pints yesterday and I will have to go later to buy more bread and milk.

4. Where is my blue top/black jeans/clean sports socks?

I have no idea. Perhaps the clothing fairy has taken it?? The clothing fairy takes all sorts in this house and will sometimes wash and dry clothes too if she feels like it. Or perhaps it is in the washing basket having been already washed by the washing fairy aka me, and needs to be put away? Oh, that was your chore was it? Ok, well that’s where it will be unless……oh look it’s stuffed at the back of your wardrobe where you stuffed it!

5. You are so annoying!

Yeap. It’s my life ambition to be annoying. I love to be annoying so much that I go out of my way to be annoying, just for you. I’m not particularly annoying to your Dad or friends or even work colleagues. I leave that especially for you. Call me annoying mum! Do all of the things you need to do and I become not annoying mum. She is much nicer and less annoying apparently.

6. It’s only like £50…..

Yes. I also love that top/jeans/makeup brush for “only £50.” It doesn’t mean that I’m going to buy it for you. You’ve spent your allowance/earnings by August 1st? Oh! sorry to hear that! Yes, it’s only £50…a bargain apparently. And no, I won’t lend you the money until next month because you already owe me money and I told you not to buy that make-up/pair of ridiculously expensive socks. Yes, I know I’m annoying, you already said that!

So there you have it! The 6 teen sayings of the summer thanks to my lovely children. They are great really and I have enjoyed the summer with them but they can go back to school now please. Thank you. 😉

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6 Reasons why your teenager needs a summer job.

Both my children are teenagers and they have both got themselves some work for the summer holidays. I’m really pleased that they have taken this step as it teaches them so much. I remember working on a Saturday and in the holidays to earn some extra money. It was a little different for me because I started working like this from the age of 13. Nowadays, children can’t get many jobs until they are 16 due to employers needing to let the Local Authority know if they take on anyone younger than 16. This is due to child protection issues and makes things tricky for employers. This also makes it much harder for our teenagers to get work during the weekends or during the holidays. My son has some work experience with a family friend and this has worked out well. My daughter is doing some volunteer work this summer which is something younger teens can be involved with. However, whatever summer work experiences your teenager can get, it teaches them really important life skills.

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Meeting new people

1. Meeting new people

I remember working with a whole range of people of all different ages when I was a teenager and I loved it. My daughter worked in a cafe last summer and this meant that she was dealing with the public all day. This teaches teenagers important social skills about how different people communicate with each other. My daughter was quite shy but will now happily chat to anyone. I think dealing with some quite difficult customers has also given her coping strategies when dealing with tricky social situations. Seeing when people are rude can help our teenagers realise that they need to be respectful themselves. It helps to develop empathy and certainly builds character! Having to be away from their phones is also a massive positive in my book!

2. Knowing their own mind and developing a positive mindset.

Let’s face it, most teenagers haven’t got a clue what they want to do with their lives. Having a summer job can help them to decide what aspects of their summer jobs they enjoy and what aspects they don’t! Children can speak terribly to their parents but they wouldn’t dream of speaking in the same way to their employer. I believe this helps to develop a positive mindset in our children. Knowing that they can do a job well helps them to see what skills they actually have and are good at.

3. Developing Confidence

Both of my children have developed more confidence by having summer jobs. Confidence in their own abilities but also confidence when talking with adults. They are naturally quite shy people so learning to cope and being out of their comfort zone has been good for them!

4. Independence

Getting up for work, making their own sandwiches, travelling by bus, making sure their clothes are clean and ready or getting somewhere at certain times. All of these things obviously started at school but having a summer job has really helped my children to become more independent.

5. Developing new skills

There are so many different skills that teenagers learn by having a summer job and it obviously depends upon their job. I think the most important skill that summer jobs provide are to teach teenagers the value of their hard work and this is so important. They are learning that hard work means something and I am hoping that this will encourage my children to keep studying. They are learning about the working world and how hard it is! I hope that this will encourage them to strive for what they love rather than having to take any work to pay their bills.

6. Money Management

This is their motivation! Earning some money. Being a working teen is awesome! You get to spend your own money on whatever you want to. My daughter spent most if her earning last summer on make-up! And why not? You are only young once! My son is eying up some trainers but the difference is that he will look after them if he has bought them for himself as he knows how much they cost in hours worked.

I actively encourage my children to get weekend and holiday work. Do you? Do share your experiences with me.

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10 signs it is the almost the end of the school year

It’s the end of another school year and everything is rush, rush, rush!

You know it’s the end of the school year when:

  1. If someone asks you for anything, you lose the plot…literally. Do NOT ask me for one more thing! Triple this for teaching parents…..
  2. The kids look like they have been dragged through a hedge backwards. Their shoes don’t fit, trousers up to their ankles and hair needs a cut. If your child is in Year 6 or 11, times this by 10. Then they want your child to look “smart” for the end of term assembly. Hmmmmm
  3. The school send home “stuff.” It seems that every picture and book has been hiding in some drawer has been released and brought home in the customary plastic bag (so that’s what that huge plastic bag was for!)
  4. Talking of drawers….your child tidies their school drawer and finds several pound coins (oops that was the charity hair day money), 20 hair slides, 4 erasers, 16 chewed pencils and a party invitation from Sam dated 4 months previously.
  5. You keep getting emails from Mrs Organised for money for Mrs Teacher, Mr Head and Mrs Lovely the TA. In the end, you forget to give money to Mrs Organised and end up getting chocolates from the garage.
  6. Pack lunches get really, really boring as you haven’t had time to go supermarket shopping for 3 weeks.
  7. Your child’s teacher looks like she/he may pass out with tiredness or has the “I’ve only got Johnny in my class for 10 more days” look of glee on their face.
  8. Even the Headteacher looks like they need a stiff drink or a hair brush.
  9. You have overslept every morning for the last week.
  10. You realise that in less than 2 weeks, you have the children at home for 6 weeks…..and you’ve spent all your extra money on those gorgeous shoes….

So there we have it!

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Happy Summer everyone! I will be taking a blogging break at some point in the next few weeks so have a safe and relaxing break!

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Waiting in the dark for you to come home.

When you were a baby, I would feed you in the dark so that you could learn the difference between night and day. I didn’t want to wake your dad either so would tiptoe across the carpet to get a clean nappy. You would dreamfeed, all snuggled up against my skin, safe and secure in my arms.

When you were a toddler, I would tiptoe across the landing to your baby brothers room in the night to feed him. I would always check in on you. You would often sleep upside down with your bottom in the air! Or you would be smuggled down with your Dutch dolly called “Lovey La-La,” thumb in your mouth. You looked so small in your new “Big Girl” bed. You would often be surrounded by books. I would move a blond curl from your little face.

As a little girl, you would often tiptoe into my room, press your face up to mine and ask me if there were robbers at the door. I would take you back to bed and tuck you in reassuring you that no one could get in. Your little imagination would run riot. You didn’t like the dark and would insist on a night light. Your teddies and soft toys were positioned carefully on your bed so that they could keep an eye on you. Little soldiers guarding you from nightmares and frights.

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Now, I’m waiting in the dark. I’m awake you see as you are not yet home. I know you will always text me to let me know that you are safe. You are a good girl like that. But you are not in bed. You are not home. You are where you should be, out with your friends. But I’m awake waiting in the dark. I offered to pick you up but it’s easier, you said to stay with a friend. It’s all planned. That’s ok. I love that you are organised like that. It’s just that, I will always be your mum you see and I will lie in the dark thinking of you, even when you are not here. Have fun. Stay safe. My little girl.

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