Those of you that read yesterday’s post, you’ll know it was my brother’s birthday so the clan gathered to eat cake, and compete against each other to lead in the conversation.
During the night, my sister declared that her daughter, at the age of 25 and a new Mum herself, had finally apologised to my sister for her behaviour as a teenager.
This, is every Mum’s goal. Yes, of course we want to see our brood become happy, successful independent adults, but, deep down, every Mum wants that moment when they hear those 3 magical words. The 3 most important words any mother will ever hear.
I’m sorry, Mum.
Now, I’m not saying that we’re all narcissistic people, only basing our success as parents on the pinnacle moment we can turn around to our children and say “ha! I told you so!” But man, it is, even if it’s a secret ambition, the holy grail of parent hood.
I remember saying it to my mum. You get to that place in life, either as a parent, or just a person who can look back in their past and “evaluate” their childish behaviour, where you realise, some of the things you put your parents through were, to put it bluntly, a bit of a dick move.
Now, I wasn’t the worst teenager out there, even now, some people might disagree, but I had a pretty level head on my shoulders and most of what I did, I usually did it in a fairly responsible way…. Yes, we would sometimes go to the park, spend our £5 pocket money on a bottle of 2020 and 10 fags, but at the time? It wasn’t too bad, or was it? As a parent now, it’s scary to think our little bundles of joy are at an age where they are going to start experiencing life. The problem is, it’s not until you get older, that you realise how dangerous, worrying or reckless those experiences could have been!
I look back at some decisions I made and yes, at the time, didn’t seem too bad. But what you don’t have at that age, is the ability to look at the big picture…
For example, I’m going through it with my eldest. She’s beautiful, intelligent & popular. But right now, all she can see is the here and now. I’m fighting a losing battle, because sure, she has every right to experiment, be reckless or irresponsible. She’s young, and has me to pick up the pieces, right?
Well, it’s right in the sense that if she finds herself stranded at a party, and the designated driver is face down in her own vomit in the toilets. She can call me. Yes, I won’t be happy, driving my arse in the middle of the night wearing my dressing gown, but I’m there to make sure she’s safe.
What I can’t seem to drill into her head, is life gets a lot tougher in a few years, and if she messes up now, it’s starting to get to a point where she is making childish decisions that are going to effect her adult life. And that, is the parent vs teenagers’ oldest battle.
Parent can see that teenager is spending too much time partying, which makes them late for college and start to fail; causing said teenager to risk getting kicked out of college, not being able to go to Uni and end up asking “do you want fries with that?” For most of their adult life.
All teenager hears is another long winded rant from parent about how they’ve given them everything, how they’re throwing away their lives and that they will screw up if they don’t start “acting their age”
Queue eye roll, a huff and a puff and a comment usually along the lines of “well you did it!!!!” Followed by an almighty slam of the door.
And that is the problem. Yes, we did it. It is all part of growing up, but as a parent, you want your children to not have to learn the hard way. To maybe, have things a little easier than you did, and offer them advice and guidance on how you see things and how you think it’d work better.
But. And this is practically impossible. It isn’t our life! The best we can do, is make sure they’re safe and they have all the info they need. As I’m writing this, even I can see the logic, but in no way have I mastered putting it into practice… I will continue to battle with my teenagers, suffer that dreaded week in the month where hormones are detectable on a Richter Scale and I will react to the snarky comment made as one of them leaves the room, because, I’m still learning too!
And that’s the problem with life. At no point, in any part of our lives, are we living in a tried and tested state. Everyday is new. Everyday is a new challenge. And everyday we learn how not to do something again. Sure, we all have someone in our lives that is a step ahead of us and can offer some advise, but that person will be struggling with something else! Life sucks. But we’ve got to start looking at people around us trying to help and not feel like they’re judging us, but that they’ve just done that bit already…
So, just to be sure she knows I now get what she was trying to do. I’m sorry, mum. And I mean it, because she’s going to have to steer me through a few more milestones I’ve yet to reach and because she’s my mum, I know she always will, as I will for my girls, no matter how argumentative they are….
#postaday #mum #life