Help a mother out.

I know the word “tribe” is a popular term at the moment and being bashed to death. I’m 14.10 years into the raising of our boys and have always drawn on advice from my mum, my sisters, my hubby’s family, friends, teachers and principals, other mothers. It’s become very apparent over the last few days or even weeks really with the rising of the boys that I need this tribe.

Families need a clan in their lives. It’s not just when they’re babies and you know you’re tired and you need someone to hold the baby while you shower or pee, no mothers with teenagers need someone too. There’s my mum who has a subtle way of chatting or giving advice, you know she rubs their hand or I’ll see her occasionally give a cuddle and she’ll whisper something in their ear and it might not be a full on lecture or a rant but might be just a few words that really stick. The boys are comfortable in opening up to her a lot. They will tell her things that don’t tell me.  My Dad, he’s a quiet man, he doesn’t say much but has strong opinions, in saying that the boys respect him immensely and a happy to have a chat to him about anything.

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My boys loving my dad.

 

My sister posted my first born son a letter that was about life and how at 14 you don’t need to know everything, you are not expected to know exactly what you want to do in your life. Just like your Mum at 37 doesn’t know what she wants to do, but attitude is everything and to try, take every opportunity and make the most of it. For me at the moment, the letter from my sister meant everything. I balled my eyes out when I read it a few days after my son received it and asked me to read it when he was at school. We went to holiday with her, on her family property on the school holidays, and my eldest was lumped with the dishes of 11 people one night (he had other help but he kept being ridiculous, so he was left with about a quarter). He refused to stop being silly and do the job, I went and stood in the kitchen and he got worse. My brother in law walked in, stood at the bench and flicked through his phone, sending me outside to have a wine and watch the sun set with my mum, sister and cousin. The dishes were done perfectly in record time and not a single complaint. My eldest worships at my brother in law’s feet and would never want to disappoint him. My youngest sister and her family have the same comfortable relationship with my boys they will talk to them about everything. We have always lived by a “no secrets in this family” policy, the boys are comfortable sharing everything with my sisters and parents.

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My brother in law teaching the city kids about the bush.

 

I was driving to school a few weeks ago and my eldest boy had a history exam, I was on the phone to my best friend and she was offering him words of wisdom for his exam. Remember dates, places, and names. It was a small conversation but for me at the moment those small moments have a huge effect.

Recently my cousin has come back into my life and even though the boys haven’t seen her in years they are comfortable with her and feel comfortable chatting to her and asking advice.

It’s not even just in raising kids you need a tribe to bounce ideas off. Some of my most joyous moments are sitting having a coffee with a friend or my mum and my sister and talking about what’s going on, what they have to say and how that can change my mind set or how I look at a situation.

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Making memories as a family.

 

I refuse to let my family get bogged down in screens and social media – that actually does nothing for you socially. We need a lot of people in our lives that have deep connections with. That are respected and we are accountable to and have a deep love for. You can have lots of people in your life, but they might not mean anything, but I think that it’s important for kids to know that they don’t have to just only tell their parents everything. I want them to know if they need to have a chat to someone else, they have family (some who are not blood) to share with.

I read an article and it was 15 ways to help a new mother and I’ve been thinking about writing a blog post for 15 ways of helping mothers with teenagers because it’s not just mother’s with newborn babies that need help. However, I hate lists and glaze over at reading them if it’s too long. So here is my top 5 ways to help a mother of teenagers out.

 

  1. Suggest meeting for coffee. (Depending on the day this could progress to wine and escalate to tequila.)
  2. Don’t talk about the kids, there are billions of subjects to talk about. When a mum with teenage kids is having to deal with teenager hormones, attitude and opinions at home. Find something else to talk about when you see her or chat on the phone. Don’t mention the kids, give her a break.

 

  1. If she needs to talk about it, let her vent, let her get it all out, rant, rave. If you have useful advice share it otherwise, sit and listen. (Perhaps pass her another glass of wine.)

 

  1. Take her out. If she has teenagers she is running around after them, with sport, or work, 1 million other commitments. Take her out and do something that makes her heart happy. She will then come home refreshed and energised to love her kids.

 

  1. Don’t talk to mum at all, build up a relationship with the kid. If you are close enough to the family reach out to the kid. Send them a text saying Hi. If you are visiting sit and have a conversation with the kid.

Post 74

Post 74

This week I feel that I’ve been the mother that continually makes demands from her kids. It really did feel like every time that I spoke to my
offspring, it was too ask them to do something.

 

“Put your tie and belt on”

 

“get ready for school.”

 

“get ready for work”

 

” have you got your homework”

 

We had a blow up about an assignment that was due in and it was not great, it was no where near the standard that he is capable of. Sitting at
cricket today, my head wanted to explode in frustration with the way my boy was playing cricket, he wasn’t playing to the best of his ability and was walking around the pitch waving his bat and not hitting the ball. I was the crazy mother on the boundary telling
him what to do. “Run”, “hit the ball”. My other boy was sitting with me laughing his little head off. This was after I had lectured him on the perils of borrowing money from friends and to never ever do it again. He had borrowed money from a friend to buy
a pencil with a rubber on the end at the school bookfair, I had told him no that he wouldn’t be buying a pencil from a bookfair and if he wanted to contribute to the bookfair he would be buying a book.  I was trying to teach him the lesson that if you don’t
have your own cash, then you save for the item or forget about it. I had the very same conversation with boy 1 when on the way to work on Tuesday. He his at the age (14), where he believes that everything in our life should revolve about him and that he is
entitled to absolutely everything that he lays his eyes on. We have set a limit for him to reach in his bank account before he is allowed to spend any money. This will be his emergency fund and this is the least amount that always must be in his account. He
thinks that this concept is ridiculous and that he should be able to spend whatever money he sees fit.

 

Everyday this week has felt like a battle, some ending in wine and a whinge to my husband.

 

I read an article on Facebook – by Rachel Stafford from the New York times, 10 ways to Salvage a bad morning before parting ways.

The last few sentences got to me : Day after day, you provide countless doses of love without even thinking about it. That sacred collection of loving gestures far outweighs this mornings clothing drama, and the 7am meltdown

Post 70

Post 70

I love interesting conversations. I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend that I don’t see often enough. We spoke deeply and opening about being a woman, wife, and mother. We spoke about family that is not blood but make us feel loved, connected and part of something important. We spoke about what we do for our families and friends. We spoke about dreams that we don’t know we want and being the peacemaker.

As I drove home I was thinking about the conversation. I was thinking about how women are the backbone and guiding force in families. In what ways women are the strength and the peacemakers, times when women placed others before themselves. Women are the cultivators of friendships, relationships and support to family and friends. How a woman’s vibe and energy influences the people around her. Women are the ears, eyes, heart and mind of her tribe.

I spoke about wives and mothers to an elderly Italian lady, and she told me about her 60 years of experience of marriage and child rearing. Go about it quietly darling. My husband thinks that he is the backbone of our family, pffft, I let him think that. Never underestimate the power of seed planting, she told me and patted my hand. I am the one that has made the decisions when it has come to our home, our children and family. But I have done it quietly, this doesn’t mean I haven’t fought and stood my ground, that I haven’t had to be creative, when I want my own way. And men can be stupid. She told me how they are happy in their marriage, comfortable in their finances, how she has a close knit family and friends, how she volunteers, she is active in her community and she can be happy at the end of her life that she has been kind and helpful.

I haven’t been back on social media today, after I got caught up reading one thread this morning, where women were being absolutely vile to each other and tearing each other apart because of the way they voted in the US election. At the end of the day we are all women and this was no way to treat a fellow human. There was one comment about how there will never be world peace now. It made me shrink my mind to my little world. My family and friends the people that are important to me, my work and my home, the things that I enjoy and the dreams that I have. I try to be kind and thoughtful, I make a point of hearing what people are saying. This is where world peace starts – with yourself. I have a key chain on my car keys – Be the change you want to see in the world. Women know how to connect people, build families and communities, women do have influence and will be the change in the world.

End of post 70

I opened bank accounts for boy 1 today. I set strict rules for his finances and he is excited to see his money grow.

Feature photo shows my new hair.