Tag Archives: children

26 Things I am Learning About My Tween

 

I mentioned recently over on my Facebook page that I am a mid-years mama, a Tween mama if you will. You can find a wealth of knowledge and blogs full of advice on Newborns, Babies, Toddlers and Teens however I’m noticing a serious lack of talking on the Tween phase. It’s almost like we jump from Pre-schoolers to Teens and forget we have to get through the murky middle waters before the teen stage.

 

With all that in mind and a great deal of thinking on my behalf I thought I’d write a little bit on the things I am learning from my Miss 8 and the crap people forgot to warn me about. I’m hoping it will resonate with some fellow mamas who are at the same stage as me and even if you aren’t then look forward to it or read it and think back on when this was you.

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26  Things I’m learning about my Tween

  1. I am still her favourite person. Until I’m not but I know in an hour or so I will be again. Its ok, I get it. I remember feeling the same with my own mum.
  2. She hates most the clothes I buy for her. Mainly because I chose them. On shopping trips I keep my mouth shut and pray she chooses wisely. It’s still ok though because I will not buy what I don’t think is appropriate.
  3. She likes to spend my money and she neeeeeeeds everything. It’s not true.
  4. She is aware her body is changing and it is confronting and confusing for her. She isn’t sure why some clothes I used to let her wear I now tell her are inappropriate. It’s tough trying to explain.
  5. She looks older than she acts. I still let her be a child. It is unfair for people to expect such grown up things from her.
  6. She is a tiny hurricane of turbulent emotions. Pre-puberty mood swings are real and they are taking over her body and she has no idea what the heck is wrong.
  7. She still needs cuddles. She acts like she doesn’t but deep down she stills craves them. So when she scraps her knee or stubs her toe it is still easily fixed with a big bear hug.
  8. Unless we are in public. In public I tread carefully. Some days she is unreadable. Some mornings a kiss goodbye is fine but other days I dare not touch her. I am learning it depends on our audience.
  9. I can’t fight her battles for her. As much as I want to march up to that bully and sort them out with stern words and evil glares. I can’t. I have to trust her to do this for herself. I have to trust that I have taught her to cope with these situations. I know she wants me to rescue her but I also know she would be mortified if I did. It’s tough.
  10. I can’t choose her friends for her. She has her own ideas and the best thing I can do is get to know them. They are her posse and their influence on her is inevitable, I must know who these girls are.
  11. She uses my shampoo and body washes in the shower. She swears she doesn’t touch them but she smells just like me.
  12. She wants to wear my make up. Not smeared on lipstick like her younger sister but properly applied.
  13. She is still ok when I say no.
  14. She is starting to doubt herself. Gone is the fearless I can do anything attitude and the worry and self-doubt is coming in its place. It is my job to teach her she was right before. She can do anything.
  15. She is starting to need privacy. She changes in the bedroom with the door shut and is starting to dread the school swimming changing rooms.
  16. She can slam her bedroom door with the force of a strong man.
  17. But she still can’t shut the pantry door.
  18. She is not me. She is herself. I must let her be her.
  19. People at school are telling her that Santa, The Easter Bunny and the Tooth fairy aren’t real and she is looking at me for answers. Of course, they’re real. I will cling to this magic of childhood for as long as I can.
  20. She makes me cry, laugh, feel hopeless and hopeful all in one day. I want to save her and praise her, hug her, kiss her and scold her all at once.
  21. With every new emotion or mood swing I pray my mother is wrong and the upcoming teen years will not be pay back for how I behaved during my own.
  22. She has a great sense of humour. She is funny, and smart, and witty. She reassures me I am not.
  23. She has discovered sarcasm. Its crap and it’s often paired with eye rolling.
  24. She is still fragile. She may deliver the comebacks but she cannot handle them.
  25. As much as I want to be her BFF forever I am her Mum first. She is learning this and I am learning how hard it can be to step back from the friend status and be a tough Mama. Some days she tells me she hates me and I have to remind myself that if she didn’t hate me I wouldn’t be doing my job right.
  26. She still needs her mum. No matter how old she gets, no matter how determined and independent she is, she will still need me and this reassurance will get me through this.

 

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This stage is just as rewarding and tedious as any stage of parenting but that’s parenting in a nutshell really. There are good days and bad days but at the end of the day it’s a journey most of us wouldn’t give up for the world. It is a gift and a rollercoaster of a ride.

Mel x

A Letter To My Daughter Turning Five

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Trilly Bug : My Crazy Bug : My Baby Bug.

I remember Miss’s first day at school. I fought back tears as she entered school full of excitement. I went to the car when the 9am bell rang and cried like a baby. I watched the clock, counting down the hours until pick up time and then sat out the front of school from 2.40pm just waiting.

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Teeny tiny beginnings.

Trilly starts school next Friday and the feelings are back. Just this morning I fought back tears as I organised to bring her a birthday cake on her last day at kindy, her actual 5th birthday. However, this time I won’t let Trilly see me sad, I won’t let her realise how hard it is for me because she is excited and she deserves me to be excited for her.

It’s not about her leaving me and not having her by my side every afternoon. It’s bigger than that. It’s the realisation that she is moving on to that next step. That step that involves me having to start letting go. She is no long my baby, we are passed that now. She is becoming my independent young child. So a letter for her memory box is a birthday must.

The fight for freedom and independence started young with this one.
The fight for freedom and independence started young with this one.

Dear Trilly,

Next week you are FIVE! That is a big milestone in my mummy book. It is the start of a whole new chapter in both our lives. Me, the mother of two big school girls and you, the new big schoolgirl. A new exciting step for all of us.

I am so proud of you. Your eagerness to learn and your fierce strive for independence. Your cheeky personality and sense of humour already apparent. You are so tough, yet so gentle and kind. I have heard you stand up to other children your age as they are overly assertive with you and you do it with kindness that I don’t think I could have ever taught you. It is natural to you to assert yourself but to do it kindly.

You were once so shy, painfully shy. Uncle Hayden once babysat you for the night and you cried for so long when we left that you fell asleep on the kitchen floor. He left you for fear you’d wake up and cry again. You have grown so much and now I see you rush at kindy to sign up for saying the prayer.

Nope, she never needs help. Not even when putting on her googles.
Nope, she never needs help. Not even when putting on her googles.

Ever since you discovered you could hold a cup yourself your quest for independence has been strong. You toilet trained at 15months because you refused to let me put a nappy on you and you couldn’t figure out how to do it yourself, so knickers and the toilet were your only option. You are always wanting to help me with everything and when I say no you reply ’but how will I learn?’

You are fearless. Sometimes this worries me as you sprint towards the ocean or go full accelerator on your motorbike. You are going to learn some tough lessons about the importance of caution but these are your lessons to learn and until I am ready for you to learn them I will continue to do my best to protect you. I can’t help it, it’s my job.

I want you to remember to treat everyone as you would like to be treated. This is my biggest wish. The world needs more kindness and I know you can be it. As you go through school you will encounter some mean people, it’s inevitable but kill them with kindness. They are the ones that need it most.

She crawled at 8months but didn't walk until 14months, and then she just ran.
She crawled at 8months but didn’t walk until 14months, and then she just ran.

I cannot wait to cheer you on at school cross country, athletics days and swimming sports. I cannot wait to see both my girls on stage for the school productions and to sit proudly at prize-giving’s for you both. I can’t believe how quick our early years have flown past but I am excited for the next part of our lives.

Love always and forever,

Mum x

A contagious smile
A contagious smile

Ps. In about a month’s time you are going to tell me you hate school that you don’t want to go and it’s dumb. So before we get there let’s make something clear, this is you for ATLEAST the next 10 years, I will most likely enforce that you stay at school for the next 12years. So get used to it. Suck it up Princess. You and your sister can commiserate together now. School is your future and you need it.

25 Confessions Of An Everyday Mum

Motherhood is a crazy ride and some days I'm hanging on by my finger tips
Motherhood is a crazy ride and some days I’m hanging on by my finger tips

I need to get some things off my chest. Partake in a little confessional and cleanse my mama soul. I’m hoping I’m not the only one that does some of these but if I am, I’m ok with that because they are helping me survive.

My Mum Confessions:

1. Some nights I tell my children it’s bedtime at 6.30pm instead of 7.30pm. I manage to trick them into thinking its 7.30 because they can’t tell the time yet and no daylight savings is on my side, for now.

2. About once a week my children’s dinner consists of 2min noodles, spaghetti or eggs on toast or toasted sandwiches. I just can not pull off 7 nights of decent cooking.

3. I push snooze on my alarm clock at least 3 times before getting up and rushing around like a mad woman to make school drop off in time.

4. Miss partakes in the schools weekly sausage sizzle just so I don’t have to make her a sandwich on a Thursday.

5. If we’ve run out of bread, I’ll send her to school with a can of tuna.

6. I hide chocolate and lollies on the top shelf of the pantry and I don’t share.

7. I’ve eaten cooking chocolate more than once.

8. Also, the cooking wine….

9. I go to the supermarket for bread and milk but take over half an hour and spend at least $50.

10. I do not and have never tried to make paleo treats. Or just paleo anything really.

11. I’ve recently just bought a new bra, only because I realised I NEVER wash the other one.

12. I don’t cut out sandwiches into bear faces and I do not draw smileys on the girls bananas for their lunches.

13. I sometimes have to do the sniff test to decide between clean and dirty socks.

14. I have said my babes are sick to get out of a social invite. More than once.

15. I pull the fingers and mouth ‘F you’ behind my kids backs some days. It truly helps me feel better.

16. When I’m exhausted DVDs are my best friend. We make pop corn, we grab a blanket and we all lie down. It’s compulsory.

17. I love bath time because the girls will play in there for almost half an hour but some nights we skip it and they go to bed without one.

18. I only wash their hair once a week. Shock, horror but it actually only needs to be washed that much. And, nits apparently like clean hair. We’ve never had nits, touch wood.

19. I’m a terrible housewife. I hate the washing. I wash it, I hang it out, it stays on the line overnight, I bring it in, it lives in the basket for four days, I fold it and it stays on the table until it’s back in the dirty washing pile again. I am terrible at washing. I vacuum around the washing baskets, it’s really bad.

20. I don’t make the beds every morning. I mostly straighten them up before the kids jump back in them.

21. My husband cleans the bathroom. The only time I ever gave the bath a decent clean was when I was pregnant and hoping being down on my knees would speed up labour.

22. I vacuumed and mowed the lawns a fair bit when my babes were young. It drowned out the crying when I reached the point where I had no idea what else to do to stop it. I’d put them safely wrapped in the bassinette and vacuum the crap out of the house.

23. Some days, I put myself in time out. It’s easier than trying to seperate the kids. They soon realise I’m hiding (normally with my secret treats) and sort themselves out.

24. I will be the mum that kisses my babes goodbye until I die. I still hug and kiss my own parents goodbye. I will tell them I love them a thousand times a day and I don’t feel bad that I do it.

25. I am terrified of sending my children out into this world. First days at school, first solo play dates, first camp sleep overs, all of it sends me into a state of anxiety. I pray every day in a world full of cruelty and hardship that I have taught my girls to be tough enough to be the kindness. To just be nice.

Do you have any Mum confessions to make? Surely, I am not alone. Don’t be ashamed, I’m not. My children are alive and thriving thanks mostly to me, and ya gotta do what ya gotta do to get through.

Mel x

A Letter to My 8yr Old Daughter On Her Birthday

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To my Darling Miss,

Tomorrow you turn 8 years old and I truly can’t believe how fast those 8 years have gone. I think back to our first days together and remember that you slept a lot and I watched a lot. I would stare at you for hours trying to figure out what I was supposed to do and how we were going to have to learn together. You had this soft fuzz of dark hair, wrinkled tiny hands and the smallest feet I had ever seen. I held your tiny body terrified I’d break you. From the moment you came into this world and looked into your father’s eyes you became the apple of them. Our hearts never knew a love like this could exist until you showed us.

Back then I could never have imagined the young girl my tiny baby would grow into. You have surprised me at every step and we continue to learn and grow together. You are so like me and yet so much unlike me at the same time. Our differences continue to teach me and help me grow as your Mother. I know some times we disagree and you get upset with me, I hate to disappoint you but I am still learning too.

You wear your heart on your sleeve and it is one of the biggest and kindest hearts I have ever known. You see the best in everything and believe the good in all. The world is going to knock you around, the day you realise there is unkindness and cruelty within it will break my heart. I want to keep you in that bubble of yours forever but when the inevitable happens, I will be there. I will pick you up and I will help heal your heart.

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There will also be times when I will not be enough. When no matter how much I want to fix things, I won’t be able to. You will be ok. You will survive. You are stronger than you think. Though your heart is tender you have an iron will and a soul of determination. I remember when you started school at only 5 years old and you were cruelly bullied. I remember the days you cried and I wiped away your tears but I also remember the day you told me that it was ok because the bully just needed a friend. If you could kill with kindness then my darling girl you did.

Your magical imagination keeps the magic within me alive. When I ask you what you are going to be when you grow up, you firmly answer ‘A mermaid’. I love this about you and I especially love that you share this magic with your younger sister. I don’t think she could have requested a better big sister. You nurture her, you play tricks on her, you laugh with her and you tease her. She hurt her knee on the driveway last week and you picked her up and carried her all the way back to the house. I pray that the two of you are always this close. She is your only sister and you hers. Look after one another.

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Your joy is infectious and your kind heart hard to ignore. You have friends aplenty and if you see someone being left out it is you who includes them. You are popular and you don’t realise it which makes you all the more endearing. When I pick you up from school you are always giggling with someone and this makes my heart smile. I’m pretty sure the most appealing part of school for you at the moment is the chance to see your friends. You tell me endless stories about the two Charlees and how much you adore them. If I was 8 again I know I’d be longing to be your friend.

To me you are perfect. Even on the days we are mad at each other, and I know there will be plenty more of these over the coming years but I never want you to forget that. To me you are perfect. I promise to grow with you as I always have. You are my first born, the lessons we are learning we are learning together. You are my teacher as much as I am yours. I promise you that no matter what the years throw at us I will always love you. My love for you will never falter. My love for you is everlasting.

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Happy Birthday my Darling Miss.

Love Mum x