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Wellington, New Zealand
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

some days being the grown up really sucks



whoever said a week is a long time in politics, obviously didn't have kids; because a rough week in parenting can seem like a LIFETIME.

miss 20 left home yesterday.

6 days ago, it was looking like it might be the longest 6 days of my life.

i'd left the house for a walk after a fight with miss 20, and found myself freezing my butt off beside a local stream, wailing down the phone to my best friend, trying to make sense of one of my worst days as a parent.

miss 20 had found a flat and was moving out, but it had been and was getting ugly, and i was struggling to make sense of it all, and wondering how on earth i'd get through the next week.

my best friend's daughter is 3 years older than mine, so through the years she's been my 'advance party', taking the hits and gaining invaluable experience which she's always been happy to share.

before writing this post, i thought about how much i wanted to 'share'...

.....but i NEED to know that i'm not alone

.....i NEED to know that you can feel bad and get better;

.....and i WANT to share so that someone reading this will maybe take something from it and find it useful.

a 30 minute conversation with my best friend was cheering, helpful, insightful and even managed to contain a few laughs.

"it's not like in the movies where you carry the cardboard box to the car and then embrace.  there's no fairytale".

"i never thought it would be like that" i replied.

"someone [either one of you] has to feel like crap.  that's just the way it is".

"but why?  why can't it be somewhere in the middle?"

"it just isn't", she said.

WELL THAT SUCKS.

a week earlier, over a roast dinner, our neighbour (whose daughters have left home, boomeranged  back (twice), then married) said the nicest thing anyone could have said to me.

"all children become FERAL just before they leave home.   it's nature's way of making it easier to let them go."

...and i think he might just be right.

so here's what i have learned:

at 17, when your daughter starts bringing home the BEST academic results of her 13 years at school; then carries on to bring home straight As in her first and second years at university (college) - do NOT give her a free pass on household chores.

this, combined with a SAHM (me), her GEN-Y attitude and a generally lazy disposition when it comes to helping out around the place, WILL create the proverbial monster.

there's no hope for me, BUT SAVE YOURSELVES!!!





PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily

15 comments:

Nicki said...

My oldest is only 14 and I wish someone had told me what was coming 3 years ago ... cos I sure haven't been prepared for what hit us ... guess I've still got more to come then ... oh.dear.

Sharlene Meyer said...

Sorry it's been a rough week Sue, I hope some middle ground was found eventually. My Mum was the one that went feral when I left home...I moved to Welly over 11 years ago and she still hasn't accepted it or moved on. I get little digs about it constantly and over the years it has eroded our friendship some what. I hope I have learned from it and won't do the same to my girls in 20 years time...

mandyb said...

hey you ARE a fabulous mum....and you know what SHE will get OVER herself sometime....and learn very quickly what we all found out....life is hard....so get hard!!! (and there is SO much stuff around the house that wont get done....UNLESS YOU DO IT!!!!)

cat said...

Eish, it must be difficult to have them leave home. But I would like to share with you what my mom said to me 3 months after I left home - She said that possibly for our relationship, it was the best thing to do.

Love to you girl!

scrappysue said...

hey nicki - nice to see you again! yep, 14 is an interesting age, and there are some GREAT years that follow, but parenting is a full-time challenge, with mostly great times and a few rough ones thrown in to keep us on our toes!

sharlene, we did get there in the end with hugs at the car and a very contrite phone call this morning requesting (very politely) for a few things left behind i'm sorry things haven't worked out so well for you and your mum. being a mum is HARD!!!

mandy - thanks for the props. i don't doubt she'll keep house quite well, coz she has to!

cat - i think your mother is a very wise woman, coz that's pretty much how it is for us too.

Jaina said...

I hope things got smoothed over. I wish I had advice to offer, but I seem to have skipped a lot of the troublesome times because I simply didn't see the point. (my parents had it pretty easy with me) I think your friend's advice is true though...I've been through that in different but related situations with friends and whatnot.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the advice, Sue! I will need it one day!

parentingBYdummies said...

You're scaring me! Not sure I'll be able to handle three teenage boys at once! Feel free to link your post to Old School Photo Friday this week; it's perfect! Found you from Photostory Friday.

Grand Pooba said...

Don't ever think you have bad parenting skills! She is lucky to have you as a mom!

Hang in there, we're all pulling for you!

Scary Mommy said...

This is fantastic advice! Good luck, Sue- this has got to be TOUGH!!

Working Mum said...

Advice noted for the future! I'm sure it will settle down with Miss 20; she was probably working through her feelings about leaving without realising. Kids, eh? Never a dull moment!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Oh so not looking forward to that. dealing with teens right now. good luck!!

N-Pync said...

OMG, Sue, that post gave me shivers.... especially your photos at the bottom.

I've been there and done it and it's ugly. No sugar coating from me.

I'm still waiting for it to get better at my end and I hope it goes better for you a lot quicker than it has for me.

You're a great mom. Hang in there.

auntiegwen said...

I was in Turkey but am back now, sending you the love, you're an amzing and fab mum and she know's it, it's hard to part and that's why it's so horrible now.

You know I'm doing this in September, so love to you and Mr Scrappy too xxxx

Cecily R said...

I was my mom's big trial. I look back on things now and I realize what an amazing influence she is and was on me. If Isaac and Gracie and Evie get half the mom I got, they're three lucky kids. I have no doubt that if Miss 20 isn't feeling that now, she will very soon.

Based on your newest post, things are better. Here's to kids figuring out that mom was right all along. :)