The Thing About Teenagers…

Is this thing on?

Back from an absence and to be honest I was stalling quite a bit to write and to post because I’m feeling very compelled to give my blog a whole refresh again especially in time for my bloggerversary in April. However, like a prisoner with a lucky break, time just seems to escape me.

Anywhooo…

I’ve been steadily trying to adjust properly into my new role as Trini mom of two teens (and by steadily, I mean from about October of 2021). Everything is in full swing now though and while sometimes I run like clockwork, there are many days when I feel like…Jesus just take the wheel, the car, the tune-up, the monthly installments AND the insurance because EYE not able with this!!!

Tew….much…

I feel like NO-ONE adequately informed me about mothering teenagers and I have questions. The sad part is that in my decade (plus) career as an Educator (including a lengthy spell as a Dean of Discipline), you would think that I would have learnt a thing or two about dealing with them. I did, but here’s the thing though, I can’t send mine home to their parents or suspend them from school for seven days to get them out my sight. They actually live in my house so alas, there is no separation of church and state. This is outright corruption and it stink.

Knowledge is power though and I am definitely learning every damn day. If you thought the lack of sleep/milk factory newborn stage is rough or the draining/demanding toddler stage is exhausting, guess what? It just morphs into a new set of challenges at the adolescent stage where you (more often than not) question your sanity, walk on eggshells, get irritated quickly, manage your expectations and worry….and oh you will worry…. a lot….more than you need to, but as much as you want to. Once you have children “it” never ends.

Here are a couple things I’ve learnt on this journey so far:

  • Teens want space. All of a sudden, I live a house with a corridor flanked by closed doors (NOT locked in my damn house). I knock for proof of life but most times I don’t need to as I usually hear giggling or bantering as they are ‘online’ with their friends. They don’t know how lucky they have it nah.
  • Said space will be acceptable to their standards which means it will be messy as hell if you don’t reign it in. I usually tell my gremlinz to at least neaten it up, nobody is saying to put down a Christmas cleaning, but try not to have stuff strewn all over when there are clear receptacles available.
  • Said space will also be the prison for your missing cutlery and crockery. When I see the stacks of dishes emerge from their dungeons in the evening, I shake my head and wonder how personally invested I would have to be in order to NOT make this a “thing” as de young people like to say. (Answer: Not that invested, and it depends on what the stack looks like.)
  • There is a slight obsession with hair. The elder gremlin asked me to grow his out while he would need curl activator and a hair sponge. (Naturally I enabled this as casual observation from the after-school population shows that teen boys find and express themselves through hairstyles). The younger gremlin all of a sudden wants to “see” what her hair would look like straight, it’s too thick for her to handle and apparently, I don’t do a well-enough job to make her look fly. Then she changes her mind because she gets fed up easily. She wouldn’t drive me mad.
  • Bad moods are de rigueur. Sometimes they scowl, fret and argue for no reason. One minute they will make their own breakfast, next minute they’re mad because I didn’t make anything for them. No amount of “this-is-the-day-that-the-Lord-hath-made-we-will-rejoice-and-be-glad-in-it” will help. My house gets very angsty and most times I just leave them alone yes because I doh want no bad vibes and they wouldn’t drive me mad.
  • You compete with headphones and earphones for their attention so they don’t “hear” you. Thankfully I have 5-year-old #gremlin3 who dutifully serves as town crier when necessary so I am safe. He handles the sentence “MUMMY CALLIN YUH!!!” with such ease.
  • Teens are masterful in identifying the random moments when they feel like talking. It is at this point you laser your focus to make sure that it appears as though you are doing nothing or doing some nonchalant activity. At this very random time they just appear, start with one word and then the rest follows like word vomit. For this sharing of thoughts I am always grateful but of course expect them to disappear shortly after they have unloaded on you.
  • Teens still need physical touch. They might roll their eyes, hit you the “oh gosh man!” or the “don’t be weird”, but they melt like butter once they get hugs etc. and then for a brief moment you see the inner child flicker in their eyes.

I’ve learnt so much more, but these are my main lessons. I still feel like as much as they brilliantly package the “what to expect” for pregnancy, babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, all the feverish teachings die out at the later stages of a child’s life so it’s more of a ‘do what works for you but don’t raise no more shitty kids, the world has enough’ scenario. Therefore sometimes I am left with going back to my own teens trying to remember what I liked and didn’t like to influence my present parenting strategy. But then again….these children different….

Am I alone in thinking that way? If you have teenagers, do you feel the same? If you have littles, are you even thinking about coping with the teen years? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to follow me on:

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Bless!

TMIDM

The Guilt…

Photo by Olga Lioncat from Pexels

Here’s the thing about it.

A large part of mothering is you feeling like you’re not enough, you’re not being enough and you’re not doing enough. You set your plans, somehow you don’t achieve all that you’ve set out and sleep cannot catch you with your list undone or it will be trouble the next day.

You forget that while you’re superhuman, you’re only human, imperfect and fallible, needing rest and needing kindness.

How is it that our mental load makes us work ourselves to the bone making sure that others are happy while we leave ourselves for last and still beat up ourselves if we recognize that we could have or should have done better?

That can’t be what mothering is….#momguilt shouldn’t even be a concept…why are we feeling guilty for being human? Does #dadguilt exist and is it as prevalent?

Meh…

More on this later…

Blessings

TMIDM

It is only Tuesday…

This wasn’t my next planned post but when the inspiration hits….

Now have you ever seen this viral moment?

#diddystaredown

Picture me as Diddy and #gremlin3 as Elijah Connor (complete with the naughty grin) in the ultimate staredown this morning over the word RAT. Watch it again.

Of the short list of three-letter phonic words that good old Nelson set up for us to go through today, RAT was the last word and I was determined that we finish with a flourish. It was already set up like a root canal appointment going through the list in the first place because he had guava jam for breakfast (a grave error, the buzz was growing) and I low-key needed him to just pronounce and say the damn word so I could tick off my own productivity list and move on with my breakfast. My Hong Wing, Crix and zaboca was waiting.

Not my images but name a more satisfying trio….I’ll wait

I prayed silently for the return of his teacher who was unfortunately called away from virtual reading this morning. I prayed even more fervently for COVID-19 to ROLL TF BACK because ah cyah take this no more and he needs his little playmates to keep him company so they could all be crazy four year olds together. Selling dreams…..

Now there is an opinion held by many that parents think that teachers are babysitters and they (the parents) are willing to shove their offspring into the teachers’ hands and take off like a rotating shift. I’m a parent and a teacher and I am here to admit that this is partially true. I say partially because as a parent I know what I drill into the gremlinz in order to make the teacher’s shift easier and I recognize and appreciate its necessity (take these chirren please! #ahbeg). At the same time, I also am fully aware of when it is my turn to pick up shift and sadly, A LOT of parents are ignorant of this and if they do know, they simply do not care.

#gremlin2 and I butted heads extensively when she was doing the SEA exam last year simply because she was more amenable to her teacher’s style. Now there is nothing wrong with that, I’m fully aware of the dynamic. Even when she was very much younger my words couldn’t hold a flame to what “Miss say!” At the end of the day, Miss will reach her where I could not. With #gremlin3 it’s a little of the same except instead of protesting, at times he just looks at me like I talking madness and switches the conversation to bullfrogs and giraffes (the latter has “looooooong necks” in case you didn’t know, just passing on the knowledge because it is something I am reminded of by him every…glorious…day).

Now if there are purists reading this wondering why I didn’t tie in RAT to his love for animals, I tried, and I was swiftly met with a look of disdain and the reply, “Mummy, rats don’t live in the jungle”. So there you go. My petty gland raised and I was about to respond with the factoid that giraffes ACTUALLY live in savannahs but I’m not one to crush a four year old’s dreams today and besides it would have been #diddystaredown all over again. (See above).

Sigh, carry on smartly. It is only Tuesday. When school opening? Stupid Covid. Steups. Sigh.

Blessings

TMIDM