Being a mum to teens

I am taking part in Perfection Pending‘s weekly Blog Hop

Perfection Pending

It is said that we humans are creatures of habit. I tend to have a daily routine, but only when my day works out as I would wish. This happens more often now that I am mother to teens rather than having to deal with the varied needs of young children. These days I am less in demand so have the luxury of organising my day with a reasonable certainty that things will go to plan. At least that is how it would be if I was less of a pushover.

There are still simple tasks that I complete for my children because I am an awesome mummy if I didn’t do them then they wouldn’t get done. I suspect that this would bother nobody except me. For example, I prefer lights to be switched off during the day, curtains to be opened, beds to be made, pyjamas shaken out and rooms aired. I am not convinced that the three teen caves in our house would be habitable if I did not open the windows from time to time.

Whilst tiptoeing carefully through the detritus of their teenage lives, most of which seems to reside on their bedroom floors, I come across the used mugs, plates, bowls and wrappers that suggest I do not feed them. Funny that. If I piled their plates higher at mealtimes their food would spill over onto the table. Perhaps this is the answer; perhaps I need a large, table sized trough permanently topped up with pasta, noodles or other salt laden delights for them to forage in when they feel the need. My insistence on cutlery, crockery, healthy food and sociable eating times is just so last year.

Each weekday morning, having made sure that all three children have set off for school, I return the house to some semblance of order and then start my own day. Unless of course somebody has forgotten something. Today, for example, younger son remembered to pack his PE kit, he even remembered to take it with him when he left the house. It did not, however, make it into school with him but was instead abandoned in the hallway of a friend’s house as they waited for their lift. This is an improvement on the number of times PE kits have been left at bus stops, but still meant that my first task today was to carry out a delivery that had not been a part of my planned agenda.

Some mums that I talk to can relate to my willingness to indulge these cries for help, despite my frustration. Others suggest that I should just make my kids go without forgotten items. Coping with the trouble that this would cause is supposed to teach them not to do it again, a bit like letting them go to school on a wet and windy day without a coat is supposed to teach them something. This has never worked with my kids. Elder son does not wish to carry a coat around with him all day so leaves it at home whatever the weather. It reminds me of my mother’s insistence that I always carry an umbrella, just in case. I still prefer to go out in the rain bareheaded and cope. I remember my mother’s caring concern as nagging that irritated me intensely. Children do not always hear the intended message.

My kids have their own house keys so I do not need to be home when they return from school in the afternoon. It is rare indeed for this to happen. I enjoy sitting down with them for a cup of tea and a chat, it is one of my favourite parts of the day. When I am caught up in some other task and miss out on their daily banter it can be hard to catch up. Once they are ensconced in their rooms, chatting to their friends on social media, my company becomes an unwelcome diversion.

I have recently written about what I do all day when not dealing with my house and my kids. The days are too short to fit in all the things that I wish to achieve. Perhaps the true reason why I continue to indulge my teens when they are easily capable of sorting themselves out is because this is the easiest way of staying involved in their lives. Their mess and lack of appreciation may get me down at times, but they do still find me useful. I like that.

messy room