Are you living with Jekyll and Hyde?
If you are the parent of a teenager you would probably agree to this question. Even the gentlest journey through the teenage years can be an unpredictable ride, and for some its like living on “the Big Dipper” (or whatever the scariest rollercoasters are called these days).
A happy smiling teen one minute can turn into a roaring lion the next. Sometimes even the simplest question such as “Hi, how did your day go?”, produces a scowl that tells you “Just don’t go there”.
Communication lines can be intermittent or completely down when things get very icy. Either way your teenagers mood seems to change every time the wind blows. Unpredictable at best ,unmanageable at worst.
We may feel helpless,hurt,impatient or angry. Continue reading
“Do I really hate my own child?
What kind of obnoxious person am I, that I could possibly even think this way?”
If your T.T. (troubled teen) is now making an appearance as T.T. (terrifying teen) you may genuinely be living on the edge of your coping skills, verbally abused by somebody who is now taller and stronger than you, and is literally ‘in your face’, pulling themselves up to their full height, puffing out their chest and shouting just 15cm away from your face.
There may even be a threat of physical abuse thrown in for good measure.
For anyone who hasn’t experienced this, it is just as frightening as if a stranger had walked in off the street.
This is a stranger, you don’t know this person anymore, they are an unknown quantity bearing no resemblance to your (ex) fluffy bundle of joy, yet you have to calmly stand your ground and maintain control of the situation. It can be like living with a monster. Continue reading
The first few seconds of parenthood must be different for everybody, for me it seemed truly miraculous. Not only was I meeting the little person who had been safely tucked away for 9 months (and a bit extra, every one, obviously far too comfortable by far!) but I seriously never believed any human could experience that much pain, yet still be alive. But like parenthood, childbirth is a very individual experience. (I’m sure the babies themselves would agree.)
Luckily for me, my three full term babies were all healthy and perfectly formed, despite having suffered previous miscarriages.
How perfect they were! Completely different, yet each completely perfect. Snuggled up in their little sleepsuits, warm and cuddly with that distinct baby smell. All my senses were totally intoxicated….that is until the highs of new motherhood were replaced a few weeks later with lack of sleep, exhaustion and another erratic turn in the hormone situation.Obviously I had the karma to enjoy the benefits of three children who didn’t believe in a full nights sleep until they were about 1-year-old.
Yet still I was totally attached to this new appearance of a permanently perfect being in my life.
How proud is a new parent? Isn’t our baby better than any other baby in the world? Aren’t they going to remain that way permanently, for ever? We just know that they will be bright, happy and perfectly behaved. We love them so much, they will love us back in return and never do anything to disappoint us, never get in trouble, never be disruptive, and certainly never hurt us. Hindsight is a marvellous thing, what unrealistic expectations we can have! (more coming later)
Once we step through the door into parenthood our lives become an emotional rollercoaster…………….. Continue reading