16 Year Postpartum Update

The Simple Life
It's been a number of years since I birthed humans, although I still remember both days so clearly. They say you forget the pain and I think there is truth to that, but you never forget the feeling when your new baby is handed to you.
The blood and gloopy shit they bring with them is something you don't really see. Only that little face looking up at you with wonder.
Wonder at what their future holds.
Well folks, here's the truth of what lies ahead for you and that tiny bundle, the one that you can't imagine being big enough to sit up never mind go out into the world and make the same mistakes you did.
I'm a Youtube fan, I'm a blog reader and I'm a mother of two, so of course, I enjoy the pregnancy updates and the new baby videos. It makes me nostalgic, a nice reminder of a calmer time. I enjoy the reality of following Instagram pages from the likes of The Unmumsy Mum and Clemmie Hooper. (Husband Simon is where the comedy gold lies) but all these parenting journeys seem to still be in the fairly early stages of the kid's life. I've yet to find someone who has had the bravery to warned me about the horror teenagers can bring you, and I needed that.
I still need that warning more than I ever needed to know about stretch marks, more than I wanted to know clots and stitches and afterpains.
Those things come and go, and yeah its' great to have a little warning of what's to come and tips on how to get through it, but what you don't foresee at ages 2, 6 or 8 is the work, frustration and sometimes terror at the hurdles that smack you in the face day after day with a teenager.
You are no longer dealing with a person who will forget your mistakes. You no longer have the luxury of years ahead to 'get it right', because the minute the day comes for them to start high school, that's the day that shit gets real.
Their future depends on the skills and lessons you teach them.
If you think you have mum guilt at going out to work, or like me, living with mental health issues, sorry folks but buckle up because it is only going to get worse.
I have been so blessed to have had a reasonably easy ride. No real door slamming (well unless you count the youngest human, but that's another horror story)
My younger doppelganger has never been your typical teenager, other than catching her smoking weed last year, I haven't had to deal with anything stereotypically awful.
But that doesn't mean it's been easy.
I can't comment on the life of parenting a teenage boy, I don't even have that to come, but with girls, there is a whole host of things that make every day a challenge.
You will inevitably have the joy of them using make up for the first time, not to play with it, but to go to school, full face on and know that she has discovered boys (or girls), I felt quietly proud that first day, watching my baby make an effort with her appearance, she looked beautiful. What isn't so beautiful is the money that has now been spent on said makeup, the manky wipes that litter the floor for days at a time and the clothes that lay everywhere - and I mean everywhere. And, yep, this is normal as far as I can tell, but the reality behind it is it isn't just a teenager being lazy and leaving a trail of shit at her behind. It's another thing that you have to stamp out of her because letting her leave all the mess at her arse isn't just for now, it's a habit she will keep. It's a bad habit that will haunt her when she has her own home and her default setting is to be a messy adult.
I have lived this life, I wish on a daily basis i had been forced to understand what it was to be a clean and tidy human.
The period hormones are next on my list, they are hard enough when they are your own but when you have a house with a hormonal teen and a mother hitting midlife, things can get feisty. The, "stop taking my stuff!!!" isn't just a joke and a bit harmless banter, it fueled by hormonal rage.
The innocent, "where do babies come from mum?" question, is no longer a thing you can brush off, it's a real threat. Trust me, I know.
Giving birth at 18 was never in my plans but somehow, for a girl who was far from clueless, it never really entered my head that getting pregnant was something that would happen. So watching my daughter turn into a more beautiful version of the person I used to be, is a horrifying thought.
The conversations have to be had about protection, the hypocritical advice has to flow and it has to be believable.
Good luck with that.........
There will be days when you are still as proud of them, if not more so than the first time they sat up unaided or when they said their first word, there are undoubtedly many things that still bring that happiness, but you are now making decisions that will really affect these not quite adult, yet no longer children and the only tool you have at your disposal is your motherly instinct. Fuck!!!!!
A few years back I made the decision to really push the issue of friendship groups with my mini adult.
She was swinging between two groups and one was so similar to the group of friends I had as a teenager. Now I had some amazing friends, some I am lucky enough to still have and to share my parenting journey with. We had a ball and I'd never say otherwise. Some of my best memories are haring about in cars with boys my mother hated.
But the thing I took away from my teenage years was becoming a mum, and it is the most amazing thing, it really is a blessing in so many ways. But it's all I came away with, I don't have the qualifications I was capable of getting. I don't have the career I once thought I would have.
My struggles have and will continue, I'm sure, to be documented along the way and for now, despite the ups and downs, life is actually good. It's progressing and I am at last growing up, learning from my mistakes and really working on all the things I could have had.
I just didn't and don't want my kids to get to be in their mid-30s and only just starting to live life the way it should be lived.
Pushing my first born human to pick a different group of friends was really hard, I knew all the thoughts going on in that brain of hers as she glared at me. I knew she hated me for that moment in time, but I had to remember that I hated my mother on a regular basis, but it didn't last.
In a blink of an eye, you realise she was right all along.
That's what has happened in our house, all the shouting and moaning about what she would become if she didn't surround herself with the right people paid off and she now has the most amazing group of kids around her. She doesn't hang about street corners or parks, she enjoys actual experiences with her mates and that is worth a thousand death stares, it just wasn't easy.
The latest parenting test to hit this one parent home is the stress of upcoming exams. There is a constant concern of will she pass, will she not?
Why is she not keeping up with her work?
Is she struggling, is she just lazy?
Do I force her to do the work or do I let her learn from her own mistakes?
If I don't come down on the lack of effort will she hate me in 20 years time for all the things I didn't do?
Parenting teens is far from easy.
It's a headache, it's nauseating. There will be regular sleepless nights and anxiety. There is not a day where you don't feel guilt or receive hate in some form but what I am learning as I go is that it would be really handy to know some of this before you have sex, before you make the choice to birth a live being and try and do right by them every day.
So, there you have it, my 16-year postpartum update.
Good luck parents........Youll need it.
L xx

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