They’re Not Your Friend

Being a teen is hard. Raising a teen is also hard. Getting, keeping and getting on with friends can also be hard. After attending a kids party  recently I realised how hard it is to make friends when you’re an adult and everyone already has their groups and aren’t willing to let an outsider in. It’s made me think back to my younger teenage self and what I would tell her about friends.

Friends. Who’d have ’em? Well, most of us hopefully in some form or other. Some people keep the same group of friends over the years, some have different groups of friends, some may even have none at all.

I lost my best school friend about a year after we’d finished comprehensive school, we’d gone to college to do different courses and during that time had made new friends from those respective courses. There was one girl in particular whom she had befriended who I didn’t take to. Just one of those things, you can’t like everyone so I just avoided her.  As time went on though it occurred to me she had an agenda. I had new boyfriend at the time and had confided in my BF that he was a bit too nice and I wasn’t sure where it would go and if he was the one for me. In turn my BF had told this girl (not sure why) who it turned out was also a mutual friend of my boyfriend. She then came to me and told me that if I didn’t tell him, she would. I was young, naive and so I finished with him rather than her drop me in it and cause a big scene, which looking back is obviously what she was hoping for.

The nail in the coffin however was when I’d gone out for the night clubbing with my new college friends I was aware that this girl was also there, as was my BF’s boyfriend – not together- but not my BF. I said “Hi!” to both at different times and thought no more of it. The next day however I got a distressed phone call from my BF asking me who the hell I thought I was kissing her boyfriend? When I asked her where on earth she’d got that idea from, in the back of my mind I already knew. Of course it was her, lighting the fuse and standing back as it went off. My BF was devastated, understandably as she thought her boyfriend and I had cheated but other than the quick hello I’d not even been near him. I was really angry that not only was I being accused of something I hadn’t done but that she blatantly believed it. We were never really friends afterwards and whilst it all seems very childish now but at the time it seemed the end of the world.

With those things filed under experience these are the things I’d tell my younger self and my own teen about friends.

• If they put you down and make you feel shit about yourself? They’re not your friend.

• If they let you down time and time again? They’re not your friend.

• If they try it on with your significant other or even just someone you’ve told them you have ‘a thing’ for? They’re not your friend.

• If they make snidey comments about you either to you face or behind your back? They’re not your friend.

• If they constantly ask for favours but never return them? They’re not your friend.

• If you’ve asked tactfully or otherwise not to say things that upset you and they still do? They’re not your friend.

• If they try to get you to do something they know you’re not comfortable with? They’re not your friend.

• If they tell lies about you or anyone else to make themselves look good or get their own way? They’re not your friend.

Basically what I’m trying to say is if they don’t treat you with respect you don’t have to put up with it just because you think you’ll have no friends. You WILL make new ones. Your life will go in all sorts of different directions and you just never know what’s around the corner.

julie-x-2

Getting A Teen Out Of Bed

Right now you may have little ones and be experiencing  5.30a.m morning wake ups and sit there wishing they ‘would just stay in bed and give you a lie in’. STOP. Karma will come around and kick you right up the bum when they turn into a teenager and you can’t get the sod out of bed for love nor money. Here are the stages of getting said teenager up that happen in our house. Insert Spongebob style ’10 minutes later’ between each one.

Stage 1

This is the stage where you’re still optimistic that today will be the day that they get up without the hassle. Pahahahahaha.You knock the door whilst steeling yourself for the stench, run in and shake them awake cheerily telling them if they get up now there’s plenty of time for shower, breakfast and a cuppa.

Stage2

10 minutes later you realise there is no movement going on upstairs and stomp back up in the hope that your heavy footsteps will get them shifting. Does it heck. They’re still lying there bleary eyed saying “what?”. Keep calm, they’re bound to get up soon, they’ll be worried about being late.Right?!

Stage 3
Now you’re getting your hair off, they’re taking the mickey. So you go up and threaten them that if you have to come up again you’ll be bringing a bucket of water. They sigh and moan “for god’s sake” under their breath. Yes, because obviously I’m doing this for fun. It’s the highlight of my day don’t you know?! I really don’t have anything better to do like sticking hot pokers in my eyes, the usual.

Stage 4

Right they’re still not up. So you realise it’s time to make good on your threat to throw water. You spend a few minutes looking for the bucket you bought the kids at the beach in the summer and when you remember they’re probably at the back of the shed with the false widows and tube webs you decide ‘sod that for a laugh’ and just grab the mop bucket, chuck the mouldy smelling mop across the kitchen in annoyance and fill it up. Drag the heavy sodding thing up the stairs only to find right at the last second the teen will magically launch themselves out of bed and shout “I was up, stop stressing” You fight the urge to drench the cheeky git anyway, grit your teeth muttering about ‘lazy bloody kids’ lug the bucket back downstairs and get ready to start fighting ‘get dressed and ready wars’ where they’ll race down the stairs – steady on- to shout about the favourite t-shirt/skinny jeans/trainers they can’t find and you’ve obviously moved. Believe me mate I wouldn’t touch your stinky clodhoppers if my life depended on it!

So honestly, if you are reading this bleary eyed at the crack of a sparrow’s fart then just remember it’ll come full circle in a few years time.

Are your teens like this too? Are you one of the lucky ones who’s teens get up without a fuss?

julie-x-2

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

18th Birthdays

My eldest ‘child’ has just turned 18. I can’t believe where the time has gone and I certainly don’t feel old enough to be the Mother of an 18 year old – crow’s feet tell me otherwise however.

It’s made me think back to when I turned 18 and what I was doing at the time. For my 18th I had a party in the local Community Centre, with friends and family. Getting ready for said party I remember spending hours choosing my outfit – a toss up between black PVC trousers – they were ‘in’ at the time, I swear! – and a short checked skirt complete with those horrible shiny tights which everyone wore. I teamed my fave crushed velvet top with the skirt before coming down the stairs to my Dad’s ‘I’m not in the slightest bit bloody impressed face’ before telling me I looked like a tart and to go and change. Off I went upstairs and changed. Actually, that’s a lie because I went upstairs and faffed around for long enough for it to be too late for him to make me change and off we went with me in my tarty skirt. Luckily enough we didn’t have a long walk!

 

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Much hilarity and alcohol ensued including dancing with my late Nan to Tina Turner’s Simply the Best. We even had the obligatory punch-up that happens at all the best parties. I wasn’t involved mind you! It was the weirdo Uncle and 300 times removed knobhead cousin. I was more bothered about my laddered tights making me look less than glamourous. Nevermind that I had lipstick smeared across my face.

I don’t really remember an awful lot else apart from being put to bed by the then boyfriend (who dumped me shortly after – dick) and waking up several times to be sick,scooping up cold cider & black covered lumps of vol-au-vent in the morning isn’t up there on my list of favourite activities I must admit. To this day I can’t drink cider and black. Bleurgh.

The next night I joined a few of my friends at the local nightclub, in my 18 badges and got a few raised eyebrows from the bouncers who’d been letting me in on a Saturday night for months. Oops!

Since my 18th wasn’t all that exciting I decided to ask some fab bloggers what they did for their 18th and this is what they said!


Chantele from Two Hearts One Roof:

“I had a big party in a local hotel. But I couldn’t touch a drop of alcohol as i was on special antibiotics and painkillers that would have caused me to vomit if i drunk even a drop, I had a bad root abscess in a front tooth 4 days before that caused half my face to swell, cue panic! the extra strong meds were in the hope my face would get back to normal before the party!”


Jenna from Then There Were Three:

“Mine was awful! Hired out a function room of a pub for all my friends and family. Ended up leaving at 10:30 after arguing with my boyfriend at the time who had a go at me as he thought my cousin was coming onto me 😂😂 I ended up throwing a pint over him and pushing him into a bush before leaving 🙈”


Sarah from The Parenting Trials:

“I made it a 18th birthday weekend, consisting of meals, a trip to the pier, a drunk night out and then a hungover family meal urgh haha was so ill couldn’t eat it, my family kept trying to get the bday cake brought out to sing happy birthday to me, however i kept running off to be sick so they had to keep sending it back lol 🙈🙈”


Laura from The Unsung Mum:

“I went to Newquay with a group of friends including my now husband. He invented a friend who had just broken up with his long term girlfriend and they decided to get drunk then throw up all over our bed. Safe to say I gave him the cold shoulder the next day, found every pot and pan I could to smack around and made him make it up to me for a week after!!”


Jodie from Life With Pink Princesses:

“My friends hired a stripper and we had alcohol at home for a house party and Ann Summers party 😂”


Maddy from The Speed Bump

“I got engaged! We went on a family holiday, my boyfriend came along and he asked me to marry him at sunset! We went back last year for my 21st birthday with our toddler, it was so lovely 🙂 “


Steph from Mental Parentals:

“I went to my local pub that had been my local for two years…”


Cathryn from A Cardiff Mummy Says:

“I had my last A-level exam on my 18th birthday! English Literature. The joys of a June birthday! A group of us went straight to the pub after our exam, in our school uniforms! After much persuasion and showing of ID, they let us buy alcoholic drinks.
I then had an awesome house party that night. Even though having an A-level exam on my actual birthday was pretty rubbish, I’m very grateful the exam wasn’t the day after my birthday so at least I could celebrate.”


Carla from Random Thoughts Of A Twenty Something:

“I was 6 months pregnant with my second child. I was surprised with a meal with all my friends and family and an awesome TARDIS cake! :-D”


Lauren from Blogger Mummy Lauren

“I went in to Newcastle for my first legal drink then invited a group of close friends over to my house for a ‘quiet house party’. I woke up the next morning with no recollection of my night, covered in all kinds of phallic shaped permanent marker drawings all over my body. Had to go for an interview for my foundation degree with the outline of something quite rude on my face the next day 😂”


Michaela from Two Little Paines

“I decided I’d never had a birthday party before so I was going to have one …adult bouncy castle, pass the parcel, pin the tail on the donkey, vodka jelly, baileys ice cream etc”


Hannah from Hannah Spannah

“What if it was nearly 20 years ago and you can’t actually remember? 😂😂😂
I know I had some friends over for cake and champagne but I must have done something else. I probably went out to Harrogate and drank so much that I have permanent memory loss.”


Zoe from Mama Geek

“I was taking part in the International Air Cadet Exchange and was visiting Canada for 10 days. I spent my 18th birthday visiting Niagara Falls, including a trip on the Maid of the Mist boat. I didn’t have any alcohol though as I couldn’t legally drink as where I was staying the legal drinking age was higher than 18. An absolutely amazing birthday though!!”


Helen from Casa Costello

“I spent my 18th with the most boring teacher ever searching through clearing to get a place at uni (Daft August birthday!) I did secure a place at uni about 3pm though (and then went to the pub)”


Jessica from BabiAFi

“My nan died not long before so it was very subdued, really. As I remember on the day itself I went to a local pub quiz – which we lost massively – and because I was a total prig in those days I only drank orange juice anyway!”


What did you do for your 18th? Was it all fun and games or a more sober affair?Julie x (2)

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Tips To Get You Ready For Having A Teenage Boy

One day just when you think you have this parenting thing cracked, they’ll go to bed and wake up a totally different kid. You’ll wonder what on earth happened whilst drowning your sorrows in gin. Here are my tips to get you ready for having a teen boy. It isn’t serious I’m just as blimmin’ clueless as everyone else but it will give you an insight into the delights you can look forward too. Yippee.

• Take a lovely pair of white socks, get in the car, drive to the nearest rubbish dump, rub them around the smelliest pile of crap you can find. Take them home leave them for a week. Now pick them up and take a good sniff. That smell right there is how their socks will smell and consequently their bedroom. Oh and clean up that vomit you just got everywhere you’re gonna need a stronger stomach.

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• Start learning how to fashion a gas mask out of a tea towel to do the washing now so you get used to it. Believe me when I say you’ll need it. You can NEVER be prepared for how smelly their pits  get and NEVER EVER ask why that sock is crispy and stuck together.

• Start having conversations with the walls. Sometimes those guys will be the only ones listening and they won’t roll their eyes at you or huff and puff every time you so much as open your mouth or even just breathe near your darling teen. Maybe make it worth it and stick a poster of Tom Hardy up there. If you’re gonna be ignored at least he’s worth looking at.

• Buy a dictionary of ‘crap words made up by teens’ or you’ll never be able to understand a bloody word they grunt your way. Do you know your peng from your fam or your raw from your schnapping? Nope, I didn’t have a Scooby Doo either!

• Start using the space under their bed as a makeshift bin. That way when you go searching for the batteries they nicked out of your Sky remote for their Xbox controller there’ll be no nasty, niffy surprises.

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• When storing their phone number in your phone change it to your own number. You might as well just text yourself all day long as I can guarantee they won’t answer you unless of course you’re clever and text something like “your little brother is in your room looking through your DVD’s and there’s one with no name on it, is it ok for him to watch?” they’ll be straight on the phone then telling you to “get the hell out of their room, they never get any privacy”.

• If for some reason your teen has to go somewhere with you (oh the horror) be prepared for them to walk 20 steps in front and act as though they have no idea who you are. Especially when any of their mates might see you and wind them up by shouting MILF at you. Then you may hear some other choice words but these you will DEFINITELY know the meaning of. They really won’t thank you for giving them a clip around the earhole for swearing in front of their ‘crew’ so best just to let them walk on ahead.

• If, like mine, they’re into free running get ready for your stomach to launch itself out of your mouth every time they show you the latest thing they can do or how many flips they can do off that massive wall that would make you crap yourself just climbing.

Bet you’re totally and utterly looking forward to it now aren’t you?!

Julie x (2)

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

 

Parenting a Teen – Seriously Awkward?

Parenting a teen can be really hard,I mean REALLY damn hard.But obviously it can also be good too.The good far outweighs the bad (doesn’t feel like it sometimes,I know) but in those (rare) moments where their face lights up in a smile you know your sweet kid is still in there somewhere.

As a baby/young child all he wanted to do was cuddle,he was a so-called “velcro baby” and I just couldn’t put him down.There have been many moments years on that I would give anything to go back and just have 5 more minutes of that.And it makes me sad to think of the times I inevitably shouted “just let me have 5 minutes”.

In no way in my teen “naughty” or however you want to put it but he can be really hard work sometimes.My partner of 8 years isn’t his biological father but he’s the only one he’s ever known.He does a bloody good job of providing for all our children and I couldn’t wish for a better bloke.However there is a constant struggle for Alpha Male as my 16 year old tries to establish his place in the house.You ask for help it’s met with a flat out refusal which tends to lead to removal of his phone which in his mind is likened to removal of his right arm.Still won’t do what he was asked though,oh no,he has to drag it out for an hour or two of huffing,puffing and “why are you ruining my life” ing.His room smells like a cage of baboons but he seems to like it that way and to be honest we do ask him to clean it sometimes but I shut the door and pretend not to see it other times as it’s just not worth the row.If he can stand it then crack on kid.

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We’re lucky we don’t have any problems with him being arrested or drinking to excess or drugs.Which are the things that terrify me as a Mum,as I’m sure it does many other Mum’s and Dad’s.We just have problems with him answering back and being sullen and sometimes if I’m honest downright blooming lazy!I think many teenagers are the same though I know myself and my brother were messy beggars too.Although my other half maintains he’s always been a clean freak and his room was always tidy!Hmmmm…….

The one thing that does make me feel I’ve failed slightly though is that he isn’t really interested in his little brother/sister he shuts himself off in his room most of the time he’s at home and doesn’t really have a lot to do with them.They are 6 and 3 though so I’m hoping this is something that will change as they get older.I’d love for them to have a close relationship like I do with my own brother now we’re older.We always have been close but fought like cat and dog as kids.

If you came to this post hoping for help I’m sorry I don’t have the answers I’m afraid!The only thing I do know is if you sit down and talk to them like an adult they are more likely to respond as once I start shouting it’s a sure fire way to get a door slammed in my face!

I don’t pry but I do ask him if he’s ok regularly as I would hate to think there was something bothering him that he felt he couldn’t tell me about.This has worked for us as he has opened up about his worries in the past.

I have made sure all internet access has parental controls on it (although now he’s doing an IT A level he can probably bypass it quite easily!)

I do encourage him to come out with us when we go anywhere for the 9 times he grunts no,there will be that 1 time he surprises me and says yes.Usually to go to my Mum’s for a cooked breakfast.How much can teenagers eat?!It’s shocking I can tell you!!

Encourage them to have responsibility as hard as it can be to let go,this I struggle with as my fierce instinct to protect kicks in and I REALLY have to fight it but they do need it to set themselves up for life out there on their own.

“The most vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds are often in grave danger, facing hidden harm. They are more likely to go missing or be victims of violent crime than any other age.

They are a high risk group for domestic violence and sexual exploitation. Yet they are the least protected from abuse and neglect in law, and get much less support than younger children.

My son is lucky enough to have a safe,loving home that he can always come back to,sadly that is not the case for many teens.Please help by signing the petition below.

 “The Children’s Society is asking the Government to change the law to protect 16 and 17 year olds from abuse and neglect. We are also calling for more support for teenagers at this age and for them to be more involved in the decisions that affect their lives. We want as many people as possible to sign our petition, and help encourage others to sign this.”

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