On Mothering Sunday my thoughts always turn to those who find this day difficult. Mothers whose children are no longer with them, or those who only have photos and memories of their mother. There is another group of people who find Mothering Sunday hard to bear. Our guest post was written by Alethea, mother of five children who has her own reason for struggling with this day.
I’ve been reading blog posts from those who have lost their mum, and so find Mother’s Day painful. Or those who have lost their children, and so Mother’s Day can be unbearable.
I haven’t however seen a blog from someone like me. Who has a mum, but doesn’t. My mother has never really BEEN a mother to to me. Certainly not a mother I can look back and have fond memories of.
I am a mother. I have a wonderful Mother-in-law, but I don’t have a mum I can go to when I am struggling, and she say to me – when I was your age etc.
Or even, when having a trying day with one of the children, that I can moan to her and she remind me of when I was like that, or that age, or silly things I said, or silly things I did.
I don’t know the exact time I was born – My mother always said a different time, and when I did have a relationship with my father, he told me a whole other time of day.
I don’t know what I was like as a baby. I have a few photos, but I don’t know if I was a good sleeper, a happy baby, a grumpy baby.
I don’t know when I took my first steps, or said my first word – or what that word was.
I know how old I was when my mother became too ill to care for me.
I know how old I was when I stopped wanting to see her (and was still forced to continue).
I know how old I was when I was locked in my headmaster’s office at middle school as my mother had escaped her hospital ward and hitch-hiked to get to me and take me away.
I don’t write this for sympathy. I write this as I know I have friends out there who also have their mothers, but don’t. Mainly due to horrific stories in their past.
I hold my hand out to those of you. We rock you know. We are learning how to be the mothers (parents in fact) we always dreamed of, without that perfect lesson we should have had.
How to Break Up with a Toxic Parent / HeySigmund
“It’s one thing to be dipped in venom by those you don’t really care about, but when it’s by the person who is meant to love you, hold you, and take the sharp edges off the world, while teaching you with love, wisdom and warmth how to do it for yourself, it changes you. There is a different kind of hurt that can only come from the people you love. Kind of like being broken from the inside out… ”
“You deserve recognition for completing the hardest break-up known to the human heart.
Whether it was because of an addiction, a compulsive need to put you down, an ex-communication, an inability to give and receive love, or just the turmoil of dealing with a broken woman, you did something that most people regard as taboo. And that takes courage…”
Parenting can feel like an extended battle at times. A war of attrition, with children pushing back against unreasonable parental demands such as wearing a coat when its raining, and putting the damn phone away at the table. To paraphrase the song, from the time they could talk, we ordered them to listen … and to do what they were told.
Last week, I really enjoyed Rebecca’s post on how to apologise. She talked about how apologising even when you don’t feel you are in the wrong may aid communication. It’s not just a colleague or a friend that this works well on, but also with our kids. Some parents have a feeling that if they let their kids win, that they’ve lost, but in actual fact everyone wins.
On Thursday 15th October, the basement of the Science Museum in London was filled with 15 and 16 year olds competently assembling circuits, designing smart gadgets and using laser cutters and 3D printers to bring their creations to life. The atmosphere was buzzing, filled with the excited voices of young engineers as they traded ideas and competed to see who could build the most impressive device. This was the first #PrettyCurious workshop, and all the teenagers were young women.
Is it possible to bring up a child speaking a language that is non-native to either parent?
The global population is becoming increasingly mobile, and it’s not unusual for a family to consist of parents speaking two languages, sometimes even living in a country where a third language is spoken. Sometimes it might even be the wish for a child to learn a third language, that the parents feel will be beneficial to their development and future career.
Let’s take an example – one parent is from Germany, the other parent from Venezuela. They meet and fall in love in Paris, but don’t speak each other’s language, so talk to each other in English, even though neither of them are native speakers. What language should they speak to their child? Or consider the case of a couple from Slovenia. Both are Slovenian, the native language of both is Slovenian, but one speaks English to a very high standard. They decide to bring up their child speaking English.
I spoke to Millie Slavidou, Jump! writer, linguist and mother of bilingual children to find out what she thinks about bringing up a child in a non-native language.
No, you aren’t imagining it. It really is harder to make friends when you get older. When I look back at my teens and twenties, there was always someone to go out with, friends to meet for lunch. Even later, after the birth of my kids, I had plenty of friends. When my kids were babies and toddlers, I would sit outside the house with my neighbours, drinking tea and chatting while the children played in the communal courtyard. At some point though, after the third house move, it got more difficult. And I’m not alone in this.