Being a Non-Resident Mother – Lyndsey’s Story

When a couple split up, the divvying up of possessions starts. He gets the sofa, she gets the dining table and chairs. Neither of them really want the vase they got as a wedding present from Great Aunt Issy, and there is a short disagreement about the artwork they bought on honeymoon. Deciding who gets what is the easy part – where it gets really difficult, and often distressing is when it comes to the children.

In 90% of the cases, the children stay with their mother. Like it or not, our society is built on mothers being the main care-givers, regardless if they are doing this alone or with the support of a partner. What does it feel like to be one of the 10% – the non-resident mother. Lyndsey knows only too well, and has agreed to share her experiences with us.

Being the Mother I Never Had

mothering sunday

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.

 

 

More Reading

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… ”

 

A Toast to all the Brave Kids Who Broke Up with their Toxic Moms / Jezebel

“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…”

 

Kiddle Search Engine for Kids

You might have heard of the Kiddle search engine for kids. It was in the news this week, when it was discovered that search terms such as ‘lesbian’ and ‘transgender’ were blocked. We took a closer look to find out what people were annoyed about, and if Kiddle is safe for kids to use.

Neuroscience of the Teenage Brain – The Changes of Adolescence

What is Adolescence?

Although we often use the words adolescent and teenager interchangeably, they actually refer to different things. A teenager is a young person between the ages of 13 and 19, while the start of adolescence is marked by the onset of puberty, and its end is generally accepted to be around the age of 19 or 20. While teenagerhood is a social idea, adolescence is a period of biological development common to all human cultures, and one that is also found in many non-human species.

During adolescence young people begin to pull away from their parents and to assert their independence and individuality. At the same time they start to explore their identity and how they fit in with their peers as well as society as a whole. The opinion of their peers is likely to matter more to an adolescent than that of their parents or other adults. They may behave more impulsively and take more risks than before without thought of the consequences, while their sleep patterns change drastically. You’ll be relieved to hear that there are reasons for all this! Our science editor Samantha Gouldson investigates the neuroscience of the teenage brain.

Teens and Swearing

The days of washing out the mouths of children who swear are thankfully behind us, but what is the right way to react when your children curse?

#PrettyCurious Workshop at the Science Museum

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.