When people look at Hollie and I they never ever believe she is my daughter, she looks a little older and I look a little younger maybe. I always feel rather defensive when people ask “wow is she yours” I always follow that with ” I was 20 when I had her” I’ve always looked younger, I never tried to get in bars under age I just got laughed at, it was something I hated growing up, now it’s not so bad though!
I guess it’s not just the way I look but it’s the way I feel, I don’t feel 36 next month. I am mentally young, I like all kinds of music, I still listen to Radio 1 through choice! I borrow Hollies clothes, I have her dungarees on again today, I have been warned not to do this clearly still pushing the boundaries as well. I love the odd night out and my one true love… festivals! Nothing beats a bit of D&B in a field, admittedly I can’t do it for as long as I did but my love for it is still there and I do love to share those moments with Hollie.
I do feel though this has had an affect on how I parent Hollie, In some ways growing up she was very quick to latch onto my likes and is now herself into lots of different music and fashion. Yes she seemed to grow up fast but something my children do not struggle with is self awareness and confidence but I never hold them back into being babies! I like for them to understand how the world works from an early age!
With regards to Hollie and her teenage years I think it’s really helped being a young mum, mainly because she can’t pull the wool over my eyes. I know what’s going on out there and I hope my awareness has been able to help her understand the dangers of all sorts mainly drinking and drugs but that’s a whole other blog post.
I do really make a conscious effort to be on her level, don’t get me wrong I don’t like everything she wears and listens to! Or even agree with some of her life choices but ultimately as long as she’s towing the line and her curfews are met they are hers to make. More importantly if those decisions go wrong she knows I’m at home, she knows she can call me and she knows I’m there for her and that we sort it out as family.
There are however moments of madness, shouting, patience lost and me heading to the gin. No kind of parenting is easy, it’s not what the pretty pictures show, it’s hard work and sleepless nights even as teenagers. There are millions of parenting books out there to help, but only you know your child. What works for one won’t work for another and this goes for teenagers too. For example Hollies curfew is later than some of her friends her own age because she has older friends and she’s earnt that trust, who says all 15 years olds have to be in for 9pm… they don’t, not in my eyes. They earn they luxuries of these things, they also get taken away just as fast.
Don’t doubt your ability to parent a teenager, it’s really important you see that everyone is going through the same thing. Danni from @Shesaworkingmum and I are trying to create a community for people with teenagers to come together and share their struggles. Talking about the good and the bad is so very important, Dani came up with an amazing hashtag #solidarateen let’s use it to come together and keep each other going in the most positive way we can!