Saturday, 30 July 2011

I am not their friend - I am their mother

The death of Amy Winehouse has left me thinking. As the mother of two teens and an 8 year old, I realise that my job is far from over.  (Far from over - how old will I be when the last one leaves the nest?) Even though the Queenager is just about to leave for college, the parenting job goes on, and willingly so. I remember asking my mother-in-law when you finally stop worrying about your children and her prompt response was "Never". In fact, as most of us know, the older you get, the trickier and bigger the problems seem to get, in our own lives and in our children's.

It's all very well to sit in judgement of Amy's parents and upbringing, or the parents of her ex-husband who is deemed by many to be the cause of her decline. What the hell kind of parents were they? Couldn't they have done more? Amy's parents are accused of interfering too much, but wouldn't you do the same if your daughter was clearly under such a negative influence? And what if your's was the recalcitrant Blake Fielder-Civil? Excuse the French, but what an effing nightmare. While recognising that such a child had a severe problem, could you bear to throw him under the bus and admit that he might be the cause of someone else's continuing decline. Doesn't every mother see the best in their child?

I'm resisting the urge to use Amy's death as a "teachable moment" for my teens, one of whom is on the rock 'n roll track and needs no encouragement to live on the dark side.  I do hope however that it gives us teen parents a warning to be both caring and vigilant. If I think my kids are at risk I will face their wrath as I confront them with it, curtailing their activities and their ability to purchase drugs. I will point them in other directions if I can, and I will use sticks and/or carrots to keep them on the up and up.

 I am not their friend - I am their mother.

Friday, 8 July 2011

The Student Life...

You may not know that my nineteen year old son, Grizz, has come back home from Uni for the summer?

He's been back home for about a month.

There have been a couple of tantrums.

It's worse when I wake him up too early by trying to wash HIS dishes from the night before in MY kitchen sink.

By too early I mean anything before 1 in the afternoon!

...Now he kind of brings his girlfriend back on a night or so a week too.

My living room is not mine own.

Ditto the telly.

I can't remember when I last watched something I wanted to watch...

I love having him here, but it's also a bit bizarre, as he's returned to form and acts like a Baby Bird with his beak open waiting to be fed, even though he's more than capable of cooking for himself, as he does the rest of the year at Uni.

Mind, he's moving out to his privately-rented, bijou two-bedroomed flat with a student friend in August, (they know one another from school and he's from a fabulous family, I've met his mother so I am comforted it's going to be fine...).

The downstairs Victorian garden flat is situated in a posh part of the city but very near to a green space.

Beloved of students and its residents alike. I'd describe it as a lovely, 'chi chi' area of town - with greenery and trees, cosmopolitan coffee bars, conventional drinking holes, restaurants and pretty little 'lifestyle' shops that sell haute fashion, fripperies, and Cath Kidston to yummy mummies.

I looked in a second hand jewellery boutique there only the other day and the prices almost made my eyes melt.

I'm wondering when I can move in??!

Oh, it's Fhina by the way...