For me the winter blues doesn’t mean depression it means darkness, cold, isolation through sickness and well just sickness.
I’m all armed and rearing to go. Well I’m in the pre tense planning phase as I’m going to get the flu shot for Matisse and I. I’m prepared for those tears, probably my tears she is much more relaxed than me. But it’s time.
With child care germs, work germs other family germs I’m in a state as to what else to help her get through. Weirdly I wasn’t so worried last year maybe that Facebook video about children getting hospitalised and potentially seriously ill triggered an alarm bell in me.
The household has been hit already hence my little break giving me fair warning as to what is about to come. On the flip side Matisse now takes panadol. A constant battle since she was born and now she just does it herself. All those hours figuring out how I could possibly get it in to her and all of a sudden she is asking for it because she is sick.
What is your best defense for the bugs currently going round?
My Dad’s advice to me recently when I was sharing my struggles dealing with a toddler was to wait until she becomes a teenager, that’s when it gets real. Not to take away from the fact that any age has varying degrees of difficulties raising a teenager scares me.
Four Corners aired a documentary ‘Our Kids- Why Are They So Stressed?’ This gave amazing insight in to how stress plays out in teenager’s lives sometimes culminating in self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse or even suicide.
Bullying and fitting in were key components of stress along with balancing school and external activities. Social media also played a big part in exacerbating stressful situations.
It is such a massive topic and one that can’t be discussed lightly or in a short blog post but watching this highlighted two things for me. Always have open conversations with your children and listen more closely.
Beautifully summarised one of the girls in the documentary said that all she believes parents need to do is ask these few questions at the end of the day:
How was school?
How are you feeling?
How are your friends?
Is there anything stressing you out?
What can we do about this?
Another comment I found useful was to ‘Be available and free to talk without judgment’. So often kids fear rejection, anger or disappointment from their parents but having honest and frank discussions could really help them to open up and get to the bottom of where their stress is coming from.
A few of the younger ones stated ‘Be by their side to help them when they need you’ and ‘don’t wrap them up in cotton wool’ I found this so innocent and pure. In other words be there but don’t smother me.
Is it harder for kids now than when I was younger? I know my teenage self would have told you nothing is more awful than right now.
I hope listening more closely and having insight in to what a rebellious teen life is like will give me a leg up for when the time comes.
Click here to check out ‘Our Kids- Why Are They So Stressed?’
Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman made the news today. Sadly they are divorcing. There was a particular level of surprise as they have always appeared so happy and balanced. She has often commented that she had found the family with Will she never had growing up.
In reading of the break up I came across this quote from Mrs Barrymore that sounded all too familiar:
“People are like, you know, ‘Do you go out on date night, and like, ‘Do you put the relationship first?’ I was like, ‘No…’ We’re just in it, you know? We have a one-and-a-half and a three-year-old and you know, I think we’ve put the parenting first right now.”
With their relationship now over it brought up a few questions:
Can the busyness of parenting take away from the relationship?
How do you find the balance?
What can be worked at to keep the relationship on track?
Five sure fire ways to keep the old fires burning-
- Have fun and be cheeky. The bones may not spell twenty two anymore but laughing will keep you and the relationship you.
- Date night. You might not have family close by to rescue you so have a date night at home. Turn the TV off, devices tucked away.
- Talk it out. They say don’t go to bed angry but if you do make sure you follow up the next day.
- Share the load. Parenting, cooking and cleaning. Sure one may have more paid work than the other but it doesn’t mean the rest of life lands solely on the stay at home parent.
- Give each other a break. There are two days in the weekend equalling two sleep ins…. You get where I’m going. Take it in turns, have a nap.
Give it a shot and tell me what date night means to you.
I have loved you since ET and even through that crazy Firestarter movie, scary for a little kid. I hope you find happiness and I know that a relationship breakdown doesn’t fall down to one comment made flippantly to come boring reporter, you have just made me reassess the fact that I put zero effort in to our twelve year anniversary today. No one is ever perfect.