Tag Archives: hard

The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You

My two are not yet teens. They may act like teenagers on occasion, but they are only 2 and 4… I have the terrible two’s and the fournaudo…. 😉 love them dearly and would not change them for the world 🌎 but they do sometimes test boundaries. As do most kids.

I have many friends and also family members with teenagers and pre teens. This is such a lovely write up that is an insight as to how they may be feeling.

Teenage years can be tough. For both parents and the children. There is a lot of discovery happening of emotions, feelings, personal growth etc.

Luca Lavigne wrote a beautiful post not so long ago about his feeling through his teenage years. Well worth the read. As is the below.

June 23, 2015
The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You

Gretchen Schmelzer

Dear Parent:

This is the letter I wish I could write.

This fight we are in right now. I need it. I need this fight. I can’t tell you this because I don’t have the language for it and it wouldn’t make sense anyway. But I need this fight. Badly. I need to hate you right now and I need you to survive it. I need you to survive my hating you and you hating me. I need this fight even though I hate it too. It doesn’t matter what this fight is even about: curfew, homework, laundry, my messy room, going out, staying in, leaving, not leaving, boyfriend, girlfriend, no friends, bad friends. It doesn’t matter. I need to fight you on it and I need you to fight me back.

I desperately need you to hold the other end of the rope. To hang on tightly while I thrash on the other end—while I find the handholds and footholds in this new world I feel like I am in. I used to know who I was, who you were, who we were. But right now I don’t. Right now I am looking for my edges and I can sometimes only find them when I am pulling on you. When I push everything I used to know to its edge. Then I feel like I exist and for a minute I can breathe. I know you long for the sweeter kid that I was. I know this because I long for that kid too, and some of that longing is what is so painful for me right now.

I need this fight and I need to see that no matter how bad or big my feelings are—they won’t destroy you or me. I need you to love me even at my worst, even when it looks like I don’t love you. I need you to love yourself and me for the both of us right now. I know it sucks to be disliked and labeled the bad guy. I feel the same way on the inside, but I need you to tolerate it and get other grownups to help you. Because I can’t right now. If you want to get all of your grown up friends together and have a ‘surviving-your-teenager-support-group-rage-fest’ that’s fine with me. Or talk about me behind my back–I don’t care. Just don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on this fight. I need it.

This is the fight that will teach me that my shadow is not bigger than my light. This is the fight that will teach me that bad feelings don’t mean the end of a relationship. This is the fight that will teach me how to listen to myself, even when it might disappoint others.

And this particular fight will end. Like any storm, it will blow over. And I will forget and you will forget. And then it will come back. And I will need you to hang on to the rope again. I will need this over and over for years.

I know there is nothing inherently satisfying in this job for you. I know I will likely never thank you for it or even acknowledge your side of it. In fact I will probably criticize you for all this hard work. It will seem like nothing you do will be enough. And yet, I am relying entirely on your ability to stay in this fight. No matter how much I argue. No matter how much I sulk. No matter how silent I get.

Please hang on to the other end of the rope. And know that you are doing the most important job that anyone could possibly be doing for me right now.

Love, Your Teenager

© 2015 Gretchen L Schmelzer Ph

Social media.

Social media.

I was recently chatting with a friend who said she is never on social media, that she has no time to get on and browse what everybody is up to, nor does it interest her to ‘stalk’ her friends.

Now I’m the first to admit I perhaps check Instagram a little too often and although I’m not a ‘stalker’ I enjoy seeing what my friends and family are up to. I no longer live within close proximity to them and enjoy seeing their children’s photos of them changing and growing up. It somehow makes me feel like I am still part of it.

I also post quite a bit, especially photos of my 2 little ones – the absolute loves of my life and I’m extremely proud of them and bring their mummy. You can call it baby spam if you like however as I just said, I no longer live close to family or a lot of my friends so by me posting photos, they too can see my little ones growing and changing and can catch up on what we have been up to.

Now I know to some this may seem weird, or an invasion of privacy or something, however I dont post ‘nude’ or inappropriate images. I always make sure my children are clothed, as with myself and also ensure that the photos are not offensive.

What I find amusing though, is those people who ‘claim’ to never be on social media or don’t have time yet still find the time to ‘like’ a photo or pass comment in a social gathering about something that the saw on social media.

Is this a form of stalking? Secretly checking but in denial?

Is it that they think they are ‘better’ than social media?

Perhaps they don’t know how to use it properly?

Or maybe they are the type of person who is secretly bored with their own life, won’t admit it, but need to see what everyone else is doing but keep it to themselves?

It makes me question though, why are you not admitting to being on social media?

If your using it what is there to hide? So many people are on social media. Should we be embarrassed about it or are these people just pretending that their lives are so busy and fulfilled without it?

Do you use social media?

If so why type of social media do you use?

Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
Snap chat
Linked in
What’s App
Messenger
Blogs – Do you read blogs?

And the list goes on!

These are all forms of social media. In today’s society I think almost everyone has some sort of social media account right?

The world and society have so much to do with social media and its growth is only expanding. Companies advertise with social media, people communicate with social media and it’s also a way of connecting with new and old friends. Corporates also use social media to put updates out there, keep in touch with their clientele and ‘tweet’ news and events.

Why is this so bad?

Advertising on billboards and on hard copy such as newspapers, magazines and flyers can also be quite expensive. I supposed this is why most people and companies are turning to online?

Remember online dating is also social media! So many people in society these days use apps like tinder and match maker.com. Not saying this is a bad thing but what happened to actually meeting someone spontaneous at a bar or park or the gym or somewhere ‘common’?

What is now classified ‘common’?

What is now classified ‘normal’?

How do people that don’t use social media communicate?

Yes there are still some people who chat and phone each other however there are also many who rely on social media to communicate.

What did we used to do prior to social media? Actually sit, chat and enjoy each other’s company?

I’ve seen school ages children actually sitting next to each other and sending ‘snap chat’ messages or text each other. I found it weird. Maybe it’s my age? Am I no longer ‘cool’ or ‘with it’?

Social media has vast become such a huge thing within this day and age.

Do you think it’s a good thing or a hinderance?

Relationships – defining them?

Relationships.

Well let me firstly start by saying – every relationship is hard! Be it a friendship, partnership or marriage. As most of my loyal readers know, I love sex and the city. I watch the episodes over and over along with the movies – never have enough. Sad but true. I recently watched the episode where Carrie is trying to define relationships. I think it’s the final episode where she comes back from Paris with big and it’s right at the end where she meets up with the girls in their favourite cafe and as the walk out it quotes – “most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.’ Carrie – I love this quote.

Anyway – I recently spoke with a friend whom has recently broken up from a long term relationship. They were talking marriage, children, sharing the rest of their lives together. Now they have gone separate ways.

When I asked what was the reasoning behind the break up, as I thought that they seemed so in love, the response was that they were no longer physically attracted to their partner.

I then thought to myself, perhaps the relationship was doomed from the beginning? Yes it would be nice to have a physically attractive partner but looks are only ‘skin deep’. Looks fade and over time what we find physically attractive changes.

I personally believe that you should always be attracted to the personality over looks. Be with someone who makes you laugh, who you can be your true self with and be comfortable enough in their company to sit in silence and just ‘be together’. A friend.

Not that I’ve always taken my own advice.

So what are relationships based on if it’s only physical?

We all eventually age and wrinkle. Some of us even gain weight and get bad skin. How can we sustain a relationship long term if we are only basing our relationships on physical attraction? Are people or couples honestly up for ‘sex’ 100% of the time? Do you not get tired, get too busy, feel emotionally drained, be physically drained, become stressed, feel less attractive yourself or just not be ‘in the mood’? Perhaps I’m the only one?

Relationships take work. They are not easy and they are certainly a compromise.

I’ve always said and will continue to say. At any given stage within a relationship, one of the partners will be more in love than the other. This I think is just a true hard fact.

I believe that you cannot possibly be 100% in love and attracted physically, emotionally and mentally to the same person 100% of the time. I’m the first to admit that I’m not 100%, 100% of the time.

Having ‘things’ in common or having common ground and likes are a good start but what happens when your hobbies or likes evolve. We all evolve as people and change. I know I don’t like the same things as I did 10 years ago. Perhaps not even 5 years ago? So how are we supposed to be happy with the same person for the rest of our lives?

Well we compromise.

We compromise our likes and wants to help make a relationship work.

What happens though if one partner gives more and compromises more than the other? Is this fair and why should they be the only one to compromise or make sacrifices?

I personally don’t believe that in say a 20, 30, 40 or 50 year marriage that both partners are 100% in love 100% of the time. Most relationships have hurdles and hard times and I believe that by having differences you grow as a partnership. You overcome differences and learn more about each other.

So I gave my advice to my friend and I hope that they are thinking wisely about their future choices. Physical attraction will always ‘grow old’. Mental and emotional attraction will change but I think you can build more on mental and emotional attraction.

I ask, what made you fall in love with your partner?

Do you agree that relationships are work?

Do you think that it’s compromise?

How much would you compromise?

noordinarymummy@gmail.com

My life as a mummy of two!

My life as a mummy of two!

So settling into being a mummy of two has been challenging. Loving it, but challenging.

Experiencing the love all over again, smelling and absorbing my new born and still being everything I can be for my 2 year old.

My 2 year old has been a little jealous and understandably. He has had his mummy all to himself for the past 2.5years, now all of a sudden he has to share his mummy and it hasn’t been an easy adjustment for him.

Throughout my pregnancy I was trying to help him adjust, I bought books about becoming a big brother, books about expecting a baby and we would chat about how he is getting a little sister and that it’s very special for both him and her.

I thought he would be a little jealous but I guess I wasn’t prepared for the huge change in him.

Firstly my little man used to be a fairly good sleeper. After night nurses and reward charts I had managed to get him to go down approx 6pm in his own bed, we would read 3 books then it was lights off. My little man would then sleep through in his own big boy bed until approx 6am the next morning.

Since I was in hospital for over a week my husband and mother were looking after my little man. His routine wasn’t really followed and for a few weeks he didn’t like to go to bed and wasn’t sleeping through, waking multiple times per night and insisting on sleeping with me and leaving his bedside lamp on.

The first few nights I was really strict and walked him back to his room, comforted him and helped him to go back to sleep but after 5 nights of the same behaviour I began to feel bad and allowed him to come into my bed and sleep with me.

Mainly because it’s a huge adjustment and in between feeding my little girl every 2.5 hours I have been pretty tired. Also secretly I love snuggling with him and he is my little man, my first born and always will be.

This phase only lasted approx 3 weeks though and now he is happy to go to his own bed, he isn’t sleeping through every night, however most nights he does, and if he doesn’t he is only waking once or twice and I carry him back to his room and he goes back to sleep.

He is really sweet with his sister and is quite protective and loving towards her. If he hears her cry he will come straight to me and tell me she is upset and he also runs to her room and says in the sweetest little voice ‘you ok Mila?’

He also loves to help me change her nappy and I allow him to choose her outfits. I want him to feel involved and part of her life. Although he is only 2.5years old I think that by allowing him to be a big part in the decisions around her will help him to adjust and accept her more easily and not have him be as jealous or feel left out or pushed aside.

My little girl though is a different story, she sleeps very well and I actually wake her to feed. During the day I’m feeding every 3 hours however of a night I let her sleep and she wakes me. She is only 3 weeks old though and I anticipate that this may change.

The dynamic in the house has also changed, it feels complete now. I feel like I’m whole. My little man and my little princess have completed me, of course with my husband. 🙂 I was once told that to have one child of each sex is a ‘gentleman’s family’ or a ‘pigeon pair’ which is apparently quite well looked upon in the eyes of some. I feel blessed that I have been able to create this little family with my husband and also be able to give him a child of each sex.

Being a parent is a constant lesson, I’m always learning more about myself but also about my children. I’m feeling very blessed at this stage in my life.

I’m sure with each step and change in growth patterns with my 2 children things within our home will change also with dynamics and learning. I look forward to sharing these moments with you.

Taming the toddler!

Taming the toddler!

Dressing my 2 year old of late feels like I’m wrestling a crocodile – not that I’ve wrestled a croc but it seems that since he started preschool, a whole new world has begun!

Simple tasks like dressing him is full on with him running around being cheeky and making it more of a game, I get one leg of his pants in then he runs off expecting me to chase him with the only contained leg falling out, back to square one.

Although this is cute and can be a fun game, I’m 6 months pregnant and get out of breath easily and also can’t move as quick as I normally can nor can I manoeuvre myself as well with my tummy! The simple task of dressing that once took 5 minutes now can take up to 20.

He only goes to preschool 1 day per week and has only been a handful of times. This is also his first time in any day care / preschool facility as I’m a stay at home mum and whilst I was working he had a nanny one day per week whom would come to our home and care for him there, therefore he was still in his comfort zone.

So since starting preschool – which I do believe is good for him and will get better, the drop offs are very hard with tears and tantrums from my lil guy and him shouting ‘me no likey preschool’. ‘I go home now’ and ‘peese mummy no go’. Breaks my heart every time! Perhaps I’m just a clingy mum or not tough enough? However I am re assured by the centre director and other staff that he does calm down and settle after approx 15 minutes of me leaving.

I also know that it’s not the preschools fault that he is behaving this way, he is only 2 and being put in a new environment can be challenging for anyone.

On pick up I get the best reception from him with a huge smile then him running towards me followed by huge hugs having both his innocent little arms tightly wrapped around my neck and have him almost climbing up on top of me to get closer then followed by a big kiss. Makes my whole day to get that love from him as I certainly do miss him.

That evening and next day though can be tiring as he becomes extremely clingy and needing with him following me everywhere I go and holding my hand even walking around our home.

This I love, but bed time becomes another challenge with him no wanting to go to bed alone and insisting that I stay in his bedroom with him. If i try to leave I get tears and heartbreak. I think to myself, be tough and just make him stay alone to sleep but then my softer side says, why not sit with him, he is two and he won’t want me to ‘hold him’ for too many more years. Yes he says in the sweetest little voice ‘peese mummy old me’ which means he would like my hand to rest on his heart whilst he falls asleep – bless him.

He has also learnt lots of new sentences, including him putting his finger across his lips and saying ‘shhh, stop it, sit down’ something I’m guessing his teachers must say? And another one ‘umm I dont think so’. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad his vocabulary is expanding and he is learning better sentences however not sure I like those particular sentences coming from my ‘just turned 2 little guy?.

Another wonderful side effect from day care is the lashing out. He has certainly been asserting himself, mainly with other boys and generally it’s a jealous thing, like them playing with his toys or even being too close to me. He has never been an aggressive or rough child but the past 2 weeks have shown me that he can be quite rough with pushing and throwing things.

From studying my counselling course I’ve learnt that it’s very normal for a toddler or child to lash out or behave aggressively when they have a major change in their young lives as they are stamping out their emotions, asserting themselves and also trying to work out how and where they fit into the change.

It’s almost like they are pushing boundaries to see how far they can get, asserting themselves and making their own path. This does settle down but it’s a big adjustment for them.

Should you try to tame a toddler?

My theory is to allow them to show their personality but set boundaries. I’m not going to raise a brat or disrespectful child. My little man already has boundaries and though I do discipline him I also explain why I’m disciplining him and try to help him understand what he has done wrong and how not to do it again.

I’m not huge on smacking but I do believe in time out. I sit my little guy on his bed, get down to his eye level, ask him to look at me whilst I’m talking to him and speak to him in an assertive but compassionate voice. I don’t like to raise my voice but he does recognise the difference in the tone in my voice and that he is in trouble. He then sits on his bed with the door closed for 2 minutes. I then go back to his room and explain again what he has done wrong and generally find that he is remorseful.

I’ve heard that 3 year olds are worse than 2 year olds? Gosh! I love my little guy more than the world but he certainly tests me and keeps me on my toes at times, here is for hoping 3 isn’t worse!

How do you tame your toddler?

What are your experiences?

Is it just us or is parenting an emotional rollercoaster?

Every day brings its highs and lows and unexpected loopty-loops.

There are moments of absolute joy that lift us up and take our breath away. And then there are trying moments such as those when the little one decides to draw all over your nice white walls with black permanent marker that bring us down and also take our breath away.

Yet through it all, there’s something in us that forgives our little ones need for attention and we forget, open our arms, scoop them up and love them all over again!

The uncomplicated love of a parent.

2nd wife?

The second wife.

So as with most mums whilst my little one is playing and running around at the park I generally chat to other mummies whilst watching him.

I had this very interesting conversation with the other day with another mummy who like mine, her husband was married before her. She called herself the 2nd wife, which I found an interesting label.

So after swapping stories that my hubby was previously married and that we have 1 child together with another on the way, she also had 1 child with her hubby and they were trying for another we got talking about the strangest label of being ‘the 2nd wife’.

When I asked her why she called herself the 2nd wife her answer was simple and true, because she is the second wife.

Her hubby was married previously. She continued to tell me that it’s not a bad thing and that in fact she see’s it as a positive. She said that lots of men have baggage these days and instead of seeing all the negatives, she focuses on the positives.

So after sharing a few laughs and chatting for about an hour I asked ‘so tell me some of these positives, of being the second wife?’.

Her list began –

He made his mistake with the first one and now knows not to do it again.

He now appreciates it takes 2 to make a marriage work and effort on both sides is required.

He now knows what he wants from a marriage and is willing to work for it.

He know’s what he will and won’t put up with from his wife, yet also understand what is acceptable. No frequent big boozy nights and she isn’t the live in help.

So I thought I’d do some further research.

Now this is no disrespect to those on their first marriage, it may be the only marriage that you have. I myself am in my first marriage. However with divorce rates so high, almost 50% of all marriages end in divorce if both parties are on their first marriage. If one or both are on a second marriage, it drops by almost half. Hmmm interesting statistics, so I needed to look into this further for myself. This is what I found in an article written in the UK Daily Mail.

Couples in second marriages are ‘less likely to get divorced’ because they benefit from the experience of the first.

This study found those on their second union benefit from age and experience, and are more ready to commit. Rather than sliding into a marriage without much thought they will have carefully weighed the pros and cons.

Couples on their second marriage are more likely to stay together as they benefit from the experiences and lessons of the past.

‘One possibility is that higher age is a proxy for higher income. Higher income acts as a buffer against some of the everyday difficulties faced by most couples.

‘Another possibility is that higher age means there are fewer young children from prior relationships. ‘And fewer second marriages for men are subject to the social and family pressures that lead into some first marriages. Hence men tend to do better second time round.’

Relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr said that while previous statistics have shown that second marriages break down more quickly, maturity may well aid to save a second marriage.

She added the second marriages can be particularly problematic when there are children from both previous marriages.

And Relate counsellor Paula Hall pointed out that money can be tighter in a second marriage due to divorce settlements and child support payments etc so their is more strain on finances within the second marriage however knowing the respect for each other and working together maturely, issues like these can be resolved. It’s been days that second marriages are less expectant on materialistic things and focus more on inner love and happiness.

But she added: ‘People in second marriages seem to have more insight and self-awareness. Having gone through divorce and separation, there can be more motivation to work through problems and save the marriage.’

Are you on your second marriage?

Do you have any insight on marriage?

I’d love to hear your stories.

Noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Manipulation.

Manipulation and mind games.

So apparently all children can manipulate? I agree with this statement to an extent.

My little one certainly tries to manipulate me, he does this by being very cute, snugging up then asking me to play. Ok so this isn’t typical manipulation but it’s a form right?

This leads me to my next point. How many types of manipulation are there and what are they?

At what age do children start to manipulate?

Do they understand what they are doing? They may not know or understand the word, but I’m pretty damn sure a lot of children know what they are doing.

I know a lot of adults who manipulate on a regular basis, it often makes me wonder if they realise what they are doing, or are they simply that way inclined?

Is manipulation part if our personality?

Is it embedded in some of us?

Do these people enjoy manipulating?

Why do they feel they need to manipulate to get what they want?

Do that have that low of self esteem that they feel they have to manipulate?

Are they simply negative and nasty people who feel they deserve to be this way?

And my questions keep rolling…..

Manipulation is mainly know as ‘mind games’. These type of mind games I believe can be innocent or much more purposeful and deceiving. Most manipulation is used to ‘get what you want’ right? Why else would people play ‘mind games’?

As human beings, our emotions often take over our judgments therefore making it difficult for us to see the reality behind some certain hidden agendas or motives in different forms of behaviour. (Manipulation)

The controlling aspects or shrewdness can be linked to manipulation that are sometimes very subtle and may be easily overlooked, pushed aside, lost under feelings of obligation, love, or in fact our daily personal habits.

 
To understand the characteristics of a manipulative personality is not always easy as they may not always obvious. This can be because they play a silent game of building up obligations toward them. In the end it makes you feeling guilty, pressured, and obliged to carry out things for their sake even though you’re still wondering how things got to this point. How did they manage to get you to do this or behave that way?

I’ve found that the best way to judge a manipulative person is to observe their actions. Be a little patience with this and start with being polite and nice to them and saying thank you for letting me know this need to be done this way. Sooner you will come to know their reality. Actions speak louder than words.

Some manipulative people will guide people to do things in certain way. Telling them that doing do thing a particular way is for everyone’s good. In actual fact they don’t want to change themselves and want to stay in their own comfort zone. So these manipulative people will tell you stories about how someone else’s actions created problems for everyone. They might try scare tactics by also telling sad endings like he/she was asked to leave by everyone etc etc. Don’t fall victim to their stories. Just do what you think is right and essential. Of course considering others comfort also. But don’t sacrifice your rights and thoughts for them.

A martyr style personality behaves as if they are being considerate toward other people but is actually messing up considerateness with a need to be significant to you. By “martyring” themselves, they are doing things nobody has asked of them or wants them to do but in the process creates a ‘bind’ when they do them. In “doing you a favor”, their expectation increases that you have to return their favor. This type of person may also complain constantly about all the things they do for you and wonder rhetorically when you’re going to return this favor…

Excessively needy and dependent personalities tend to be people who feel uncomfortable in their own skin, this type of personality you will find often puts forward their own opinions and ideas which can quite often be hiding their manipulative behavior so that it seems as if you are responding on your own accord even though they’ve set up everything to have you respond directly to their neediness.

Narcissists. This is the archetypal manipulative personality and it’s very hard to deal with this master manipulator.

You. Seriously, at one time or other, every single one of us will practice manipulative behaviors in one form or other. It is just that for most people, manipulative actions tend to be one-off or only occasional instances rather than a purposeful map for daily living and interaction with others.

It’s interesting to note the possible types of ways in which people try to manipulate one another.

There are some key behaviors that can end up in manipulation, and it’s helpful to know how to spot them before walking right into them. Some are below.

The assumption statement – this manipulative tactic seeks to turn your behavior into what the beholder perceives it as, whether or not their interpretation is accurate. This soon leads to a guilt trip because no matter what happens, your rejection is proof of the assumption.

He said, she said – this manipulative ploy is pseudo-sociology in action. The manipulator takes it upon themselves to tell you what someone else said was the right thing to do. A third party perhaps your employer, partner or friend. It’s a handy way of pushing aside the responsibility from themselves while loading it all onto you.

The confronting statement is a manipulative approach set about to cause an argument. That way, the provoker will end up making you feel terrible over something you didn’t actually do or say but for which they believe you should feel guilty over anyway and they’ll get a huge chunk of sympathy from others with which they start to manipulate you all over again.

Self-pity manipulation, claiming to be unloved/sick/victimized, etc. At times each one of us has times when we’re really in need of some tender self-care but long-term manipulators can make a habit of being the victim or the one needing special attention. This often happens when you may be getting attention and they long for the attention. This can also be seen as ‘attention seeking’ quite often manipulators are also attention seekers.

The guilt trip – this manipulative behavior seeks to make you feel guilty and is aimed at sending you into the land of “should” rather than standing up for your own values.

Guilt trips are also really high on the list of manipulative personality tools. If you can get someone else to feel guilty, then you’re done! Only trouble is, people wear out after being made to suffer guilt trip after guilt trip and then the manipulator who thinks that he or she is on to a good thing here eventually will lose respect, friends, and will be distanced by those who can’t get away, such as family and co-workers. One of the key things to remember with ‘guilt trippers’ it’s hard to escape the guilt trip. The sooner you stop it the better, and that it’s their guilt trip, not yours.

No matter what age, we can all seem to ‘manipulate’ to some extent to get what we want at some point in our lives.

Fact is some people seem to do it more often to gain what they feel they deserve.

What are your thoughts on manipulation?

 

 

Step children.

On my recent holiday to Fiji I met some lovely people. All different and from various countries but no the less similar.

It seems almost 1 in 3 family’s have step children. Given that the divorce rates here in Australia alone are high, statistics show that approx 48% of marriage ends in divorce.

This one woman I met was quite opinionated on her step child.

On day 4 of our holiday my toddler and I were swimming in one of the family friendly pools when she came with her 2 year old daughter to play with us. My little one had a dump truck, spade and rake in the pool which seemed to be a hit with other children.

So the usual conversation started, she asked me then I asked her the same questions,’how long have you been here, how long are you staying, is this your first Fiji trip, who are you with? Etc

Her response was she was with her husband, their two daughters and her husbands son.

Her husbands son I thought? She then elaborated that She and her husband had been together 13 years and they had 2 daughters together, a 5 year old and a 2 year old. The ‘husbands son’ was 19 and from his previous relationship. I didn’t divulge any deeper but she was more than happy to tell me all about the situation.

The husbands son seems to be the ‘favourite’ child, let’s face it when it comes to break ups, there is always pity on the ‘poor child’ who’s parents are no longer together.

She went on to tell me that she didn’t have much to do with him as he is bad mannered, disrespectful towards her, arrogant and expecting. He apparently ‘wants for nothing and receive’s all he asks for, she mentioned that they are certainly not wealthy but the father buys and does whatever the son asks. She also proceeded to tell me that he demands his fathers attention and because her husband doesn’t see the son too often as he lives with his mother he feels feels obliged to give him his undivided attention when he does see him. I asked how often does her husband see his son and she replied with ‘every second weekend’.

She said that she has no doubt that her hubby loves their two daughters but wishes he put as much effort into them as he does his 19 year old son. She said that when the son is around the daughters are often not included with the father and sons activities.

Quite sad really. I think that as the girls grow up they will see this behaviour and perhaps resent both the father and his son?

I asked her how it affects her marriage and she replied with ‘it’s great when the son isn’t around’. I guess I wasn’t surprised as there are many similar situations like this.

Which makes me wonder, do you have to like your step children?

This woman certainly gave me the impression that she doesn’t like her step son at all. She said a few other things which shocked me and I think that if I was in her position I wouldn’t like the husbands son either.

She says she tolerates her husbands son for his sake but cringes each time the son is over, as it generally means that she and her husband argue over his parenting style with the son and the lack of involvement he has with their daughters. She feels that her husband favours the son and has a sense of guilt which is why he allows the son to behave in such a disrespectful and arrogant manner.

I felt sorry for her, what a difficult situation.

I guess that her story is not the only one like this out there, there are so many split families around, however I guess it’s how you treat the situation as to how your next relationship / family will unfold.

She said it’s always been the same for the 13 years that they have been together but has gotten worse since they had their girls and she sometimes questions why she puts up with it.

I didn’t ask her but I am wondering ‘Do you think the father feels guilty that he has moved on and is happy with someone other than the sons mother which is why he feels obliged to put the son first and almost neglects his new family of wife and 2 girls when the son is around?’.

‘Call me Sasha’

‘Call me Sasha’ by Geena Leigh

Whilst on holiday, I’m between sailing up the gorgeous weather, playing with my adorable little man and blogging I read an excellent book.

I seldomly read so being able to find the time to read and finish the book exceeded my expectations. I’m not sure what drew my attention to this book or why I purchased it, I think perhaps the cover? Subtle yet attention grabbing. That doesn’t really make sense does it…?

Anyway I struggled to put this book down and within 2 nights I had read it cover to cover. The whole 296 pages! I know it’s not the longest novel but for someone time poor this is the first book I’ve finished reading in about 2 years.

I know most of you probably read constantly and finish your books, however I generally find I get distracted or bored with reading and rarely finish the book I’ve started. My husband says I’m ‘fast twitched’ or a ‘go getter’ that I always have something that needs doing and ‘can’t sit still long enough’ or ‘can’t relax’. 🙂 yes I’m not usually one to laze around and generally do like to be doing something.

This book is a cold hard truth about this woman’s life. She is such an inspiration. What she endured throughout her life is almost unbelievable.

In many parts or chapters of this book my mind was saying ‘as if’ ‘poor girl’ or I would get a sense of anger inside if me and have a urge to protect her. This is possibly also mothers instincts 🙂

If you like me seldomly have time to read, for what ever reason – I will not judge you as I am quite time poor. I climb into bed generally exhausted, and within minutes I’m asleep, preparing myself for a new day of mummy and wife duties along with play dates, household chores and trying to think up new and exciting things I can do with my little man. So of your after a great read, that isn’t too long – (I find 500+ page books overwhelming) may I suggest you read this. ‘Call me Sasha’ by Geena Leigh. Such a well written memoir. I certainly look forward to her next book.

Below I’ve copied and pasted a snippet I found about the book. I hope that you also enjoy it.

If you have a ‘must read’ please key me know, I’d love to read something that my followers recommend 🙂

News.com.au writes –

TO SAY that Geena Leigh has lived a full-on life would be an understatement.

She left home at 15 and started working as a sex worker a few years later, eventually turning to drugs and developing a heroin addiction.

She travelled overseas, working as a sex worker in London and Greece before returning to Sydney as a 21-year-old.

When she was 33, she had a drug overdose when she was with a client, who revived her by performing CPR and then complained that she wouldn’t finish the job.

Finally, after more than 19 years in the sex industry, she’s managed to get her life on track and find a loving partner and a job she’s proud of.

In her new book Call Me Sasha, Geena Leigh opens up about her past as a sex worker, detailing what life is really like for a lady of the night:

Jessica Rowe – Strong and Truthful.

I saw this in the Sydney Morning Herald today and felt the need to share.

I love her statements and absolutely Agee, life is not perfect, no one us perfect so don’t be so hard on yourself.

On her 44th birthday, Jessica Rowe shares 44 of the lessons she’s learnt along her life’s journey.

“I need to have a good strong talk to myself” … Jessica Rowe.

My life is in dire need of a steam clean, and there’s no better time to clear away the crap and cobwebs than on a birthday. Tomorrow I turn 44 years old, and I figure it’s a good time to reflect on and celebrate the life lessons I have learnt, still haven’t learnt, should learn and will never learn.

I’ve put together a list of those lessons, but before you groan, this is not a bunch of smug, self-satisfied rules for living. Besides, lists have never been my strong point, as I exist permanently in a state of controlled chaos.

However, if the apocalypse is nigh, my family and I could live quite comfortably in my car. There would be enough to eat, with scraps of food left over from old school lunches, along with stagnant water from half-drunk Disney Snow Queen Elsa water bottles.

And my family would be well-clothed, since I have a mountain of clothes for big and little people in the boot. If you need something to help pass the time, there’s piles of reading material, with a month’s worth of newspapers stacked on the front seat and overdue school library books jammed under the driver’s seat. Plus there are some sparkly purple fairy wings to help you get the hell out of this place if it really is all too terrible …

The unlisty life continues inside our home, with piles of washing, explosions of toys, clean dishes, dirty dishes, books, two cats, four fish surviving in an algae-filled tank, and two tadpoles, named Lily and Rosebud, who are existing in a sludgy, slimy glass bowl. I need to have a good strong talk to myself and take some of the following pieces of advice:

• Don’t worry if your house is a pigsty; it’s a home, not a showroom.

• Never reveal the actual cost of your shoes. They were on sale and an absolute bargain. Besides they’re not new, anyway.

• Stop pretending life is perfect, it’s not; it can be messy, hard and heartbreaking.

• Be honest about the vile times – it gives other people permission to also fess up to their struggles.

• Don’t forget to tell the people closest to you that you love them.

• Return phone calls – but if you don’t, it doesn’t mean you don’t love your friends. (I do love you, really I do … )

• When you’re faced with boldness, be bolder. (I have to credit Napoleon Bonaparte for that cracker of a quote.)

• You are a good mother.

• You don’t have to have biological kids to be a mum; mothering comes in all shapes and sizes.

• It doesn’t matter if you pushed your baby out of your vagina or had it unzipped out of your stomach. All that matters is that you and your child are healthy.

• Breastfeeding can be hard: it hurts and your nipples can bleed.

• Using formula to bottle feed your babies doesn’t lower their IQ or make you any less of a mother.

• Sometimes you hate being a mum, but it doesn’t mean you hate your kids. They make your heart ache with love. It’s the unrelenting roles associated with the title of “mum” that can wear you down.

• Babies will go to sleep … eventually. (Although I’m still waiting for mine to sleep through the night!)

• Going to the park is boring.

• Playing with little kids all day is boring.

• Being with your kids all day can be blissful.

• Having a break from your children is heaven.

• You feel guilty enjoying time away from your family.

• You feel guilty for not being present, and in the moment with your family.

• You feel guilty for going to work.

• You feel guilty for not going to work.

• Your libido can go missing for a while, but don’t forget the raunchy and sexy woman you have been and still are.

• Nothing beats chocolate in bed and a Swedish crime thriller.

• Vibrators are very handy.

• Men do not notice stretch marks and cellulite; only other women notice the songlines of your body.

• Support other women and the choices they make, even if they’re not your choices.

• Go gently on yourself; you are enough.

• Tracksuits should not be worn outdoors.

• Leopard print is classic.

• You can never have enough sparkle on your clothes and in your life.

• Pink, purple and blue hair rocks.

• Floss your teeth.

• Laughter is the best medicine, but antidepressants come a close second.

• The only normal people in your life are the ones you don’t know very well.

• Be kind.

• Baked beans on toast is okay for dinner every now and then.

• Stay optimistic. It doesn’t mean being a Pollyanna, but cynicism is ugly.

• Don’t lead a safe life, take risks. It is far better to go down in flames than live a small, timid existence.

• Sometimes you have no control over what happens to you, but what you can control is how you choose to deal with it.

• Sugar is good for you.

• It’s not always about you. (But what do you really think about me???)

• Stop worrying about what other people think of you. (Are you listening, Jessica?)

• Ignore lists. Only you know what is best for you and your family.