Tag Archives: respect

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

Real friendships.

Absolutely!

For the past 6 or so months, I’d been beating myself up about some friendships that I thought meant a lot to me.

I feel like I had been a good, honest, reliable and trustworthy friend to these people. Turns out the friendship hasn’t been reciprocated.

As a friend I go above and beyond to make the effort to see my ‘friends’. I drive over and hour sometimes to see them and have time with them. Over the past few months no matter how much I try to organise a catch up, I’m being either ignored or pushed aside. Deliberately or not, it has hurt my feelings and made me question if these people are actually true friends?

My husband tells me to ‘let it go’ that they clearly don’t ‘respect my friendship’ but it’s hurt me. True friends make an effort and time for those who are important in their lives, or who they value in their lives.

Why can’t people just be honest?

If our friendship has found it’s ‘use by date’ please be honest. Dont let me feel like a fool when I extend an invitation to see you. You say a ‘yes’ but it never comes into fruition. Please, tell me that you would rather not. Don’t ignore me or cancel last minute or ‘forget’ to respond for months on end. That’s shitty behaviour and not fair.

I was taught to treat others the way that you wish to be treated.

It may take me an hour or perhaps a day to respond to communications. BUT I always will. I dont make excuses. If I don’t want to see you or spend time with you. You will know in the most polite way that I can deliver the answer. I won’t ‘fake’ the friendship.

I don’t have time or the energy to be hurt or hurt others.

The Kind Of Friends Moms Need

autism

A friend of my husbands wrote this beautiful piece about his son who has been diagnosed with autism.

It was published in The Sun Herald here in SYDNEY this past Sunday. (Which also happened to be Australia’s Father’s Day)

The writer, my husbands friend, speaks about his acceptance of his child, how he will love him no matter what and will do everything to ‘help’ rather than ‘fix’ his beautiful innocent son.

Such a touching piece of writing and very well said.

http://m.dailylife.com.au/life-and-love/parenting-and-families/i-learned-to-let-go-of-the-urge-to-fix-my-son-20150904-gjfdr8.html

Fathers

Fathers

There are many types of fathers, ones that adore and love their children others that would rather be at the gym or out with their mates having a few drinks or socialising.

I guess I always thought I would be with a man who idolises their children. My father wasn’t always around, he was often never home on a weekend choosing to go play bowls and after work on any given weekday he would come home, shower, change and go to the local RSL and be with his mates to drink and play snooker. He also played snooker in competition a few nights per week which meant he often had quite late nights resulting in us not seeing him as he left for work at approx 6am weekdays as he worked in the local sawmill.

My parents broke up when I was 11 so for me to remember my dad never being around, not only breaks my heart but shows me that from a young age he wasn’t ‘present’ in our lives.

I get that he worked to financially support the family however I don’t believe he ‘needed’ to go out socialising every afternoon after work nor every weekend. I don’t actually remember doing anything as a family with both parents and my older sister and younger brother. I think the only memory I have of a family unit is going camping with a few other family’s one year when I was about 5 or 6 years old, sleeping in tents, bathing in the river and having to use a ‘pit toilet’ which was basically a hole in the ground. Mind you I still enjoy camping but have not used a ‘pit toilet’ since that camping trip when I was only 5 or 6 years old.

Throughout my childhood I always thought and wanted a family that was a ‘unit’ don’t to speak. I saw many of my friends with their family’s and wanted to feel included and I guess was a little jealous that their dads were around and spending quality time with them and doing things as a family.

I know that some men find it hard to bond with children and I certainly understand that some men are just too selfish to spend time with their children that they believe it’s the mothers role to raise the children and run the house whilst the support financially. I also understand that majority of fathers are the main financial supporters therefore work longer hours. No disrespect to working mothers here, just making reference to my upbringing.

My dad was the kind of dad that as children, we were scared of. He was the disciplinary of the house although he wasn’t around much he was all too happy to raise both his voice and his hand at us for even the smallest things like not washing the dishes properly or being a few minutes late home from school. I guess he got this trait from his parents as I remember distinctively his mother chasing my sister and I with an electric jug cord threatening to ‘belt’ us with it as we were 5 minutes late home from School. Both our parents worked and majority of the time we were home alone after school until our father got home at approx 5pm or we had to go to his parents house if either of our parents were going to be late.

These days most fathers are still the main financial income however I also believe that most fathers still want to be part of their children’s lives. Many of my friends have wonderful husbands and partners who are actively involved in their children’s lives. This may include helping with dinner time, bath time, bed and also play.

I also have a handful of friends who’s partners / husbands dont do much with their children. They work late – by choice or go to the gym after work to avoid having to help with the children at dinner or bed time. Some fathers even choose to be out late and only come home after the children are asleep in bed.

These kind of fathers break my heart.

Why do they not want to spend this special time with their little ones?

I understand that children can be hard work but they are also so rewarding
and Children are so young and innocent for such a short period of time why not relish in any time that you can have with them?

Do they not cherish these little things? Or do they just not want part of it?

I once had a male friend say to me ‘I’m not a hands on dad nor will I ever be’ he then Proceeded to say that he and 2 of his other mates are the same and that their wives knew this prior to marrying them and their wives should not expect them to help out with the children. Quote ‘it’s just not in our DNA’.

I was taken aback and quite disgusted that he would say such a thing. Who says this, that isn’t a complete prick?

I would have loved my father to be around more and spend more time with me. Perhaps this is why I do my everything for my little guy and love and cherish every moment with him. I would never ever want him to think that I was a non existent parent. I will also make sure that I’m also very hands on with my daughter who is due in approx 3 months.

This then makes me think, why do men go either way with their parenting style?

Did they have terrible fathers which is why they feel they can behave this way also or that they think being non existent in their children’s lives is normal?

Or perhaps their fathers were that non existent that they are over compensating and being such hands on wonderful fathers to ensure that their children will not think of them in such a way?

There was once an article I read in a newspaper about fathers that suggested there are 4 types.

Enforcer Dad, this is the old-fashioned disciplinarian who is not involved with the day-to-day care of children, but sets clear rules and reprimands.

Entertainer Dad one who sees himself as the joker within the family, and chooses to be the friend rather than a parent.

Useful Dad, willing to help out with day-to-day childcare and household tasks, but still taking his lead from his wife.

Fully Involved Dads, these dads are equally involved with the daily running of the home and family, with the mother and father roles interchangeable.

Can you be both a parent and a friend to your children?

I know a few dads that don’t spend a lot of time with their children but spend a lot of money on them. This isn’t something I agree with as I don’t think gifts equal love. I understand it’s an expression of love however I don’t think anything can compare to your father actually spending quality time with you. Time doesn’t cost a thing but it’s so valuable.

I think yes you can. Children need direction, discipline and love but I think that they will respect you more for being a disciplinary rather than a friend when they are mature enough to understand.

I know that I’m the disciplinary with my little guy. His father works late most nights so I do all the dinner, bath and bed every night. Even on a weekend. I therefore am with him 90% of the time alone and have to be the disciplinary. It can be tiring as they are long days but I actually enjoy doing these things for and with my little guy. I get that this is a sacrifice that my husband makes, missing out on time with our little guy and it saddens me but I am trying my best to raise him the best I can. To raise him to become a gentleman and also a kind, loving, respectful person. He calls me his best friend but I also know that with his tears from the time out and being disciplined he still loves me and hopefully will respect me.

My little guy is 2 and is still learning and asserting himself but I believe in leading by example and if I can be a good parent, I’m hoping I raise good children.

 

Through thick and through thin!

Through thick and through thin.

So the saying goes, you will stick by your partner through thick and through thin. Why is it that this saying doesn’t always ring true?

Marriage is supposed to made upon love, respect, trust and understanding. Why are something’s simply left misunderstood or unsaid?

One would assume that when standing face to face with your loved one, saying those special life combining vows, that your happily ever after will remain.

No one ever wants to hear the three little words ‘this isn’t working’ we all wish to hear ‘I love you’ or ‘we can work through this’.

Why is it so hard to always be on the same page?

Yes relationships are hard and they most always will certainly need work at some point. Weather you have been together 10 years or 10 days, no relationship is perfect and there will always be hardship right?

I think that having hardship and working together makes you stronger as a couple. For every battle there will be a make up and I think that every relationship needs some tough times, this shows the love and respect that you have for each other as a couple to get through the hard times.

No relationship is perfect 100% of the time and I personally believe that if your putting on a facade that your relationship is perfect, what are you really hiding?

Truth is and studies show that to have a 100% non fight and totally agreeable relationship one person will need to ‘bow down’ either hold their thoughts and options to themselves in order to keep the other person happy.

If this is in fact true, why are why changing our options for our partners and why shouldn’t we speak up and have our own thoughts and opinions? Why are we trying to please everyone? Are we scared of failure or scared to voice our opinion in fear of offending or hurting someone’s feelings?

Arguing can be seen as communicating and voicing or sharing issues. In a relationship where there is not even a heated conversation, it could be that one or both parties don’t feel safe enough to express themselves. They doubt whether they can be honest about their feelings and be heard, respected, and still loved.

A lack of argument can also signal a lack of commitment to each other or the relationship. If you just don’t care about the longevity of your relationship with someone, you might just keep your head down and ignore anything that comes up because, ultimately, it won’t matter in the end.

I know in my marriage vows I said ‘through good times and through bad’. Yes I occasionally don’t see eye to eye with my hubby and we do argue. I think this keeps our relationship real and I know he respects my opinions and likes that fact that if we don’t agree on a topic that I challenge him.

I’m not a shrinking person and I won’t agree in order to please or keep the peace.

We all have our own opinions and we are all very much entitled to have them. Any partner who scrutinises their significant other, for having opinion should have a look at themselves.
What are they hiding?
Are they controlling?
Do they feel insecure?
Is this why they don’t like you to speak up?
Or are they simply embarrassed or afraid that you may in fact challenge their thoughts?

If you’re arguing over small, petty day to day insignificant things just to get interaction, or to be validated, or in fact if your trying to push someone away out of fear or rejection it’s unhealthy for both you and your relationship. What you really need to do is take a good hard look at what you really want from the confrontations and find healthier ways to have your needs met.

Fact is that when blending your life with another person’s it isn’t always going to go smoothly. It takes work and there will be times when various differences come between you weather you think they are important or not.

The important thing is to learn to navigate these ‘arguments’ so that you can come out the other side feeling more secure, intimate and respected in the relationship.

No one gets taught how to argue with our significant other. There’s usually no standard instruction manual on how to deal with the possible arguments of day to day life that we might get into with someone whom we love, but knowing how to ‘argue’ well is one of the best tools for a long term relationship. It can close the divide between a love that is slowly disintegrating, and a love that is true, strong and more intimate with years gone by.

It’s very natural that you’re going to fight once in awhile. However, being frustrated or angry with your partner doesn’t have to be destructive and it doesn’t have to ‘end in tears’.

Working through issues teaches you about each other and by learning you can appreciate each other more and the love and respect can and will grow.

Talk to each other in a calm manner and never go to bed on an argument. All that will do is brew overnight and possibly neither person will sleep well. Therefore being overtired will only cause more destruction within the argument.

A great therapist once said;
“You can’t control anyone else’s behaviour. The only one in your charge is you.”

A great article on relationships and arguments is in the link below.

http://www.rachaellay.com/arguing-can-make-your-relationship-healthier/

Domestic Violence.

Domestic violence.

We all know someone or are related to someone who is or has been a victim domestic violence.

After watching 60 minutes tonight I feel I need to write about domestic violence. I’ve been watching the Gerard Baden-Clay story and I’m reeling with anger.

Weather or not you believe he murdered his wife Alison. Or weather or not you believe it was an abusive relationship and marriage domestic violence is very much a part of today’s society and it needs to stop.

Some super scary statistics show that just under half a million Australian women reported that they had experienced physical or sexual violence or sexual assault in 2005.

38% of these women who had been assaulted either sexually or physically report it was by a partner.

It’s been confirmed that one woman dies every week from domestic violence within Australia.

In NSW alone, 24 women were killed last year (2013) in domestic-related incidents.

Of all homicides in NSW, 42 per cent are domestic.

One woman is hospitalised every three hours across the country
from domestic violence.

Please remember as horrifying as these statistics are, they are the sad truth that could possibly be higher.

Unfortunately not all domestic violence cases are reported and many men and women are silent victims. They may be too scared or ashamed to speak up. To tell the truth. Perhaps fear of judgement by their peers or perhaps fear of revenge by their assaulter.

This needs to stop!

Too many women are dieing from domestic violence and it doesn’t stop there. Children are also victims which is terribly sad. Innocent and unsuspecting children at the hands of these violent disgusting people.

I’m not saying it is only men being abusive. There are many women in this world who are just as abusive both physically and mentally. Manipulating and belittling their partners. Perhaps as an act of jealously perhaps an act of low self esteem? Who really knows why these people behave in such a manner. What I know is, it should not be tolerated.

Changing laws to ensure the world is a safer place will require the courage of those victims to stand up and be brave. To speak about their abuse. We as a nation need to stop allowing abusive men to make lame excuses such as ‘Im sorry, I promise it won’t happen again’. Or ‘ I’m so stressed and anger took over, it won’t happen again’. Whatever the excuse violence is a low and criminal act.

Abusive doesn’t always mean being hit or punched or kicked, it can also be being yelled at, belittled or spoken to in a demeaning way. Sometimes the verbal abuse can be more scaring and hurtful than the physical.

Scars and bruises can be covered up with make up. Some people can be extremely mentally strong and are able to hide the emotional scaring or block out these feelings of hurt to the outside world ignoring them and pushing the aside.

It’s the emotional scaring that is so intense that it can remain for forever more haunting it’s victims. This emotional scaring is always in the minds of these victims and will always remain, no matter how hard you try to block it out or push it away, it’s happened and as a victim it can’t be change.

Australians used to regard drunken abusive behaviour by husbands as the normal. For many centuries, men have grown up in families that functioned in these violent circumstances, keeping it secret from their neighbours, friends and peers yet many remain deeply affected.

Sadly, though, many of these abusive people have claimed to be suffering mental abuse, often driven by a jealousy or low self-esteem. They try to destroy the confidence of their victim to the point where they feel like a prisoner and become dependent on the abusive person at hand.

We need to stand as a nation and stop domestic violence.

If you are a victim of domestic violence please stand up. There is help out there and you need not live in fear.

I have pasted some links below where you can get help.

If you would like to talk more to me about domestic violence, please feel free to email me on –
Noordinarymummy@gmail.com

 

http://m.police.nsw.gov.au
https://www.1800respect.org.au/workers/fact-sheets/mandatory-reporting-requirements/
http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/domestic-and-family-violence
http://www.domesticviolence.nsw.gov.au
http://www.domesticviolence.com.au/pages/domestic-violence-statistics.php

Too old for a bikini?

Too old for a bikini?

At what age is it no longer appropriate to wear a bikini? I’m on an amazing sunny holiday with my two loves, my beautiful husband and my gorgeous little 19 month old boy – both are my world. I look around and see many women wearing bikini’s and some look ok others I wonder…

Am I being a prude? Is there an age were it’s no longer socially acceptable to wear a bikini? I’ve been reading other forums on this matter and have came up with some questions. Is it a self confidence thing? You wear it because you think you look great? Is it polite to stop embarrassing yourself and or your children? You may think you look great but what about others if your over exposing?

I have a friend whom is stunning and gorgeous! She is in her early 40’s and has 2 children but the body of a super model and she refuses to wear a bikini. When I questioned her on why when is looks amazing, her response was that it’s not age appropriate over 40.

I know this will cause some controversy but I tend to agree with her. You have all the younger years to flaunt what you have, why is it that you want to continue to flaunt it?

Are you that in love with yourself that you feel others need to see your body also?

Do you have the mentality of ‘who cares’ what others think?

Do you think ‘if you have it, flaunt it’?

Believe me, there are some very small bikinis out there which I really feel are inappropriate on older women.

Perhaps I am a prude, but there are many stunning full piece swim suits that would look a lot nicer on many women. I don’t care how thin or fit you are sometimes covering up is nicer to look at and less embarrassing to your children. They may not be telling you in fear of offending you but there is one very outspoken approx 6yo here asking his mother to put a dress over her bikini as it’s ’embarrassing’.

I know we all talk about body confidence but is there such a thing as age appropriate or too much body confidence?

A few fine words of wisdom.

So we all have been passed on some words of wisdom at some point in our lives.

Here are a few of my favourites that I wanted to share.

I hope that you like them as much as I do.

**************************************************************************

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them.”

Harold J. Smith

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

John Wooden

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”

Sir Winston Churchill

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Anon

To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

Anon

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do.”

Benjamin Franklin

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Growing old is  inevitable, growing up is optional.

anon

“Live one day at a time and make it a masterpiece.”

Dale West

“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”

Dali Lama

“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”

Dali Lama

“Follow the three R’s: Respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all your actions.”

Dali Lama

“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”

Dali Lama

“Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.”

Dali Lama

“Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.”

Dali Lama

“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. And watch your character for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become. My father always said that… and I think I am fine.”  –

Margaret Thatcher

 image