Tag Archives: independence

Am I Parenting Right?

As a parent you just do not know if you are parenting ‘right’… it starts when they are babies, then moves to toddlers, then continues right through the school years and teen years.   And here I am.. Knee deep in the teen years.  

A couple years ago, I started to go through giving my oldest daughter some independence.  I have always given my kids some freedom and independence until I felt they could not handle it.  It’s a definite struggle to just step back a little and give them more and more independence.   

I remember when my oldest started staying up later and later, I knew eventually she would have to figure it out that she would need more sleep.  Eventually, she realized that if she wanted to make it through the day with school and practice, she would need to not stay up late watching netflix.  

And now I am going through my middle daughter trying to gain herself some independence.  And this has been the biggest test for me.  I have realized that all of my children are so different.  It just boggles my mind, how really different they can be.  So here I am thinking, well my oldest daughter handled it, I am sure she will be fine also.  News to me… 

I have learned that they both handle independence and responsibility very different.  And it has been a definite learning curve. I feel like I am tested daily with this one.  My oldest was motivated by getting to be with her friends.  She is very social and enjoys sleepovers and hanging out with them.  If I ask her to do something or follow certain rules, she does it because she gets to see her friends.  

Then we have my middle child…. She is very smart and school comes easy for her.  She is content being at home and does not ask to do much.  She loves her netflix and watching tv.   A couple months ago, she asked to switch to complete distance learning and we agreed with some expectations.  I thought this would be a good test at some independence.  We gave her six weeks and then we would evaluate how it was working.   It was a complete shit show… missing assignments, missing classes, and grades falling.  

So, we discussed that after Christmas she would need to return to hybrid.  Now, it should not have been a complete shock to her because the weeks leading up to this conversation, we discussed her grades and missing assignments, along with the importance of getting them in.  

It is the day she is suppose to return to school and she just doesn’t go.  I tried all of my tactics and bargain tools, nothing worked.  Now, with my oldest, taking her phone away would have done the trick.  I am pretty sure that the words “boarding school” came out of my mouth.  I might have even mentioned that the principal might show up at our house… good god, I sounded like my mother 30 years ago, I was rambling… and my daughter knew none of those things would happen.  

I do not even know why I was trying, I knew how strong willed she was…and I knew when she made up her mind it was stuck.  

And now she has still not returned to in-person school.  Of course, she is doing her learning still from her bedroom and of course, she is actually getting up on time, but she will not return. I have tried everything to get her to go back to school and she just will not do it.  She has no phone, no tv, or no electronics.  I am sure her friends wonder what happened to her….but she seems to not care.  She is ok with the consequences.  

And so here I am, still in awww on what to do.  I have asked my friends, I have read numerous articles, but still everyday I am wondering if I am doing it right. I wonder if I am not doing enough or doing too much.. Should I just give in or should I have more consequences.  Honestly, its a gamble. And I am sure 20 years from now, we will laugh about it.   

And the reality is, each of my children are so different.  They function so differently.  Just when I think I have them figured out, another curve ball.  And I am stuck thinking… how many more years until I finally figure it all out….

-Snarky

 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Sweet Sixteen

Last week was my daughter’s 16th birthday…It’s her sweet sixteen and its just the beginning of more independence, more letting go, more compromise, and more trust…and still embracing it all…

I struggled all week, because she is growing up. I must have asked her a million times what she wanted to do for her birthday.  All she wanted to do was go out to dinner with her friends after practice.  At first I was crushed… how could she not want to spend her birthday dinner with her family.  How could she not want to spend it with me and her 2 siblings… haha.  

So, I graciously agreed to let her go to dinner with her friends.  I will not lie..It felt a little sad to have dinner at home with just my other two children on her birthday.    But I offered to pay for her and her friends, as long as I got one picture of them all together. And after she got home, we celebrated with cheesecake and presents.  In the end, it was her day, so I let her celebrate it how she wanted.  And she thanked me numerous time for letting them go to dinner that night.  

I came to grips with it by the end of the week..but watching your kids grow up and gain more and more independence is painful.   When they are little, we just make all the decisions for them… from the birthday party theme to the guest list to the cake to the games… It all centers around our decisions.  As they get older, I have to remember to let them make some decisions.  And I have to remember that it might not be what I want…

And besides her birthday, I have been going through months of driving lessons.  Months of griping to the side of the car door, months of gasping for a breath, and months of wondering if people ever die with student drivers….Months of saying the words “slow down”..Months of letting her get in a car with her friends that already have their license.  I am not sure what is worse… her driving or her being the passenger with her friends…

And this summer when she wanted to go to a beach about an hour away with her friends driving..   I did not want to let her go, I was so worried, I was a wreck most of the day.. But I made her call me when she left, call me they got there, and call me on the way home.  Maybe a little overboard, but hearing her voice throughout the day, made me be a little more sane that day.  I had to learn to trust her and this is how you do it.  But I guess that is what we do… we give them little bits of independence and see how they can handle it. 

And now its christmas, and she does not want to “hang out” with the family as much.  She is starting new traditions with her friends… going to look at Christmas Lights with her group, baking cookies with them, and exchanging gifts.  

And she keeps bringing up going on a girls weekend this summer… YIKES!!  And then I remember that my parents let me go with my friends to look at colleges when I was 16.  And then that hits me…College… what the hell! 

She is registering for her junior year of school, along with looking ahead to her senior year.  She is starting to think about what she wants to do after highschool.  And I am thinking where did the time go.  Will I maybe only have 2 years left with her at home… 

How do I handle all the independence and freedom?  And embrace all the things that you want to explore?  

I guess I still cherish the moments that you want to spend with us.  I have learned to enjoy the 10 minute car ride to target.  I have learned to enjoy the 5 minutes you pop in with your friends in between practice and a sleepover.  I love that you still watch grey’s anatomy and we can talk about it over and over again.  

I have learned to let go of those mornings that you are so crabby I can not even look at you..and 10 minutes later you come upstairs and act like nothing happened.  

I have learned that I pick and choose what I “make” you do with us…. I compromise. I compromise over and over again.  

I give more independence. I trust. I compromise. I let go. And I watch over you again and again…

 

-Snarky


www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Giving Your Teenager Some Space

Giving your teenager some space..
It is Thursday night and my daughter is going to the drive in movie with her cheer team.  She knows that she will be out late and needs to be up for summer gym in the morning.
Friday morning is here..and she is up and ready when we have to leave with being reminded.  She’s a smart girl and knows the consequences if she’s not on time.

But then here comes the attitude…I choose to drive the long one mile to the high school in silence.  On days like this, i just learned to pick my battles.   I remember the late nights with my friends in high school and my mom would just point me in the direction of my room for the day.  

Sometimes I have to just ignore my teenager daughter’s eye rolls and attitude…I’m sure thats bad to say,  but sometimes the look alone tells me to back off.  It’s better not to say anything some mornings than to get the eye roll and mumble…the constant bickering with her brother over the pronunciation of a word that drives me nuts…I’m not sure what makes the teenager mood swings and attitude so much worse some days.. then the next day she will sit in the kitchen and talk my ear off about friends and practice.

So I have learned to notice the signs and just let it go.. I don’t fuel the fire with the little things.  After that summer gym class, I let my daughter sleep all afternoon.  Then at dinner time,  I handed her the chore list for the day.  She did them no questions asked… We all have days that we need more sleep or more time alone.  

I have learned that maybe things don’t get done how I would like them, but they get done. If I would have hounded her to do her chores after class, it would have been a painful fight… I knew to just give her the space and she would be fine later.  

When the teenager years first started, it was a definite adjustment… I had a hard time understanding why she didn’t want to do the same things as her younger siblings.  It is hard to find things that we all enjoy now together.   The older they get the harder this becomes… they want friends along or they just don’t want to go.  Or why do they have to watch netflix on their phones in their room instead of watching with all of us in the living room.  

I have learned to do more things one on one with them.   I do not want to always make them do things together when its going to be a painful fight or no one can agree.   I have learned that my kids are so different when they are one on one with you.  They talk and talk and talk…sometimes they almost talk to much..haha.  

So many times I don’t bombard her with questions the minute she gets home from school, practice movies.. .. I let her go to her room and unwind for a bit.. then she’ll usually come and tell me all about whatever she was doing…

I give my kids independence to learn to do things for themselves, while I’m biting my tongue along the way.   I want them to need me but I also want them to make decisions.  Its a fine line to walk… and painful sometimes.  

Painful to keep my comments to myself and let them figure things out for themselves.  My daughter knew that if I let her stay out late, she would need to get up for class.  She also knew that if I let her sleep, she would need to do some chores.  And I have learned to back off a bit and let my kids do things differently than I might.

-Snarky

 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

 

 

I Took Back My Name

I stepped away from my Father’s name at age 19 with the assumption I would never go back. I took my husbands and proudly  wore it like a badge of honor. Then things went south and there I was with a daily reminder of things gone wrong attached to me like a curse. I thought keeping it was right for my children, gave them a little bit of normalcy of everyone having the same last name, but then I chose to remarry. Throwing a curveball into best laid plans, my new husband wanted me to have his name versus my ex and it made sense at the time. Here I was making the choice to change it again and stray further and further away from my born name. But then like some things do things went sour and here I was with the choice to keep his name or change it.

So I changed it

I took back the innocent, carefree young girl I was. I decided to go back to the beginning and start fresh. I wanted to go back to a time with I had it all figured out and knew what I wanted out of this life. I wanted to simplify and detox my life and I started with my last name. It felt amazing to hold my new ID with my reclaimed identity and the first thing I did was order checks with my new address and reclaimed last name. I did it. I started fresh and I had the checks to prove it! For the first time in a long time I felt whole, like I had it together, like I was me again.

Getting two divorces by age 27 isn’t what I had in mind for my life, but life throws you curveballs and you have to have small victories to get past the big stuff and reclaiming my last name was one of the small victories 2019 brought me. I got my fresh start, I got a chance to start new again in this life and many people don’t get that.  I am proud to rock my dads namesake and I don’t plan on changing it again. I’ll die with my Daddy’s last name.

Serendipity

The Last Time

I am a few weeks away from taking a solo trip to California. The last time I took a trip by myself G was almost 2 and a half and it was to New Orleans to spend some time with my best friend.

It was also a chance for me to decide if I was ready to leave my husband.The writing had been on the wall for a long time. Even leading up to our wedding. But as I had come off an extremely abusive relationship, my soon to be husband seemed like the change. A new start I needed.

Except he wasn’t.

There were so many flags.

Some I still can’t talk about because I’m ashamed I let those things happen to me a second time. I let someone once again hurt me. I still remember being out with a group of friends and my ex. He sat in the corner his arms crossed and sulked the whole night. These were women who had been in my life for years. Suddenly he was making me question them and myself. Were we too much? Was I?

Or being put with his friends, all of them by the way college drop outs with extremely high IQ’s teasing me,a woman with two BA’s about loving pop culture as much as I did. He didn’t defend me. He joined in. My BA was a waste. I was just a glorified babysitter. His sister at dinner questioning why I ate like I did.

There’s so much I could unpack here, but it’s already been buzzing in my brain with this trip coming up.

You put up with a lot when you think you have no choice. When you think you deserve it. When you are afraid of change. When you are afraid of being alone or failing.That trip was the balm I needed. The reminder I was absolutely not all the things I let him tell me I was.

Leaving was hard. He absolutely did not make it easy and he actually didn’t grant me a divorce for several years. Even now he reminds me what he thinks of me. I think you know it’s not good.

As a result I hid from a lot of people I care about because I was so ashamed I let this happen to me. I am ashamed to say… I still do.

I pride myself on being a strong, independent person.

Not someone who had panic attacks when the clocks strikes 430 because that means my husband will be home and the house needs to look a certain way.

Not someone who cared so much about how I looked.

He hated my hair a certain way.

Tattoos.

Certain clothes.

Even food I ate.

Not someone who can’t decorate my current house in a certain shade of green because that was the only color he allowed me to decorate in.

I am still not the best at a lot of things.

Loud noises can be too much. Specifically any kind of sounds in a kitchen. Maybe another blog…

I tend to go inside myself rather than ask for help.

I take a long time to trust someone.

I cut my hair off, am covered in tattoos and piercings.

I have become a homebody.

But at the end of the day I don’t think my ex is a bad person – I mean I have G. Except he is maybe not a husband person, at least not for someone like me. Obviously.

We are still trying to figure out co-parenting. It goes without saying it’s a huge work in progress.

About 70% he’s a pretty good Dad. 30% I do genuinely want to throat punch him.

Last but not least if I have learned anything.

If someone loves me, they love me.

They have my back.

I am stronger than I think I am.

I will always put G first and make sure she always knows it’s beautiful to be yourself and anyone who doesn’t think do absolutely doesn’t deserve you.

I’m looking forward to a trip this time just to go be.

Not figure anything out.

Just be.

 

Hugs Mommas

<3 Caprise