Thursday, November 14, 2013

M-M-Meltdown

The other night I caught the kids scraping their dinner into the garbage and eating bowls of Cookie Crisp cereal that somehow they had smuggled into the house. The end of a very bad day. If I wasn't so angry I would have cried.

Stinson Beach seven years ago. Their first taste of crap cereal. Like crack!

I emailed my husband:

"We need to talk about the kids. I just can't take it anymore. They are home all afternoon from 3pm to 3.30, earlier on a lot of other days, until you get home at 7pm and that is five hours of watching television, fighting, rudeness and me asking them six times to do things and them screaming back at me.

I just feel like crying all the time, I am at my wits' end. I want to do my work but this rage and rudeness from them is just sapping me. I think you might have had a glimpse into it for one week but I don't think you understand what it's like putting up with this day after day, month after month.

At this stage I just want to do my work, I don't want to deal with them anymore. Nothing about being with them is fun or rewarding, there is no point in the afternoon that I feel its all worth it - they are rude, swearing, nasty. I dread getting up in the morning.

The fact that you are now coming home at 7pm instead of 6pm has been extending the day even longer. You either need to start coming home at 6pm every night or just leave bedtime to me. I don't think you realise how awful much that extra hour is.

Harley did nothing all summer for 10 weeks and and since school has done nothing for the last three months. Like Jackson he is full of rage and anger because he doesn't do any exercise. Jackson didn't do the dishes last night, didn't bring in the bins, just screams and curses all the time. Tallulah didn't come home when I told her to, her phone was down as usual and C had to bring her home as she was so late. She lied this morning about taking her pills, just one thing in a thousand interactions that is negative and soul destroying. I've taken her phone off her and she can't walk home this week. 

We need to step in and take measure. I am doing research about boarding schools because I think that is the best option. If he's not at tennis Cy just needs to stay at AdventureTime. 

At this stage too I want to cancel Thanksgiving - or maybe I should go away for a week. I just can't face handling more people."

I recently told a friend that what I liked about blogging was I can write what I like. That's not always true - because I don't want to offend or come across as a shrew. But today I did. This morning I woke up feeling slightly better, a friend had emailed me some boarding schools and it feels like I have a little piece of a security blanket in my back pocket.

101 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear that it's been a rough patch with the kids. I wish I had one sage advice but I don't have kids and I don't know many teenagers. But I remember what it was like and it's just rough being one. Can't imagine what it's like nowadays. It must be stressful with so much going on. I am sure it will work itself out Jody. Just one of those stages with hormones going crazy.good to let it out.

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    1. Hormones galore and doesn't help that mother is an oldy and tettering on her own hormonal abyss!

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  2. Oh my gosh I hear you sister! I have been there, and I am still there as my youngest is 11 and every morning is a huge fight, the evenings are long and if wine hadn't been invented I would have hitchhiked out to California and become a beach-bum long ago. The good news is that my son who is now 20 was once a hellion times a thousand, now he studies physics at University of Toronto and comes home once a month and is so appreciative of dinner with his parents, he is a delight. It changes even though it seems like it never will?
    And nothing wrong with boarding school either.
    kiss, hug and glass of sauv blanc across the miles, Dani

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    1. Glass of sauvy for sure this evening. Thanks for the words from the future when they appreciate you! My brother and I still say we would have loved to have gone to boarding school...

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  3. Argh - I don't have as many kids at home but I feel your pain. I would make suggestions but you'd probably throw something at me as you'll have thought of them all before. I do think it's important to keep the boundaries in place and just try to keep them on the straight and narrow. And yes, exercise is crucial but it can come in many forms. My big guy plays his drums every night straight after school (getting rid of negatives?) and comes out sweating bullets.
    You are right to give consequences and follow through with them. They might "hate you" but it will also show them that you're not going to put up with the crap. It's not easy being the tough mum all the time though.
    What about a family pow-wow? We had a situation a month ago where I was more upset than the kids had ever seen me, and it really shocked them into realizing that I care but that they can't do certain things any more.
    Stay strong sister.

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    1. Thank you! Always always open to suggestion!! Family pow wow also sounds necessary as yes! agree good to show how much it's affecting you. Some Mums I know always try never to show their upset to their kids and I'm not sure that is right, makes them immortal. I was always a subscriber to kids needing downtime but in fact realised when they are teens they need to be busy they need exercise, actitivies and hobbies (telly doesn't count wish mine would play the drums In a sound proofed room!) and we are paying the price for all that downtime.

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    2. It always pays to keep teens busy most of the time. NO good can come from a teen lying around!
      And yes, just as we try not to upset them, why is it OK for them to talk to us like we're dirt, throw our food out (in this case), not help around the house etc. It's called respect.
      Perhaps if you tell them that you really can't take it any more and need help around the house, (together with clear delegation) they might all pitch in? Worth a try.

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    3. I have totally come around to that way of thinking after being a proponent of "They have to have loads of downtime" After last week it's " don't come home until 6pm and you've run round the block or even better the whole town"

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  4. I think they based Alexander's No-Good-Very-Bad-Day on my son. Sometimes my daughter talks to me like I have no IQ. It was worse at times and then better. The myth of parenthood is that you always like them, even though you do love them! I am so glad you wrote this Jody - I bet you are making a lot of moms feel much better tonight.

    Much love!

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    1. Thanks for these words! Feel like a total psycho and so agree about loving but not always liking...

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  5. We have all been there in some form or fashion. While mine are a tad younger than your average, my frustration is already mounting. I think some mothers are just better at different phases. The baby phase - no sleeping, constantly feeding - didn't phase me too much. The teen years will undoubtedly run me ragged.

    I appreciate your candor and honesty. I think this feeling is universal, as I said, but not everyone is willing to show their tender underbelly.

    Finally, I have a few friends with kids off at boarding school and they do seem rather serene. Keep your options open!!

    xoxo

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    1. Yes now I am thinking the baby-toddler years were actually easier in their predictability and the unconditional love...

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  6. Boarding school beats water boarding at least lol
    Let them make their own thanksgiving feast
    Make their own everything from money to food
    Then they may stop giving attitude

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    1. So the jobs the thing
      scrubbing Dickensian
      style?

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  7. I remember when my daughter was 6 years old, that I announced to the other moms 'this is the BEST stage'. They looked at me like I was mad!! But she was old enough to feed herself, go to bed, brush her teeth, tell me if she was ill .... but still young enough to adore and obey me! I confidently stated at the time that this should last for a good six or seven years. Well ... she's almost 13 ... and it's all still good .... but wow! I'm not really looking forward to when the hormones kick in! And like you, I too will be teetering on that hormonal brink!! It will get better, I'm sure. Just hang in there and make sure there's a constant supply of Sauvy nearby :)

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  8. Jody, I am not sure I can help but I have heard this many times from my friends who have kids so you're not alone! My next door neighbors have a toddler and she is a terror so I see it first hand. All I can say is that this too shall pass. I know you are an excellent mother, and sometimes making decisions like boarding school is tough, but know that doing the right thing for both you and your kids is going to benefit everyone in the future.
    Hang in there, many hugs, kisses and a drink or two. I mean that last part, lady!
    Ps: You're not a psycho at all. So far you are clocking 100% at normalcy.

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    1. 100 percent happy with this comment that's for sure!

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  9. Jody, I just texted my husband this morning at 9:13 that I was ready to ship the 3-year-old to [insert somewhere fun for her and far from me]. I think that's a record for the earliest in a day I've felt that way! Heheh. Parenting is an exercise in patience for sure. I used to envy Andrew's 4 hour commute (1 hour of driving and 1 hour of ferry each way) because he got some time alone. Away from the bickering and crying and kids screaming, "Poop or pee?!" over and over again through the bathroom door. I know he hated it, but he could still see my point. :)

    He gets home at a decent hour now and we make sure each parent gets an hour of quiet (and sometimes a cocktail). I don't know how single parents do it. . .

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  10. Sorry to hear of your situation, Jody. No wisdom to offer here; Bears are just different from Humans. I think you're a great mom, and that you will (just Bearly, perhaps) survive your kids.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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  11. I always thought downtime was good for kids but now I think it's crazy. Let's face it, 100 years ago 99% of the population over 5 years of age spent their days toiling in the fields from dawn to dusk. Too bad we have child labor laws! On another note, we can escape tomorrow!

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    1. Linda - a total meeting of the minds my friend. In fact they only bought in summer vacation in the US to enable farming families to use the children to harvest all the fields. Now we don't need the sprogs to do that I say ALL_year-round-school. It's the only way!

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  12. Sending strength dear Jody. In a few years this will actually be funny! But I can imagine not now. Downtime is crazy making time! Can you schedule them in sports or theater or something? Track and field practice and meets kept my boy from all sorts of shenanigans! Barely.

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    1. Yes have realised when they get to be teens they need a good bit of running around and to be kept busy

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  13. Oh, my dear, what an awful day, what an awful week.

    For the longest time I was convinced that some wicked sloppy foul-mouthed lazy pod people had infiltrated my kind lovely little ones. Finally the pods morphed into some nice young adults. But it was a wearying and testing journey.

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    1. Or Poltegeists? They have arrived in our house for sure

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  14. Very sorry to hear about how rough things have been but I'm glad you could share with us. Sometimes writing things out like this can be cathartic. And after all, we're your blogging family so we are always here to listen and read :)

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    1. Hmm wonder how to make the IRL family more sympathetic like the URL one?

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  15. Sympathies. Children can be a pretty unrewarding experience at times.
    I say go the boarding school route. Most kids appreciate their parents when they're no longer doing everything for them, and they have to do everything for themselves. In Melbourne, a lot of the private schools now have year out programs for year 9 (aged 14) - you pay a boarding fee, the kids go to a country campus for the year, have to cook and fend for themselves, and come home changed, and appreciative. Sounds good to me.
    Hope a glass of wine and some internet sympathy helps in the meantime! xx

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  16. Don't you just love the little shits?! You are a warrior princess and will survive this. Wine is your friend :). Seriously all kids are different, all mother's too. The key is not to take it personally and remember you are queen bee. Time to bring out the Bitch.

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    1. I. Am. The. Warrior. Princess with wine. repeat.

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  17. You poor duck. I know what it's like being at your wits end, and I took it all personally. But you mustn't. My three are now 18, 22, and 23, and all is good. I can have a drink with them, not because of them. BUT, bigger kids, bigger problems.

    I think you are right...they really do need to be active and engaged at least 6 out of 7 days a week, and you definitely deserve/need a break now and then. And yep, your husband needs to step up so that the little darlings know that you have a united front with consequences. lots of love xoxox

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    1. Magic heartening words: "I can have a drink with them," my friend says that too.

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  18. I feel your pain Jody. And my two are only 4 and 7 and they fight cat and dog from the moment I pick them up from school. One only has to look at the other one sometimes and it sets them off and at times all I want to do is scream "I don't care!!!!" I do have a program called "A very British School - Harrow" recorded which I have as a backup for when they misbehave as I tell them "want to see what boarding school is like?".

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    1. Ooh now am intrigued, what a fabulous title!

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  19. Oh Jody, I just want to give you a big hug and offer a virtual break from all that. I don't have any great advice since I've not been there and done that. I do remember torturing the heck out of my parents, and I think we don't realize we may really be testing the limits of our parents when doing so. Someone told me that once and it made a lot of sense, children want to know from their parents where the boundaries are and are reassured when the boundaries remain the same and firm each day, and they will test it every day ;) I think God invented teenagers to make their eventual independence a natural process ... think of how difficult separation might be if they're always sweet loveys.

    Wishing you much strength so you can remain loving and strong. At some point they'll get wise enough to truly appreciate what a great mom you are.

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    1. TR, yes that all makes so much sense when you put it like that: I think God invented teenagers to make their eventual independence a natural process ... think of how difficult separation might be if they're always sweet loveys." Lovely words, now I'm thinking of them quite fondly (though they're not back from school for a couple of hours...)

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  20. Hi Jody....sorry to hear you are having a rough time,i have my moments too I can tell you!! my husband leaves home at 6.30 and rarely back before 7.30 in the evening! I sometimes feel I have too much responsibility on my shoulders as they know how to play me to get their own way! In fairness they are never in big trouble but all could definitely help out more in the home.All clothes and plates left lying all over the place just drives me insane! Hope your situation improves for you soon:)
    ~Anne xx

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  21. If my blog was anonymous it would be a very different blog. I have story lines in my head that I wish I could blog about, but I know I would piss off and offend. I wish we all could write what we really truly think and are going through. I think that stuff is interesting to read. My kids also do nothing in the afternoon, and trying to work or get anything done besides taking care of/entertaining them is a constant juggle. There are too many minimum days in our school....

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    1. Hi Leslie, just wait if they go to private schools...the more you pay the less they go!

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  22. No wise words from me.......just a virtual hug x

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  23. Can totally sympathise....I too have 4 children & workaholic husband yet my youngest is still 2 so I have years ahead of this.....as 2 yr old who is the bossiest little madam doesn't go to full time school for over 2 years! Wish I had some kind of work to take my mind off the washing/gardening/school pick up yet have no time for contemplating recreating myself.....I am a teapot! Sending you all best housewife hugs all the way from Hobart (at least you inhabit the big wide world)! For what it's worth I went to boarding school when I was 10 years old & my parents lived in another country.......Rx

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  24. I only have two young girls, one is 10 now and the other is 2. And sometimes I feel like I am in ground hogs day repeating myself over and over until I crack and then it all starts again. My husband gets home late from work, I am exhausted. He sometimes thinks cause he goes to work he is the more tired one, but when he has a day off he is stressed within the hour from my youngest, haha. If I have to clean another thing I might scream. All of this to look forward to even more when they are older even still. Take a break for yourself doll!! I'd like to go to boarding school myself, haha! x

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  25. Thank you Jody, this is such a relief to know it's not just me! I was out all evening yesterday taking the youngest to her various performances/activities not getting home til nearly 10pm, hubby had got a take away for him and the boys and not one plate had found it's way to the kitchen when I looked this morning, there were wrappers and dirty plates everywhere. And apparently it's my fault the PE kit was in the wrong place and I don't have the right dress up outfit for the school Christmas play!

    I am so fed up right now, no one gives a rat's a** about how busy/worried/stressed I am!

    Looking at the comments above maybe we can find a long term boarding place for Mums?

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    1. ...and no one saved any take away for me!

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    2. Would totally sign up for the Mum's boarding school- high jinks and hockey sticks and cocktails at 5.

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  26. Oh Sweets!! so sorry to hear all of this ..... with only a 2yr old and 4yr old I feel I have no advice to offer so instead I am sending virtual hugs and glasses of prosecco your way. The only thing I do know and that is my mantra to keep me sane is "this too shall pass" . . . xoxox

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  27. NO, boarding schools………embrace it!Just stand firm on taking the phones away!Dont give in………and yes it will be worse for YOU then the child.GET MAD let them know why your mad.We MOMS are with them many more hours a day then the Father………..the Father will not really "GET YOU!"Because he is not in it constantly.You have your work which will keep you from swinging a bat!FOCUS…………Believe me it will all be OVER soon enough and you will look back on this and say, " that wasn't so bad!"Believe me………..just lock yourself in the bathroom and breath DEEP!XOXO

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  28. Oh you poor dear. Probably not much help, but I had to seriously watch the food labels with my children as the BHT used to preserve most dry cereal was a guaranteed anger trigger for them (and me), I absolutely believe in the "Twinkie Defense".
    I was not overly fond of the teen years, but at least my husband was home before 7 at night. I am of the opinion that husbands need to hear from other sources than their wives the huge effect their working late can have on their children. They are given so much acclaim for earning money, that the idea of earing less and spending more time with their children is scary.

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    1. Def believe much anger is triggered by the five cups of sugar in every bowls of frosty flakes!

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  29. Damn kids! It will get better...teens can be ghastly creatures...our oldest will be 22 this weekend and he only recently became human again after about 4 years of entirely selfish, unappreciative behaviour. Now our 18 year old thinks the world revolves around him. Just make sure your husband gets on your side...you must unite against the mini people or they will surely conquer you! Last Mother's Day I was entirely fed up and announced to everyone that I just wanted to think about myself ( in hindsight my timing could have been better )...good luck!

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    1. Hi Denise - Mother's Day is the perfect day to think about yourself. Such a good holiday we should implement every month!

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  30. You're post brought tears to my eyes, because I get it. I GET IT. Ryan's new job is killing him. It's killing us. He now gets home at 7- or later, and in light/result of- for a while (sometimes still) cocktail hour had been moved to 3- immediately upon returning home with the kids. This morning, I went on a walk, I returned to fighting and havoc-- over one saying "that's dumb" and the other saying, "i know you are but what am it"... world war II ensued. really???? ...at 7 o' clock in the freakin' morning????? And Ryan got a taste of pure anger- over having to walk out of the shower and deal with that. The feeling that I have daily in those extra hours that he is at work. Constantly asking them to pick up... afraid to step away for 2 seconds, because surely all hell breaks loose the second I am not watching (grilling, directing,...). I get it.

    So... did you have a 'come-to-jesus' talk?? Any resolution?

    xoxo

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    1. kevin sent out some letters to them - talkings to just get the continuous eye roll so these days he does letters - and think they have already had some effect. Maybe its just co-incidence but they have been making themselves very scarce since last week...

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  31. Jody, Like you 3 of mine are teenagers and it is hell on wheels. Virtually every day I question how we raised such rude ungrateful selfish lazy kids. Everyone elses are nicer. Kathxx

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  32. Jody, Like you 3 of mine are teenagers and it is hell on wheels. Virtually every day I question how we raised such rude ungrateful selfish lazy kids. Everyone elses are nicer. Kathxx

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    1. Totally agree, everyone elses' kids seem so much nicer

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  33. From an old friend: "That is our house quite often. Lazy ungrateful little shits. Teenager a foul lazy take it all for granted madam lives like a pig doesn’t make any effort at home or school ( but wins cups at dancing fir commitment) sent her to outward bound which worked for a week. Have said that unless all exams are passed no more fancy private school. Don't blame you r age or hormones its just a shit of a thankless job a lot of the time especially when you are on your own a lot of the time. Stay strong and be mean. Take away the tvs devices etc nothing until the jobs done sometimes works here...."

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  34. I so get this, and understand. My kids are a lot younger, but we have the same issues except I have one that only goes to school three days a week.

    Just catching up a little this morning.

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    1. Remember these times...Hard to get anything done

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  35. Mine are only little but I can see just how you ended up at this very honest post, thanks for the reminder to keep on top of things.

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  36. Email from another old friend:" Commiserations. I have 3 boys 12, 15 & 18. I feel your pain!! Google Nigel Latta or ask your sisters to send dvds. He gets it in one - "Teens are not right in the head." It's them, not you. Don't forget to breathe - in, out, in out. It's a mantra. Keep smiling. x "

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  37. I have been here and sometimes I still get this way and I'm thankful for my office space in the house. They hardly pick up after themselves or do chores, I do most of the house work ; trash night, put away the dishes, etc. My husband is also in the same boat, only sees a little bit of it because he's at work all of the time. They are good kids, but can be lazy. My oldest commutes to school on the train and works on the weekend, so I don't say much. But after a while of them leaving things out, shoes where they shouldn't be, it gets annoying. I can't imagine doing this with four, two teens at once is enough, esp. two teen girls! I would say you need a vacation or some time to yourself. But also sounds like a family meeting would be good too....we have done this and it helped. Big Hugs xoxo

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    1. Hi Diana, Yes am thinking I need an office, maybe one of those POd things I put out into the backyard and disappear into. One of the drags of having open plan is that I am always here in the kitchen having the joy of seeing and hearing

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  38. Oh Jody, I hope this moment has passed. Big hug and hoping you get a chance to get out for a stiff martini with your husband :)

    xo Mary Jo

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    1. Yes that was the start of the upclimb last week, sushi at Ozumo and lychee cocktails (Of course I'm so much more complicated than that, but it was a gooood start!)

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  39. From my Auntie Gabriel in NZ, seen in The Listener: The opening of a British exhibition inviting the public to submit examples from their own private diaries has prompted social historian Joe Moran to write in celebration of daily journal keepers.

    Very possibly the best private diary entry ever
    From Dinah Hall of Devon:

    There’s nothing like teenage diaries for putting momentous historical events in perspective. This is my entry for 20 July 1969. “I went to arts centre (by myself!) in yellow cords and blouse. Ian was there but he didn’t speak to me. Got rhyme put in my handbag from someone who’s apparently got a crush on me. It’s Nicholas I think. UGH. Man landed on moon.”

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  40. Wow, I don't think we ever had the guts to throw our dinner in the trash and just eat sugar cereal instead. Dad would have torn us up!

    Boarding school, eh? That's one approach. Peace and quiet for weeks at a time.

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    1. Me neither! I sat at the dinner table for hours the nights we had carrots and white sauce

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  41. I yelled at my eldest this weekend. All take, no give, out all the time, and doing fuck all work for his Bac.

    I feel your pain. I get some let up though when they go and see their dad. I breathe again.

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  42. Oh lord, I am feeling for you. I really don't know what to say, as I don't have children... but I think I was a vile child... and I am quite nice now and my Mum positively looks forward to my visits... so, all is not lost.
    Sx

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    1. My mother said recently I was the most difficult which i was totally shocked by as I was such a bookworm, obviously I was a very mean sulky bookworm but there you go...

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  43. Ugh, yes, this is my life, but mine are still babies. Every day is a struggle. I feel like I'm drowning. There's always someone screaming, crying, yelling. There are constant fights. They don't listen to anything I say, complain about everything, and undo all my housework the moment each task is completed. All I want to do is shut myself away in my room and write.
    My husband leaves the house first thing in the morning, so I have to get them all ready for the day on my own, and then he gets home whenever he feels like it in the evenings, so most nights I'm struggling through the dinner, baths and stories on my own as well.
    IT'S ALL TOO MUCH.

    P.S. You are great xx

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    1. We used to call that the Bewitching Hour, or da da da da (cue haunting ominous music) Bed Bath and Beyond. Loving your post today. One of my husband's book says: When you want to be-do something you have to tell everyone about it, that's the way to commitment and success

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  44. God I so needed to read this because this is my life exactly. I dread the afternoons because no one listens to me at all. I also have disrespect and it's very tough with boys. They are big and get in my face. Mine also do no sports right now, and so they are basically home as soon as school is out (sometimes as early as 1:55 for the high schooler, now that x-country is done.) Then its screens and though I try to get them to work on homework, and house help, it's ALWAYS a battle, never a ,"Sure mom." Maybe it's just these ages?

    I feel exactly like you. I just want to work on my writing. Maybe this is part of the natural separation of parent and child ? Still it stresses me greatly and I wanted to go back to SF. A night away was not enough!

    Jody, thanks for being real. That's why I love your blog…I have considered family counseling.I'm hoping this is a stage. My husband also works a lot and frankly when home is still working on stuff. He doesn't always have the energy to devote to helping with this. Ugh.
    xxKim

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  45. Off to get my glass of wine. ALmost made it to 5! Next time you need to meet us blog gals in SF! We all think you would be fun.
    xo

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  46. Jody-You really hit a nerve with so many with the honesty of this post. Tell it like it is. My step-daughters are grown now but when I married my husband and they were 13, 15 and 17 it was a nightmare for all of us. I'm actually surprised our marriage survived. That's where I came up with the saying "Stepmama needs another glass". Hoping things have mellowed a bit. If not, maybe there is a boarding school for mums/writers???
    Yes-you must join us in SF next time-such a blast!!
    xx, Heather

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    1. Thanks for this Heather, good to know I'm not on my own. Funnily enough when we lived in London, Harley used to say in his Brit accent "Mummy have some wiiine!" would absolutely love to meet up when you're next in SF! I promise to not whine...

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    2. For sure my friend-I would LOVE that!!! We can whine and wine-whatever we like :)
      xx, Heather

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  47. Coming to this post a bit late so I hope the rocky patch has passed.

    Having a good chuckle at Dinah's diary entry!

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    1. Thanks Trish, have moved away to the ledge and returned to blogging in the closet. It works! (this is sounding wee bit crazy, see next closet post for edification...)

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  48. From another old friend: "It took me back to the 2 years when our son turned into a monster and we threatened to send him to board at Sacred Heart (when in doubt revert to the Church!). I said he was on a slippery slope to ending up in Borstal – he then said we were threatening him with anal sex!

    Anyway he is now a delightful young man – albeit 30.

    All the best"

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  49. This too will pass.
    One of God's little jokes is usually the menopause hits us when the kids are feeling their bumps and behaving like monsters.
    Of course - as you know it is vital to get your husband on side. A united front is so important and he must acknowledge this too.
    I wish you all the luck in the world and that the kids will eventually be your best friends.
    Against all the odds that's what happened to me.

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    1. Seems inconceivable now (the friends thing) but all my friends with older kids say the same. Thanks Pat for the voice of reason from the other side...And That menopause is one funny little joke that keeps on giving!

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  50. Some advice from a friend: "The past few years I've heard the parenting adage: keep the kids busy, broke and busted"

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    1. She wrote back to say she meant "Bushed" not "Busted" but I think both work!

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  51. Another email "I'm glad you're better after your meltdown as I so wanted to write and say I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I've decided that the stupid iPhone had rendered me powerless and ineffective so I've taken some great joy in reclaiming my parenting prerogative and taking it away at the slightest infraction, not replacing it or updating it EVER and using it to locate my kids anywhere and exposing their lies lies lies and not caring one stitch about how mad they are at me and how "unfair" it all is. TOO BAD! Every day is ugly at our house but now I just don't care and think this is the job I'm in and there are a lots of people in the world who hate their jobs....so that's my new take on it this week. I"m not unique! May all change next week but this is where I am now!"

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  52. Just wanted to say how much I feel for you. Been there, done that in spades. My kids were right little b'stards for years and years and f@cking YEARS! Now, at 21 and 18 there is the shrugging off of the chrysalisl and the human beings are emerging. You just have to stay strong and united. Sport should be non-negotiable and yr husband needs to play his part in that and take them out running, swimming, whatever at the weekends. No sport? No privileges. Yes, I'm a horrible old cow of a mother and I don't care. You are far too valuable to be treated this way. Big hug from across the pond! X

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    1. Thanks CQ! Love hearing from Mums with older kids with reports from Through The Curtain, that given time we will all get to sit in nice seats and sip our drinks together and have nice conversations. Right now sitting back by loos.

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