More Than A Mum - no 2 -

Sunday Night Fever - we were sweating - all 4 of us girls, watching The Conjuring. I've never been one for horror films but instead of doing some course work (I'm back being a student for 10 weeks) as planned, I was persuaded to watch the 'based on real life' story of a possessed mum. My OH was as cool as a cucumber. It's a 2013 movie but the 3rd one is just out in cinemas so we agreed to watch so that my youngest would know the story before going!

My children are now off upstairs more spooked than I've ever seen them and I can't help laughing at the similarity between the woman possessed and me on a bad day.

It's finding moments like these that bring us together - gone are the arguments about which film to watch, the grumpy moods that can appear without warning ... we sit and talk (usually annoyingly through the movie!)

I use these times to bring in conversations about all sorts - today it was safety - who sits in their bedroom quietly whilst someone you don't know walks in? Who walks into a room in the dark? Who does not take notice of their dog not wanting to go into your house? Who sits on a train quietly whilst a stranger touches your leg? ....

Safety has been a real issue for me of late as we roll out of lockdown restrictions. I had been used to the girls going off on their own getting buses, meeting friends..... then all of a sudden they were with us 24/7 and now after a long time we have to get used to their independence again at a time when there's definitely been a feeling that things are a bit more feral than they were. Fights in the Meadows, an attack in Princes Street Gardens.

And shall we touch on the subject of the recent exams and assessments - I don't know who is more stressed the young people, parents, teachers, politicians...... How can it be such a mess? I have experienced the private and state education system locally and through friends in different Council areas and I am staggered at how much disparity there is. Some get to re-sit, some advised no second chances .... one daughter who has been at home for 3 weeks as her exam timetable has finished whilst another has to go into school to 'sit quietly' and do nothing whilst teachers mark papers. Again I feel my demonic mum head come on as I want to scream 'this isn't good enough for our young people' and give the powers that be ideas that I fear would fall on deaf ears due to bureaucracy and inequality.

At work I come across more and more young people who take to roaming out late as a way of coping. They 'leave' when they feel anxious, their fight or flight mechanism takes over. Anxiety and self harming rates are high. All troubling.

To me there is an undercurrent of teen crisis just now and we need to be there as mum's (parent's) more than ever.

But that takes its toll on us - there raises my demonic head again. It's hard work being a parent with no respite - no summer holiday to look forward to, no sneaky date nights, and for those doing it solo without a partner to keep balance with - then it's even more important to have our own positive coping mechanisms.

Focussing on our own happiness - remembering that we are MORE THAN A MUM. It's a bit like the flight safety briefing - we need to put our own life jacket and air mask on before helping our children.

Simple things

- having a calming bath at the end of the day with candles and ambient smells

- daily movement (we don't have to be running marathons or lifting weights to get the endorphin rush)

- eating well, taking time to fuel ourselves properly

- spending time with friends

- learning something new

- helping others

- taking time to stop and breathe when things get tough

...... there are so many things small and big - and all of which apply equally to our young people as well as us.

FOR ME - there is always one thing that gets my head back in the game and keeps things on an even keel

flippant I know but a trip to the hairdressers - nothing beats a good cut and hey if I'm going to be demonic I want to look good whilst spinning!!

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