I am exhausted. Completely, totally and utterly drained and not with the normal everyday things but with my daughter and the trials of raising a teenie. Sophie my little angel of previous years has well and truely turned into a teenie teenager. She will be 13 next month and I really do think you need to be a mind reader, nurse, physciatrist, and agony aunt all rolled into one with the patience of a saint to do this job and to get through it with your sanity in tact.
I love my not so little girl, I really really do even after all the emotional bonding problems I had with her when she was born, shes my world. How do mums cope with this stage? How did my mum cope?
According to my Mum I was a madam but I liked helping my Mum and spending time with my parents as well as my friends. There was also an element of fear and complete respect for their views and I was brought up attending Sunday School and I suppose some of the church's values were deep rooted in my brain. Sophie seems to have none of this! Don't get me wrong, I was up to all the dodges staying out late, trying to act cool and I got drunk twice around 15 so badly I was violently sick but I learnt my lesson from that and didn't do it again after the second time. Who didn't though? But I knew when I was putting myself in danger and my parents voices were always in the back of my mind telling me what they expected of me when it came to the types of friends I had and boys. Honestly though none of this came up until I was at least 15/16 but Sophie's been this an worse for a year now as soon as she went to Secondary school.
She hasn't lifted a finger round the house never mind her own room. She never comes in when she's told to, always has to push it that extra 10 minutes and she's never with the people she tells you she's with.
I've tried being her friend as well as the authority figure. I've tried coming down hard on her with grounding and TV privilages etc. I've sat and had tearful conversations with her on both our parts explaining why I worry and why I want her to understand. None of it seems to be working.
She's had a fair bit on her plate this year. A lot of physical,mental and hormonal changes, and we've tried to take this into account. She has been being bullied and intimidated by one of our neighbours who we've had trouble with in the past and we've tried to deal with that and take it into account too. She also is feeling the missing link in her life of her biological dad who walked out of her life when she was a new baby and has refused contact since and I comfort her and answer all her questions as best I can and also take this into account in her behaviour.
But, I'm worried!! I know I've made her sound like a scary teenie but 90% of the time she's still my little girl and we really do see glimmers of the old Sophie, however I can feel a slippery slope starting and I'd like to know how to nip it in the bud, now before it gets worse.
I wish at that age we have the hindsight of experience and age and understood why our parents do and say what they do, and see that they do it because of how precious we are to them and not because they're being killjoys.