One of the biggest lessons to be accepted as a mother is that you will not always be liked by your child. You want to make them happy, to have their life full of fun and delight and happiness but their safety and healthy development comes first.
When your kids are little this is pretty easy. Staying up late, sweets all day and no bath is probably their choice. Underpants and wellie boots to church, fairy wings and a tiara with nothing else to school in the middle of winter. Mom clearly needs to step in to make sure kids are healthy and warm and clean and fed. Basic needs. Manners are a simple please and thank you and greeting in return. Wait your turn, share, pick up your toys.
Fast forward to a decade or so later and your sweet fairy/batman has become a teenager where all the rules have changed. Add social media like twitter and FB and Mxit and now try parenting in unchartered territory. With Daniel I am a young mom with me being 40 and him being 15. Not super young I know but relatively young none the less. This has both good and bad consequences for him. I have tons of energy, I really like his friends and teens in general and I do remember what it was like to be a teen. (This despite him accusing me of not being in touch with my inner teen!)
In the past if you rode your plastic bike with no shoes on you could scrape your toe. Now riding on a mototrbike with no helmet could end your life. Bad friends in the past could mean you become cheeky or naughty, bad friends now mean drugs and drinking. Unsuitable TV age 5 might mean nightmares or becoming more aggressive, now we have porn. Sulking vs depression and suicide. Playing doctor-doctor or checking out each others bits while jumping on Mom’s bed after bath vs teen pregnancy or an STD or HIV. The consequences of bad choices and immature judgement become life changing and even fatal. It’s scary!
This NYE Daniel had 4 friends staying with him at our holiday house we rented. Girl age 16, 2 boys of 15, one of 16 and one of 17. For the first time he was allowed 1 drink. His friends too after I checked if their parent s were OK with it. They went down to the beach of the next holiday town where everyone hangs out and fireworks and music and drinking are a plenty. At 12.30 I fetched them to take them home and I was incredibly unpopular practically ruining their lives and their only chance ever of kissing a girl. They begged to stay and promised to get a ride home. NOT. Beach full of drunk people and roads full of drunk drivers. I did feel sorry for them, they were practically crying with disappointment but because I really do remember, I know what can and does happen. They told me if the world ends in 2012 and they never kiss a girl it will be all my fault. Sorry boys, I am the mom first and the cool friend Auntie Mel cannot always be cool. Being responsible for other people’s kids is hectic and I am relieved everyone is all back home in one piece. I have 6 years till Daniel turns 21 and then its 2 teen girls to parent. Thank God I have Him to guide me as well as Him to guide them. I really pray for Godly wisdom and guidance. I want to be realistic and I want to be their friend who they can tell anything too but first and foremost my job is to keep them safe which means mom trumps friend every time.