Teen Anxiety and Blaming Parents

Teen Anxiety and Blaming Parents

I recently read an article titled “10 Reasons Teens Have So Much Anxiety Today” and I was really quite shocked at just how much the author generalized and blamed parents in this article. A little too much blame methinks. As if parents don’t have enough stress on them too! How about the fact that in America it’s all about working rather than spending any quality time with your family? How about the fact that teachers aren’t given the respect and recognition they deserve? And yes, I do believe (highly unfairly) some parents expect teachers to raise and discipline their kids.

I think another factor is that society wants to give everyone a medal! God forbid we recognize that our child lost! – Our daughter had a soccer game the other day and it was awful! It was awful to watch. She played terribly. Her team was annihilated because none of them played well. She got into the car afterwards and told us how she played terribly. I said she had some moments that were good, but it definitely wasn’t fun to watch and she certainly wasn’t playing her best. She said she didn’t give it 100% – All we ask is that our kids do their best. Every time. If you are going to commit to something then you need to give it your best. I told her I appreciated her admitting that, but if she wants to play soccer then she needs to give it her best, every, single time. There is no talking it up at our house. We are by no means perfect parents but when our kid doesn’t commit and recognizes it themselves, I’m not going to disagree. I’m not going to praise the not-so-good. I am going to praise her great moments though. Our other daughter has just made a lacrosse team. It’s the B team. She started playing lacrosse at a free clinic last Summer. She did another clinic in Autumn. And another this Winter. She can’t expect miracles. She can’t expect to be the best immediately. It just doesn’t work that way. I’m proud of how she responded though when I told her this morning that she had made the B team. She said that if she wants to get better then she has to work hard. But she’s going to play hard nonetheless and actually said how thankful she was that we actually let her start playing the game now (14).

No one knows if they’re doing the parenting thing the ‘right’ way. Articles like these point out some great things to keep an eye on but they also blame parents in so many ways and that’s when it becomes unfair. We are trying to do our best. We are told what we can and can’t do as far as our parenting goes. We are told we are doing it wrong all the time. “Too many electronics!” “You have to have your kids skilled in electronics!” “They’re not exercising hard enough!” “You’re putting too much pressure on your kid by having them exercise hard throughout the week and playing competitive games on weekends!” There’s a happy medium somewhere there, but we can’t be blamed for everything! Society as a whole needs to intervene in a more productive way. Playtime at school has to happen. Yes to less screen time, but haven’t the so-called experts been saying that for years about TVs?

My son told me he was bored the other night, I told him to read a book or play legos or take his imagination on an adventure! We ended up playing a family card game of Uno. It was fun! Kids need to be bored and parents need to allow them time to develop coping skills, it’s also a time when parents can add some family fun into the mix.

I very much believe in the hierarchy point though. I have friends whose kids seem to dictate all that they do. I have friends who treat their kids as equals and share with them far too many facts about themselves or other adult friends. Your kid is your kid. Not your peer. Not your friend. When they are adult enough, become friends. But they need you as their parent, their guide, their guardian, right now.

This article points out things to keep an eye on within ourselves (as parents) and some modifications we can definitely make in our day-to-day lives as the parents of teens or even tweens, but blaming us for everything isn’t the answer either.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, Please subscribe to it and feel free to share it! We  cannot be alone in how we think! Come on over to Aussie Mum’s Adventures on FB and like my page: Aussie Mum’s Adventures. You can find me on Twitter: @ozmumsadventures, on Instagram: Ozmumsadventures, on Pinterest: Aussiemumsadventures. I’m one of those who is passionate about many subjects including parenthood and would love your feedback on any blog I’ve written.

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Miscarriage – Mourning the could-have-beens – part 2

If you haven’t read part 1 of my story, please use this link: Miscarriage – Mourning the could-have-beens – part 1 and head over to it.

The second time I miscarried was about 7 months after my first miscarriage. I was 11 weeks, 6 days pregnant.

Facebook was a fairly new thing and I had just begun to connect with a whole heap of people online. As with the first miscarriage, I had been to the doctor and had the pregnancy confirmed. It was standard practice in Texas to come back at 12 weeks to hear the fetal heartbeat and do various first trimester blood tests, etcetera. We were excited. After the first miscarriage, I bought a fetal Doppler so I could find the heartbeat myself & after a lot of searching and much panicking, we did find it. It was all very exciting. I would go and try to find the heartbeat almost daily though, which was probably unhealthy in itself. Anyway, we were excited. We were expecting & at 11 weeks, 5 days, I announced it to the world via Facebook, what could it hurt right? My appointment was in 2 days, things seemed to be coming along nicely.

The following morning, Texas started going in to panic mode as there was a big ice storm coming. The entire city of San Antonio began to shut down. We got a call from the doctor’s office saying we would have to reschedule our appointment (it was meant to be for the next day) as the city had closed everything. They would call us back after the ice storm to find another time for the appointment. The timing was incredible.

That afternoon, I began spotting all over again. I couldn’t believe it but read that it can happen, even during a normal pregnancy. I was trying to be calm but when we couldn’t find a heartbeat, something kicked in and I knew in my heart of hearts that this was happening all over again!

It was very different this time. It’s really tough for me to explain and to tell this story, but I pretty much started to go into labor (I had a child, so I knew what that felt like). Everything was wrong. Hubby was at work again – he worked for a home improvement store so had to make sure people got the supplies they needed for the ice storm, ironically.

Our little girl was amazing! She just sat out in the living room watching tv, being the sweet, responsible, almost 3 year old, that I was so incredibly lucky to have!

But what I went through was awful! It didn’t last for that long. But imagine actually giving birth to something that doesn’t resemble a baby at all. I know you can find photos on the internet that look like a tiny baby when you are almost 12 weeks pregnanct, but this was a lump. I couldn’t mourn it, I couldn’t stand looking at it. It didn’t have limbs, it was just a lump. And in some ways it made it easier to move forward and in other ways, far more difficult. That fact that I had been through the whole process of a miniature labor, was very tough to swallow, the fact that it didn’t remotely resemble what the books showed you, made it a tad easier, I guess.

For 3 days San Antonio was shut down, even hubby stayed home for 2 of them. By the time the clinic called back to reschedule, I knew it was all over and told them as much. They wanted me to go to have a D&C (a clean out to make sure everything is out of you so you don’t have any chance of getting an infection) but I knew everything was out of me. I knew my body had done its job. I just knew.

I spent my next few weeks in a daze and thought our daughter would end up being an only child. Obviously I was too old or I had done too much damage in my earlier days through smoking and drinking. It was a tough pill to swallow as one thing I adamantly didn’t want was an only child! But I put thoughts of another baby on the back burner and focused on the child I did have. I gave up smoking (yes, I still smoked – outside – after having our first child – obviously I stopped during the pregnancy-but I stopped completely this time). I started to exercise and even started making some friends. Hubby introduced me to some of the spouses of his college cohort and we all started to socialize on a regular basis too. It was a really fun time in our lives and we made the most of the family time we got together and the quality of life our daughter had.

About 1 year later, I was fortunate enough to get pregnant again and everything seemed to be different from the get go. It was meant to be. And my second little girl is 10 going on 18. She’s a handful, but an absolute joy.

I even got a surprise third baby about 4 years after she was born, when my husband was waiting for a vasectomy of all things! Had I not though, there wouldn’t be any Hunter-isms! 😁 Check out my Facebook page to find out more info about those!

I hope you’ve found this blog helpful and in your time of need, you know that you are not alone. Please feel free to share so others understand how many of us have been through this. Come on over to Aussie Mum’s Adventures on FB and like my page: Aussie Mum’s Adventures. You can find me on Twitter: @ozmumsadventures, on Instagram: Ozmumsadventures, on Pinterest: Aussiemumsadventures.

If you or someone you love has experienced a miscarriage, please remember there are resources out there to help you.

In the USA:

https://www.gopinkandblue.org

In Australia:

https://www.pregnancylossaustralia.org.au

In NZ:

https://www.miscarriagesupport.org.nz

In UK:

https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 10.53.02 PMMiscarriage, it’s the kind of word that comes with lots of stigma. It’s the kind of word that seems to hush the room when spoken, no-one knowing what to say, yet statistically, it happens often.

According to March of Dimes:

“Miscarriage (also called early pregnancy loss) is when a baby dies in the womb (uterus) before 20 weeks of pregnancy. For women who know they’re pregnant, about 10 to 15 in 100 pregnancies (10 to 15 percent) end in miscarriage. Most miscarriages happen in the first trimester before the 12th week of pregnancy. Miscarriage in the second trimester (between 13 and 19 weeks) happens in 1 to 5 in 100 (1 to 5 percent) pregnancies.

As many as half of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage. We don’t know the exact number because a miscarriage may happen before a woman knows she’s pregnant. Most women who miscarry go on to have a healthy pregnancy later.”

This might be a tad tough to read, it’s certainly tough to write, but sometimes we need to share our stories to help others through their struggles. it’s that spoken about, yet unspoken thing that so many women have to endure. The United States is currently in the midst of an abortion debate, but we seem to forget about those who tragically lose a fetus, particularly when they are trying to conceive.

Unfortunately I know this from experience, twice. The first time, I was 8 weeks pregnant, we were super excited. Life was good. We had moved to Texas from Italy, my husband had left the Navy and started school to earn his bachelor’s degree. He was working a part time job, our eldest daughter was two and we were ready to increase our family. Money was tight and we didn’t have great insurance coverage but it was good enough to cover a pregnancy and we knew that once my husband had finished his degree, we would be ok. Life had other plans at that point in time though. 

I was approximately 8 weeks pregnant. We had confirmed the pregnancy at a doctor’s appointment when I was approximately 6 weeks pregnant. They told us to make another appointment at 12 weeks, we were delighted. One of my hubby’s friends was having a party and I was designated driver (obviously). We were having a good time when suddenly something didn’t feel right. I went to the bathroom and had some fairly prominent spotting. We left the party shortly thereafter. I was concerned, but tried to remain as calm as possible.

The following morning, I dropped my husband off at work and was driving home when all of a sudden the bleeding became fairly heavy. It was scary. My two year old daughter was in the car. I was alone. We got home and she saw the blood and started crying asking if Mummy was ok. I was more scared for the scarring this could do to her than anything else at this point in time, so I tried to reassure her I was ok. Even thinking about it now makes my heart beat faster. With only one car, it wasn’t even like I could physically go and pick up my husband from work, so I sat there with my little girl and cried and miscarried throughout that day. Alone, in a foreign country, not knowing anyone close by. 

When I did go and pick up my husband, who was blissfully unaware of all that had transpired throughout the day, he saw me and seemed to understand something was terribly wrong immediately. We decided to go to the emergency room to make sure it was a miscarriage and that nothing further was wrong. Unfortunately, it was all but confirmed (another blog to come about this whole ghastly experience) so I went home with a heavy heart. 

I’m pretty sure I cried for the next week or so. I felt lost. I felt like I had failed. I felt alone. I wanted to give my Mum a hug and have her tell me everything was ok, but unfortunately she was on the other side of the world. Thank god I could at least talk to her on the phone! My husband tried to be there for me, but he didn’t really know what to say or do. I couldn’t help him either, I was a little lost and trying to hold my shit together for our daughter. He was doing his best to hold down the fort in every possible way. 

What do you say when someone has a miscarriage? Well here’s what not to say, “it was obviously for the best as something must have been wrong with it.” Um, no. Just no. (and yes, people felt the need to say this to me). That might be true, but when someone dies after suffering incredible pain, you don’t tell their family that it was for the best, it just doesn’t work! Just listen. Say you’re sorry. If you’ve been through it yourself, share that information. Tell the person you have some understanding of what they’re going through. Remember that everyone feels pain differently, your experiences are probably different to theirs and if you’ve never been through it, then you honestly don’t understand. Be honest. Let them talk or sit in silence. Its similar to grieving for a loved one. You didn’t know that child, but you lost the promise of all that could have been. When you find out you are pregnant, you are excited, you can’t help but wonder what this child will be like; is it a girl? A boy? Twins? Will they be a prodigy? Will they be funny? Sweet? What sort of mother will you be? How many adventures will you have? So many things run through your head the minute a pregnancy is confirmed. And it’s all the could-haves that break your heart when you miscarry.

I mentioned earlier that I had a second miscarriage and I will share the details of that in part two of this blog. Miscarriage can be terribly lonely. Women feel ostracized by it. But you are not alone and it’s ok. You will get through. You will be ok. We will be ok. More than likely, you did everything right. No-one can really explain why miscarriages happen, but what we do know is that everyone experiences different emotions when they go through a miscarriage; you doubt your own body, you question what you’ve done to deserve this. Some people grieve immediately, others later. At the end of the day, it’s painful, but you are very much allowed to mourn your loss; to mourn the could-have’s. 

I hope you’ve found this blog helpful and in your time of need, you know that you are not alone. Please feel free to share so others understand how many of us have been through this. Come on over to Aussie Mum’s Adventures on FB and like my page: Aussie Mum’s Adventures. You can find me on Twitter: @ozmumsadventures, on Instagram: Ozmumsadventures, on Pinterest: Aussiemumsadventures.

If you or someone you love has experienced a miscarriage, please remember there are resources out there to help you.

In the USA:

https://www.gopinkandblue.org

In Australia:

https://www.pregnancylossaustralia.org.au

In NZ:

https://www.miscarriagesupport.org.nz

In UK:

https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

Resources:

March of Dimes

Chalk Paint Table Makeover

Chalk Paint Table Makeover

I love to DIY and I normally have numerous projects going on at once, which my husband absolutely hates because he is a ‘one tasker’ – you know the type, you could well be one too, complete one project before moving on to the next. Not me. I’m not sure why it is but I’ve always been like that. I get bored doing one thing or waiting for it to finish or have to stop because of budgetary constraints, so I move on to the next thing whilst biding my time.

Currently on my project lists I have the master bathroom project (which has come to a grinding halt until hubby takes some time off later in the month and we replace the counter top and sinks etc). I have also begun with our main floor stair makeover (you can see pics of that in a later blog), I have one painting I’m in the midst of (yes, I’m trying to establish myself as an artist as well, with a store on Etsy, though that now needs to be updated as my paintings have all expired, so I’ll add that to my current projects (here’s the link to it: Le Shez Boutique). Back to the painting; it has me a little vexed as to where to go with it to improve it, so it’s been benched at this point in time. Finally, I have the project that this blog is about: my side table makeover.

IMG_7817

We’ve had this table since we lived in Italy, it wasn’t a cheap purchase but it certainly isn’t of the quality that furniture used to be made of either. It has a veneer coating and has certainly travelled well, having moved with us into nine different houses, including two overseas moves! I’ve always liked the design but the large chips in it and the differing tastes in both houses and changes in tastes in myself, mean I also now find it outdated and ugly with potential.

One other thing I always do is keep an eye out for bargains that may come in handy at some point in time for some particular project I know I will do in the future, or for a project I didn’t even know I wanted to do just yet, and that’s exactly how I came across this chalk paint. LIDL (a German store that rivals ALDI) has so many of these bargain things that sometimes I have to say no to shopping there! But when I saw the below pictured chalk paint for about $5, I knew exactly where I could use it! So onto table restoration I went (in between waiting for coats to dry on said staircase).

IMG_7824

The first thing I had to do was obviously dust it off and remove the handles. If you want to paint them (the handles), spray paint is probably your best option, but I chose not to in this case thinking they were in great condition as is. I then gave the table a very light sanding. I used 220 grit sandpaper. You have to be very careful when sanding veneer that you do not go too deep with your sanding. After I had lightly sanded everywhere, it was on to filling in the accidental scratches and divets that were not helping this table age gracefully! I used MINWAX Stainable Wood Filler, for no other reason than that it was the one that looked easiest to use and was a good price in the store. I needed something that I could paint and stain (for my piano project that will happen one day) and something that could be sanded – this was perfect. I filled the scratches, waited for the filler to dry then sanded it down once more. I also grabbed something I could get all the grime out of the cracks with, the fact that it happened to be a stem from an edible fruit arrangement received sometime over the past 10 years did not go unnoticed by me, but you know that’s why I keep this crap around! You never know when something like that will come in handy!

I cleaned the table once more with damp paper towel then began the process of painting it. I wasn’t too fussed about it looking perfect after the first coat, given I knew it would require at least two coats of my base color.

First coat:IMG_7828

Second Coat (the paint is still drying in this photo):

IMG_7830

Now it was a matter of what to do next. I wasn’t actually using chalk paint for the next part, I had leftover ceiling paint (flat white) and thought it would be perfect for the effect I wanted. I grabbed both a thin brush as well as a foam brush and dipped into the ceiling paint and tried to focus on the detailed areas that I wanted highlighted in the white paint – the grooves etc. I had a wet paper towel on hand to get rid of/blend anything I wasn’t totally happy with, chalk paint is quite forgiving as long as you don’t press too hard. It was really a matter of going until I was happy with the results. If I wasn’t happy, I’d grab the brush for the chalk paint and paint over whatever it was I wasn’t happy with.

I had some Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Protective Top Coat leftover from our kitchen renovation in Colorado, so I used this to seal the chalk pain in, The whole process literally took less than 7 hours. I’m happy with the results. Hubby and eldest daughter absolutely love it (and were completely surprised because they had no idea this project was on the agenda). Middle daughter isn’t a huge fan, youngest (son) loves it! So I guess a 4/5 isn’t bad right! I hope you’ve enjoyed it too!

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, please share it with your friends and go ahead and like my Facebook page: Aussie Mum’s Adventures. I’m on Twitter: @Ozmumsadventures and you can find me on Youtube also: Aussie Mum’s Adventures, though I’ve got a tonne of videos not yet posted that need to be edited and uploaded and no one to do that for me! LOL.

Being There

Being There

I regularly reflect on life and try to find some deep and meaningful answers on a daily basis. Rarely do I actually get any 😆. But, some clarification has hit me this year, I think I’m done with the BS people in my life. The ones who only want me in their lives when it’s convenient for them. You know the ones. You call or text them for the umpteenth time & always get the response “I’ve been so busy……. blah blah.” We are all busy, every single one of us, but we all have a few minutes to take the time to call and check on the people we love; friends and family alike. It’s important. We all say all of these sweet things on Social media about how we are here if you need us, but why not be there before you are needed? Why not give a little rather than talk a sweet talk? It’s time, now is the time to do that! If it isn’t time for you, then perhaps the people in your life aren’t the right people? Perhaps it’s time to move on and make new friends?

Every relationship you have is an investment. You both give and take, you invest your time and your love, yes even with friends. If you’re too busy to invest that time and love, then maybe these aren’t the right friends for you. Take a moment to reassess who you want in your life, then take a moment to jot them a note, give them a call, send a text.

I know, I know, your busy, you’ve got too many friends, too much family, everyone is strewn throughout the country, throughout the world! If you don’t reach out now, you may regret that you didn’t. We have no idea if today is the first of many great ones yet to come or the last of many great ones lived. We have no idea about that for ourselves let alone for anyone else. After dealing with too many losses at the end of last year into this year and seeing so many people regret not reaching out in time because they didn’t realize their time was so limited, I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. I’m not sitting here on my high horse telling you to cull your Facebook friends’ list, what I am telling you though is reach out to those you consider your true friends, a minute is all it takes. Stop putting off having lunch or a coffee with that girlfriend you haven’t seen in forever, stop thinking there’ll be time later to go for that beer or catch up with your mate to play pool. There may not be and you don’t want to spend time regretting.

I don’t want to regret another minute of my life. I don’t want to spend time with people I don’t truly like. I don’t want to spend time with people who don’t truly like me. That’s not doing either one of us any good. I’ve always reached out to people but it’s definitely a two-way street and my life is very full, so perhaps it’s time I stopped. Perhaps it’s time you stopped too. Perhaps our laundry list of so-called friends is just that?

Either way, the people I love , those who truly know who they are, will always call and check on me or text or let me know how they are, just as I will them. The rest, well some could be in this life for a reason, a season or a lifetime, some could just be wasting my time and I theirs. So here’s to truly being there for someone before they need you and to knowing others have got your back!