Posts Tagged ‘girls’

Yesterday I took my lovely girls to the hair salon so they could look even more beautiful for the first day of school tomorrow. My eldest is 12 and going into 7th grade and my youngest is 10 and going into 5th. Our lovely hairdressers Marcie, who works at Salon Dante in SLC is great with my girls (which is why we drive so far to see her) and really listens to what they want and tactfully steers them to safer waters if they want something too outrageous.

I am very proud that my girls have their own sense of style and I’ve always tried to encourage their self expression. We’ve always had an extensive dressing up box, for example. I have never, despite being an older mum, expected my kids to ‘act like they are 40’ as the person who started this discussion on Pregnancy and Parenting suggested older mums do; and which inspired my blog post On Being An Older Mum. So, I thought I’d let you see a few photos of our trip to the hair salon.

Gone are the days that I can get away with a dry trim – it’s the full wash and style now. They love being pampered! My eldest, Molly, chose a style from a book and Marcie did a great job of replicating it. My youngest, Alice is at the stage where she likes to be a bit crazy – hence the mismatched shoes. They were a great deal so I bought two pairs – she loves to wear the different colors at the same time. In my opinion the end results are gorgeous but then I’m heavily biased.

How do you encourage your kids creativity? Do you let them pick their own style, within reason? Or do you, like some of my friends, pick your kids clothes for them and feel they have to look matched and ‘put together?

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This post was originally posted as a guest blog post on @newbreedmama’s (her twitter name) blog. The post means quite a lot to me so I decided to repost it here.

We recently went on a family road trip to California and visited The Haight Ashbury district in San Francisco. This took me back to memories of me when I was around 11 which is smack bang in between the ages my two girls are now (12 and 10) – I grew up in England by the way.

At that age I had an Easy Rider poster on our playroom wall and used to borrow my teenage neighbours record player and records for a weekly disco that I ran for my school friends. I used to charge a small entry fee and with that I bought biscuits (cookies) and lemonade to for all my friends. Early signs of entrepreneurship?

I also remember that The Isle of Wight Festival was on and my teen neighbours went. I couldn’t understand why my mum and dad wouldn’t let me go with them! And I remember that my mum would try and recreate all the 60’s fashions for me as she made most of our clothes and she even bought me a pair of boots like the ones in the picture.
These memories made me look at my girls and how hard it is to let them grow up and be themselves. It’s so hard to let go and I had far more freedom at that age than my kids do now. My eldest got really upset the other day over some little thing and sobbed that she wished that she were 18 and that we didn’t tell her what to do all the time (I seem to remember that we had told her off for not doing some small chore). I remember feeling way more grown up than I was allowed to be.

I do also remember those hormonal ups and downs but it’s so difficult to know exactly how to deal with them as a parent of two girls. I do my best and communicate and hug way more than my mum and dad ever did but I still feel I’m not quite getting it right. Add to that equation two very different personalities in my girls and I’m learning that each one is going to need very different things from me as a mum.

We have started to allow them some freedom. My 12 year old went for a sleepover with a 13 year old friend the other day and was exploring our small town and riding around on the free bus in the town and she loved it. I was, of course, worried sick. We also drop them at the movies on their own and leave them at home alone for short amounts of time while we go to yard sales or on a date night.

I’m learning that this time is way more difficult than when they were younger even though we have the freedom to go out without them at times. I’m also learning to understand where my mum and dad were coming from all those years ago.

How do you cope with either the actual or the thought of the process of letting go with your kids? What are you learning from seeing your kids grow up? Does watching them grow up bring back memories of you at that age?

In the book Good-Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting the author Renee Syler takes a look at how being a good-enough mum has become the new perfect for those of us who juggle raising children, working, keeping house and having some semblance of a personal life. I most definitely see myself as this kind of mum. I’m okay with pajama days, cereal at lunchtime sometimes, not sewing costumes and not baking. I give my girls lots of love and attention but I just am not a ‘super’ mum.

However, there are those days, where no matter what pep talk I give myself, I feel that I am not a good-enough mother. Today is one of those. My eldest went boating on a lake with a friend and her family and came home with horrible sun burn and felt quite ill last night. She had the shivers and felt dizzy as well as being terribly sore. And to top it all I was on a girls night out and got home to find her feeling so sick.

There the guilt starts. I should not have let her go knowing how easily my kids burn. I didn’t tell her often enough about how often to reapply sunscreen. Did she wear her rashie and use the sun screen? She did – but just didn’t reapply in the 4 hours they were in and out of the water and we live at high altitude so the sun is strong here.

No one ever warns you about how difficult this part of being a parent is. You have to let them go as they grow up but you still are responsible for keeping them safe from harm. I know it’s not really MY fault that she got burnt. I have nagged often enough about sun safety but the guilt remains. Luckily I still have a tub of sudacrem which, for those of you that don’t know it, is sold as a nappy rash cream but is the most wonderful antiseptic healing cream and she’s currently slathered in the stuff. Don’t know if I’ll let her go boating on a lake again though….. and I’m learning that the guilt will always be there.

What do you find difficult to deal with at times as your kids grow older and you have to let them go?