2 weeks ago
I read your message way too late to reply last night and wanted to pick up on this line: "It is hard to strike a balance of making sure I am there and creating positive moments and not being treated like a slave or a fool."
You put that so well, and that sums up things for me as a mum of teenagers as well. I've always been a feminist and into equality, but have disability and health issues which have kept me out of the workforce and also impacted my capacity to parent my kids at times. However, while you think that might encourage the kids to help out more at home, you'd be sadly mistaken Our son is on the NDIS as well and has been heavily impacted by lockdown etc so I make allowances for him. Our daughter is also working at McDonalds, has a heavy dance schedule and school and has a medical condition that can get pretty nasty. I get support through the NDIS, but that's for me not for them. So these are issues we are dealing with at home too. I am considering moving more towards a house sharing model with housework. Son turning 18, daughter turning 16, they can do their bit. I must admit their bedrooms are shocking. I am also think they could each cook a meal one night a week.
I also wanted to follow up on what you said about struggling to spend time with your daughter. We had some talks at our school last year and they mentioned how your teen will be struggling to juggle school, assessments, work, sport, friends etc. My daughter is working a fair bit during the holidays and usually dances about 10 hours a week and she feels between school, work and dance she doesn't get a lot of spare time. However, it's still important to lock in some family time and she values that too. I guess that's where the Sunday Roast has traditionally come into play. Its something I'm planning to work on more this year. Covid and lockdowns have derailed us over the last two year and we need to restart.
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
2 weeks ago
It sounds like you have a huge amount on your plate. I hope you have some ways to selfcare.
I am afraid my daughter currently doesn't want or value any family time. She is either working, sleeping or out with friends. It is like she can't get out the door fast enough.
I had a good chat with a friend yesterday and I am going to continue my current method of attempting to connect without being mistreated myself. I am giving her space but texting to check in and will continue to ask her to do things with me. I am no longer on her case about her room I am now just leaving the door closed and she can deal with whatever is going on in there. I am also letting her take care of her own needs as far as washing, fresh linen goes I have shown her how the machine works. I have also advised that as she now has more disposable income than me she can take care of her own phone bills and as she doesn't want to participate in the family sharing feature on Apple she can pay for her own music streaming.
I am trying to keep any interactions we have friendly and light and asking her questions about what she is up to, how work is going, does she want to see a movie etc.
Other than that I am not sure what I can do.
2 weeks ago
Hi @Littlelost that sounds like a good cautionary tale. Maybe it just doesn't seem real to her yet. Also hopefully it's a phase, since it's very recent.
I totally love the idea that her washing came back to her, IMO you should definitely do more of that stuff, if she wants to be independent, then she needs to know what it feels like to be independent.
Maybe she feels she's been too smothered?
One thing for sure, this "text only, please" like she's some busy CEO, how is that even a thing, geez. It probably does stem from her wanting her independence, but 16 is a bit too young to move out. However, maybe it's a good time to try and simulate that as fully as possible, including all the responsibilities from her end. If she was shocked that her washing came back, then maybe life has been too easy for her.
2 weeks ago
I really like your approach of allowing your daughter to have both the benefits and the responsibilities of being independent, like washing, etc @Littlelost - it sounds like there could be some really valuable lessons in that experience for her, and I agree it's important to model self-care and healthy boundaries to our young people.
I'm so glad your daughter is now texting to let you know where she is.
Is that helping - at least in terms of worrying about her safety?