I’m in the bath again. This time I’m soaking in perfect lavender…the water is pastel and little lavender flowers dance on the top.
I’m trying to relax. I’ve just had a huge row with my daughter.
It’s been coming for a while. We are both frustrated with each other.
I’ve long thought – well, for the past few years since my daughter hit 15 or so – that the issue with teens isn’t just the hormones. It’s the transition- the metamorphosis from child to adult. They don’t know who they are so we don’t know how to interact or respond.
And, as I’ve just explained to my daughter, there’s no manual for us parents. There’s no chapter specifying that now is the time to back off and let them be their own person. There’s no chapter which says now is the moment to let them make their own mistakes, even though it hurts you to watch, knowing you may have helped some way.
I don’t know when to be a mother and when to back off.
I’ve been told, in no uncertain terms, when I’m interfering. In temper, yes, I’ve been told that my opinion is not wanted and that I need to keep out of it. And it’s hurt, a lot. She’s made decisions of which I’ve had no part – not even in the discussion and consideration stage. I’ve not been wanted and have been repelled.
I’ve just explained to her that I don’t know what she wants from me, one moment to the next. One moment she’s an adult living her own life. The next she acts like a child and I’m failing by not treating her like I do her younger (and admittedly needier) siblings.
There are times I’ve felt like a failure for not being more involved, more insistent. There are times I’ve failed because I’ve been too demanding and domineering.
It’s not unusual for a teenage daughter to class with her mother.
So, why is there no manual?
My daughter said to me, that we don’t have a normal relationship. I told her to define normal…. every relationship is as different as every personality and ecery circumstances around it. A manual is pointless for that reason – it will not help everyone.
I’m not sure what the answer is. Communication, I guess. We haven’t communicated well because we’ve been hurt and scared to hurt ourselves and each other more.
Another thing to add to my thinking list. 🤔