I am afraid. Very afraid.
As if I am not already the living embodiment of so many clichés. Suburban wife and mother juggling to keep all the balls in the air.
Generation X – desperately searching for the real meaning of life. Or the real life I am meant to be living.
And now, not entirely of my own doing, I find myself on the path of yet another time-honoured tradition – warring mothers and daughters. More particularly, mothers and their teenage daughters.
Being a woman (as my blog is clearly only intended for us chicks), you no doubt know what I am referring too.
Perhaps you remember your own teenage years and angst. Usually caused by your mother.
And while I can’t be entirely sure, I have a sneaky suspicion Jan and Marcia, Marcia, Marcia had some good old humdingers with Carol on The Brady Brunch.
Of my own teenage years, I don’t remember too much angst where my mother was concerned. I think she was too busy going through menopause, and throwing plates of food straight from the fridge at my father’s head.
Or perhaps as I was the seventh in a very long line of kids, she simply was too tired to argue with me.
Meanwhile over here at Chez Forster, the battle lines have recently been drawn.
As my birth mother likes to say – the teenager has well and truly landed.
This is a very recent event which coincides with Chloe starting high school.
Before she embarked on secondary school, Chloe was the kind of daughter I referred to as easy-going, kind-hearted, loving and generally a pleasure to be around.
Her brother Zach was heard on more than one occasion last year to cry how unfair it all was, because “Chloe is your favourite”.
Contrary to a recent article, which suggested every parent always has a favourite child, I would not say I have a favourite child. For me it has always been a case of “favourite at any given time” child.
And with all due credit to Zach, he wasn’t far off the mark. Compared to his difficult behaviour at the time which included repeated lying, and arguing the toss over everything (and when I say argue, I mean he could have won a Gold Medal for Australia in an Arguing Olympics), Chloe was the dream child.
For me, it was a golden time in my relationship with my daughter. When Chloe was born after an emergency caesarean, I did not feel the rush of emotion I expected to feel.
While Chris wept tears of joy, I felt happy, relieved and shocked. I had been convinced she was going to be a boy.
But it took a number of weeks before I felt truly bonded with her. It could have been the difficulties with breastfeeding, it could have been the colic which left her crying non stop from 4- 10pm every night.
Then no sooner did I finally feel bonded with her, and we moved to Melbourne. Chris was not working for three months, and during those months Chloe became ‘Daddy’s Girl’. Which is pretty much what she has stayed until last year.
Last year she started to become a young woman. She became interested in boys, and joy of joys, she finally discovered a love of shopping. She sought my opinion on things that mattered to her. We hung out together, we watched chick flicks like Dear John and New Year’s Eve.
Then high school started and bam, overnight, a different girl is in da house. Sure we saw glimpses of teenage drama before – storming off to her room and door slamming is nothing new.
But it is the fighting which is a new low. The fighting that occurs after she challenges me about every little thing I say or ask her to do.
The fighting that has started to happen so often and so loudly, Chris has asked us to work out a way to deal with it before the males of the house decide to leave home.
I remember reading once fighting between mothers and teenage daughters is inevitable, and has its roots in the fact the teenage girl is competing with her mother for her father’s affections.
I also remember reading that often the fighting is a result of mothers and daughters being too similar. Which is not really the case with Chloe and I. Although the traits she does share with me are generally my bad ones.
A quick google search has give me some comfort – ‘experts’ suggest some good can come from this fighting.
Still I have absolutely no clue how to deal with this new cliché I have become.
If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them. If I can hear them over the noise of our shouting that is.
Cheers till next time,