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Mother and friend – Balancing the roles

As a mother you move through so many different roles in one day that at times it feels like being an actor attending a range of

As a mother you move through so many different roles in one day that at times it feels like being an actor attending a range of casting calls; disciplinarian, coach, cook, taxi driver, good guy, bad guy, and friend. But how do you strike that balance between mother and friend, letting your child know that you are there for them and want to spend time doing the fun stuff, but that you will also be there letting them know when they are out of line?

When children are younger it is easier to have fun with them and also discipline them without any hard feelings on either side, but as they hit adolescence they begin to test the boundaries and invariably conflict arises. There’s a stage where parenting becomes a functional role, not just an emotional role.

Teenage daughter looking messages in a smartphone and ignoring her furious mother. Bad family communication concept by new technologies

Your child is not your confidante
This is an innocent trap that mothers fall into, but when you make your child your confidante, you are saying that you are co-decision makers. The fact is, you and your child are not co-decision makers in any realistic way. Kids can offer you their opinion. They can tell you what they like and dislike. But certainly decisions, especially important ones but even certain minor ones, have to be made by you, the parent. Kids have to understand that the family moves as a unit and the adults make the decisions.

Pushing boundaries
There comes a time for every parent when they realise that their once compliant, smiling child has turned into a scowling teen. It’s a completely normal stage in a teen’s development to want to test their boundaries, become independent and take risks. As a parent, this can be difficult, we don’t want to let go, we know the dangers that face them and the mistakes that they will invariably make. Teens become secretive which can lead to conflict in the house.

Mother embracing and soothes depressed teen daughter by problems

Being the cool mum
It is tempting for many mums to want to be the cool mum, the hip one that your teenager and her friends can relate to. We have all seen the Hollywood movies. We know the cool mums and the not-so-cool mums, the cool mums know what is going on in their child’s lives the others don’t. Life’s not a Hollywood movie though and even though you desperately want to keep your teen close, being the cool mum is not the way.

Closeup on sad teen daughter crying by problems in the shoulder of her mother. Mother embracing and consoling daughter.

The fine balance
The fine balance you want to achieve is a relationship where your teenager is comfortable sharing their problems with you in times of need, but where you are also always the one in charge. The family rules and values should be maintained. That being said, the teen years are time of growth and discovery, a time to make mistakes and learn from them. Give your teenager the chance to make some mistakes and be there for them with a shoulder to cry on and advice for next time.

Teenager problems – Mother comforts her troubled teenage daughter

Special time
No matter how busy your lives are, make it a priority to spend some quality time with your teenager each week doing something you both enjoy. This could be as simple as going out to a cafe, or going to the movies. Although they are finding their independence, they are still young and they need to know that you care and that you value spending time with them. All too soon they will be adults and leading lives of their own. Habits like this can carry over into adulthood.

Happy smiling woman with car key in car. Driving

Gilmore Girls legacy
So you’ve watched Gilmore Girls and you and your teenager have a very Gilmore relationship? That’s great and lucky them, better a Lorelei than a Chris Kardashian, but you still need to give your teenager the space they need to make their mistakes, however big or small.

Finding that balance means:
​ ​providing them with that functional care
​ ​letting them make mistakes and being there for them afterwards
​ ​Setting up special time for each other every week
​ ​Maintaining the rules
​ ​Not using them as a confidante.

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Sentiment-Filled Old Clothes

“The Land of Misfit Toys for Rejected, Sentiment-Filled Old Clothes”

“The Land of Misfit Toys for Rejected, Sentiment-Filled Old Clothes”

-You know that dress you have in the back of your closet that you were to a birthday party when you were a child and kept trying to wear for multiple years after and then your mother forcibly removed it from your wardrobe and you cried? I still have a few articles of clothing like that hanging around.


– I’ll be the first to admit that I keep things that I shouldn’t. But there’s something about capturing a day or moment or even a particularly good set of years by keeping an article of clothing that got you through, and you formed a little bond with. It’s a guarantee that the memories won’t be forgotten.

-There’s the sweatshirt from a really great hiking trip that you wear at the end of an awful day, complete with leggings, your hair up in a bandana and Etta James blaring loudly throughout the house + plenty of red wine. This is no sweatshirt. This is pure warm, fuzzy therapy, and nothing else.

-Or those really badass sparkleberryfresh high heels. Like HIGH, high heels that you try on for fun, and always think you’ll wear sometime but they actually feel like your feet have been sucked down into some sinkhole to hell. You may have left the house once while wearing them, only to turn back after five minutes because you knew you’d never last the day with your feet in searing pain. These are perfectly fine to keep in your closet, just so that you can stare at their rare beauty from time to time, but guys do yourself a favor and never leave the house in them again. K you’re welcome. Just tryna help y’all out here.

-There might be a collection of rubber animal purses hiding in there that served their time faithfully but eventually needed to exit your life quickly and quietly. When you hear someone refer to you as “The Girl with the Animal Purses” you make changes FAST.

-Then there’s the Default Outfit- we all have one for almost every conceivable occasion. Sometimes you stray from the Default Outfit. On say, a job interview. You might think a job interview is a great time to mix things up!! On the morning of the interview you’ll change your mind, despite having carefully laid out and ironed the Default the night before. But you get a wild hair that next morning! Shortly before you leave to say to yourself, “HEY you know what would be a FABULOUS idea? If I instead wore Denim on Denim with Patent red clogs! I could look like a patriotic elf!” You do this and somehow get the job anyway. Still, though, this is not a tactic I would necessarily suggest, especially if you run into your Finance/Accounting student brother later in the day who will never, ever forgive you for wearing that to an interview, “BUT D.J. I STILL GOT THE JOB…” (D.J. doesn’t care. He says you went to an overpriced art school. D. J. will never understand your spontaneous artsy life decisions.)

– There are sometimes things that we hold onto that SHOULD go, however, that dress you’ve been patiently saving to wear until the cellulite on the back of your thigh is gone? Yeah, that cellulite isn’t going anywhere, and you’re never going to wear that. Save yourself a lot of wasted time and self-loathing and Get. Rid. Of. It. Your thighs are wonderful, you are wonderful, that dress doesn’t belong in your life anymore. Buh-Bye dress!!

-While some embarrassingly overstuffed closets might consist of Summer AND Winter clothes, instead of putting half of one’s wardrobe in storage, (the horror!) mine has articles of clothing that range from birth to sweaters I might feel like wearing when I’m an old lady. You Say Hoarder I Say Collector!

There is something about the idea of having a secret horde of treasures “in the closet” that just seem to suit them- it’s like their little home! Like the Land of Misfit Toys for rejected, sentiment-filled old clothes. They won’t tell anyone that you keep them around, and neither will you (unless you write an article about it but don’t be like me, K guys??)

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Relationships

Going the Distance

Long distance relationships are very romantic but also

Long distance relationships are very romantic but also very hard. The struggle is real but if you can make it, you are guaranteed stronger from it. Unfortunately for some the upkeep and virtual corresponding can be the breaking point. Jake Armada is someone who has been in a long distance relationship himself and has some wise advice for what to do and what to avoid when trying to love from afar.

Here are some long distance questions to ponder:

-Realistically, can long distance relationships actually work? And if so, for how long/how far away? (e.g. is there a length of time where it would just be TOO long, and not worth it anymore? How about if it’s an extremely long distance (a different country, etc), and visiting frequently isn’t possible?

-Are the ground rules for a long distance relationship the same as a normal relationship?

-What are the best things she can do to keep the romance alive/let him know she’s still into him?

-What about keeping the lust/physical chemistry alive? Are nude pictures/phone sex/skype sex a good idea or not?

-What should be done when things go wrong? (fights, questioning commitment, infidelity, etc). How do you fix bumps in the road from far away?

-Do “open relationships” ever work in long-distance situations?

Long distance relationships are hard. the first thing you should address is how you figure out whether or not both parties are committed to keeping the flame alive at a distance- how do you have that talk? And how do you address the needs of each partner? If you are in, how do you stay connected, emotionally? And how do you deal with the lack of physical connection? Get specific here (one of my friends used a three camera skype sex set up… that sort of thing). What are the hardest hurdles a couple might encounter? And how do you recommend dealing with them.

I’m about to be in a long distance relationship. What do I do?

To have a successful long distance relationship you are going to have to do something people of our generation don’t do. You are going to have to wait. We use the internet everyday. An entire species worth of knowledge and experience is at our very will. We can have anything and we can have it now. Accept each other. If the person you’re with is about to relocate, you will wait. Be comfortable with that and the rest will take care of its self.

Go Analogue

The real loss here is intimacy in so many forms. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give your person your time. Do the obvious and write them a letter. Write it all week. Get one of the trendy little banded notbooks and put down a sentence each time you think of them through the day. Not every time you’ll see weird but you know what I mean. Keep track of where you were and what you were doing when you thought of them. By the end of the week you’ll have a great letter.

Man and woman lying back to back on large heart, both looking at laptop computers

Don’t over do it

Staying glued to FaceTime will teach you hate each other.

Have a conversation about your relationship prior to the absence.

Opportunity is in distance. Take advantage. Talk about the things that are worth the wait.

Write two letters
One to read on their arrival. One to read together when they get home.

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Relationships

How to Feel SEXY

Body confidence and body positivity are vital to living a happy life. How you feel about

Body confidence and body positivity are vital to living a happy life. How you feel about yourself affects your mood and the mood of others around you, but also drastically affects your love life so follow these three steps to feel sexy and confident in your own skin.

Step 1: Allow Yourself to Feel Sexy
We have so many hang ups about skin, arms, stretch marks, cellulite etc. Stop letting certain parts of you not let you feel sexy. Whether you’re moving forward or stagnant, you have to allow yourself to be sexy. You have to accept and believe you are sexy with what you are now. You may not be exactly where you want to be, don’t let that hinder you. You are still woman and still sexy. It is okay to be insecure but still allow yourself to be sexy.

Step 2: Look at Yourself in the Mirror and Be Positive
Don’t tear yourself down when you look in the mirror. Don’t pick out each imperfection you think you have. Nobody’s body is perfect. Everyone can be self-conscious but you need to look at your body in it’s wholly imperfect form and not to berate yourself about it. Don’t think about how to change your body when you see yourself naked. Give yourself a pep-talk. Find what someone would love about your body. Look and take in your body and how it is changing. Look in the mirror and tell yourself nice things. If you can’t look at your own body, then you will never be able to accept someone else looking at your own body. You have to be comfortable with you before you can be comfortable with you and someone else.

Step 3: Dress Sexy
Wear what makes you feel sexy. Do you feel sexy with fitted clothes? Showing your legs? Showing a bit of cleavage? Showing your back? Having your great under garments then you feel goooood even if no one can see it, you’ll feel it. A matching bra and panty set can change your whole day.

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