Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Tears and Tissues.


WARNING!!!! This is not my usual style of blog. Tissues may be needed. (I am only putting this warning on as my Mother is currently crying down the phone after I read it to her).



Today I am recovering from feeling like a total failure as a parent. I know we all have days like these but I am in need of someone to give me an instruction sheet.
This feeling stems from something that happened yesterday. The Teenager who is in Year 10 is currently sitting her GCSE's.........This came as a bit of a shock to me as I thought that GCSE's were all sat in Year 11, I don't know how I managed to miss this fact but somehow I did. Turns out that they now sit a percentage of each subject in Year10. Yesterday was her History exam which was 25% of her final mark, she has been amazing at revising and we are so proud of her for her dedication to learning.


As I waved her off yesterday from the upstairs window I was filled with love and pride at what a truly beautiful young lady she has become. Nothing is too much trouble for her and she has a heart of gold. Being one of the youngest in her year I have often thought about whether we should of kept her back a year but seeing how she is now I am glad that we didn't. As she disappears round the corner she looks back and blows me a kiss just to acknowledge that I am there and that secretly she loves the fact that I still wave goodbye. For me that little act of blowing a kiss confirms that she is happy and knows how much she is loved. (It is at this moment I must point out that the Whirlwind gets exactly the same treatment as he walks off but the response is slightly different.......He does look back but all I get is a slight nod of his head and a wink....I guess that's the difference between boys and girls.)

My day was much the same with things needing doing around the house and errands to run but always in the back of my mind was the little thought of The Teenager about to walk into that exam, I don't know why it kept niggling at me but it did, none of the other exams have made me feel like this. I looked at my watch at 1.45 and my tummy did a little flip. She would be walking in there now with all the other kids, sitting down and turning that sheet over.
I can remember doing my exams and feeling very small in amongst all the uniformed tables and chairs and the teachers walking up and down in silence. I can remember my eyes darting to the clock to make sure I was doing OK for time. I can remember the smell of the dusty sweaty gym hall and the sun shining through the window so I had to squint. I can also remember thinking how the girl in front had revolting hair and that if I had that hair I would do something about it.........Attention Span 0/10.

Anyway, 3.45 came and I sat waiting for her to come home. Suddenly the phone rang and a little voice said "Mum........."
"Whats the matter? Are you OK? Whats happened?" I replied.
"It was awful," she whispered " I lost track of time and thought I had 25 minutes left when I realised I only had 5" it was at this point she dissolved into floods of tears.

As I ran round the corner I was met with a sight that was the complete opposite of the young lady that had blown me a kiss goodbye, instead I saw a frightened little girl that needed her mum. I scooped her up into my arms as we walked back up the path. She then had a total breakdown at how much pressure she feels and how 2 of the other teachers have now decided to do some mock exams next week so they know which sets to put them in next year.

I must stress that her form teacher has been amazing with them all and I am now in contact with her so that we can work together and make it a bit less stressful for her. But my main focus was helping her to relax at home and making her less fretful.

This was the moment I realised that I didn't have a magic answer, I didn't know what to say or do and quite frankly it took me a couple of minutes to regain some degree of adulthood. She probably cried for about 20 minutes and in amongst the tears, snot and sniffing I decided that what she needed was a glass of wine and a cigarette........No just kidding.....Honestly........What she needed was a warm bath, a cup of tea and her mum wiping her tears away.
Eventually after a while and much tea and chocolate she calmed down and then that little smile reappeared as The Whirlwind offered some life changing advice........."All you need to do is breathe slowly then find something to take your mind off it.........How about a game of Super Mario on my X-Box". He gently took her hand and she followed gratefully.

And that is exactly what she did. I watched them as they battled their way round a virtual world in their little cars laughing and joking as they crashed into each other. There were no exams in Super Mario Land and no pressure to get an A* just a couple of guys in dungarees making weird noises when they jumped.

So there we go, I have no quick fire answers to help anyone in the same situation except to just be there with tissues and chocolate, all we can do as parents is support and guide and not put any unnecessary pressure on them at home, and if all else fails .............Get Super Mario involved.


After writing this post but before publishing it I put an SOS on Twitter asking for any advice, I was so grateful to all those gorgeous Twitter people who responded with ideas and general kindness. One fantastic lady called @The_Moiderer gave me some amazing tips on how to relax teenagers going through a stressful time. Please go over and look at her web page it really is very good. The Moiderer .

Sorry for being a bit emotional.

Lots of Love
Me xxxxx








16 comments:

  1. Oh God, I remember those times. Horrible, but exam terror is almost always not as bad as you think. Thinking of you all at this stressful family time x.

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    1. Thankyou Lesley, you are so right. Its never as bad.

      Lots of love
      xx

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  2. Oh that is really tough! My son is very laid back but he found the exams hard work this year (he is in year 11) I suppose school is pretty easy really up until this point. The one thing I would say is that in year 11 they will focus a lot more on exam technique and do lots of past papers so hopefully, she will be better prepared for what is to come. As for having all the answers, well we can't possibly, but you seem like a fab mum and you are there to support her and that is the answer really as sadly a lot of kids don't have that! x

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    1. Thankyou Nicola. Thats good to know. Lovely thing to say thanks so much xxxxxx

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  3. Your poor, poor daughter. I remember the horror of exams well. Not sure why you feel like a failure, sounds like you gave your daughter precisely what she needed - a giant hug.
    http://thechaosqueen.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment. xxxx

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  4. Ah you sound like the loveliest Mum ever to me & your daughter is so lucky to have you.
    Not only have you raised her to be someone you're truly proud of & a good person but she felt she could turn to you when she really needed you & you gave her nothing but comfort & love.
    My eldest daughter has a life limiting condition (I have 6 children). I hear other Mums in the playground often obsessing over their childs academic achievements. Sometimes I've wanted to tell them just to hug their child & remember that the most important thing is actually their childs health and happiness. I never do of course.
    This post just made me smile, lovely to read xxx

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    1. Aww Jo, thankyou so very much. I am so sorry to hear about you daughter, puts it all into perspective.

      Thankyou again. Lots of love xxxx

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  5. Let us know how she gets on. It is awful when you want to help but know that they just need to find their own way through. Genius step to go on the xbox. You need to do something to break state so you can think a little more rationally about things. What a great family you have.

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    1. Thankyou so much for your support this morning. Off to buy peppermint oil later. xxxxx

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  6. As always, a beautifully written blog SJ... You did the right thing, just being there for her & letting her know she is loved.. You are a fantastic mum & should give yourself a pat on the back. I used to sit in on the Exams & the only thing that I know & only helps with the exams not the stress is to Read through twice before you start... Also, remind her that you were in that exact same place once upon a time & that you too were worried... It sometimes help to know you're not alone... Good luck to you both sweetness.... Xxxx

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    1. Awwww what a lovely comment, thanks so much darling. Just looking forward to the summer hols now so she can have a total rest.

      Thanks again and much love back at you xxxxx

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  7. That was a great post. I was gripped from start to finish and your usual humour was still there. But I really felt waht you went through for your daughter. Sounds like you did the best you could do and really gave her lots of warm loving support. That's what she needed. Your love and reassurance. You did a fab job.

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    1. Thankyou so much, she seems to be feeling a bit better about it all now so I must be doing something right.
      Thanks again sweetie xxxx

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  8. My baby girl is in year 11 and we have had exam stress here at times as well so you have my sympathy. But what everyone has said is true, you should be very proud of her and yourself. She sounds like a fantastic person and you are an awesome mum! Be most proud of that fact she came to you for help, she trusts you and that bodes well for the future teenage issues that you have to come! I hope she does ok with her other exams (and my girlie reading over my shoulder sends hugs to her!)

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    1. Awww whata lovely comment, Thanks so much. Much love and luck to your girly too.

      Thanks again
      xxxxx

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Love to hear your comments, and I will always try to reply xxx