Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Thursday, March 09, 2017

When your teenagers tell you that you're failing them...


when your teenagers tell you that you're failing them, parenting, teenagers, pblogger, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger


Today, I had planned to write about an amazing International Women's Day and an Inspirational conference which excited me, when the main speaker was talking about sexy science, the science of love and dating and Tinder, seriously I was so enthused and inspired and then I arrived home to my disgruntled teenage daughters...

So, the good stuff will have to wait because I need to write about this instead, my teenage daughters are angry, I work too much, I don't get paid enough, I'm not there enough for them, I am not a good enough mum.

I never chose to be a single mum, no one would choose that, it's the hardest situation to be in, I'm a single mum who has bipolar and juggles around 65 different roles currently!  I work a lot of hours because it's the only way that I can support us and I am working to build a career which not only supports us all but also gives us a life where we can have fun things.

I'll admit it's been extra hard of late, the transition from photography to writing is a constant fight and I'm not ashamed to say that I do a lot of work I don't get paid for, I write gig and show reviews which I don't get paid for, I write a weekly column for Huff Post which I don't get paid for, most of the articles I write I get paid very little for unless they're a brand collaboration.  I'm one of the directors of The Inspire Network and I don't get paid for that either but each and every single thing I do gets my name out there, Inspire is about giving back and blogging is and always has been about recording history, telling my story and I know that it will lead somewhere one day, all of the things I do currently are leading me to something great, one day I will have it all.

At the heart of everything I do, I do it to provide a better life for my kids and we do have tough times and dark times, work is always quieter over the winter and even last weekend, after a week of making zero, I spent my last £30 on an advert which thankfully brought in some money so I could pay our bills.  Mental health, business, parenting and life and it's bloody hard and unenviable but the one thing I thought I was doing was being a good mum so to be sat down and lectured about how I'm failing them is almost too much to bear.  Maybe one day when I do my Ted talk, I can tell this story about how I turned it all around and triumphed.

I'm sure they'll get over it when summer comes and we are going away and having days out like we did last year, I'm sure then I'll be able to give them experiences other parents can't because of the work that I do, it hurts now though because I genuinely don't feel like I can do anymore, it's not nice when your 15-year-old says you need to go and get a job, I've got several jobs, things I've been working hard to try to be brilliant at for over a decade, I get that it must be so hard for them to understand when they have no real experience of the real world, I just wish I could make them understand how hard I'm working for all of us.  The funny thing is that Iain gets it, my son understands how hard I try, I wonder if it's because he's a little older that he can see what's happening a lot more clearly?

So right now, I am sad and hurting because it's not nice to feel not good enough and it's especially not nice when it's your own daughters who are saying it, maybe they do have a point, I never profess to be the best mother, I'm never going to get a mum of the year award but I try, I try so damned hard and I can only keep believing that one day we'll reap the rewards of all of the foundations I'm trying to build for us now.
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