How Well Do Your Children Know You?

Something struck me recently that there comes a point as a parent when you stop with all the discipline, the rules and the nagging. Goodness, I make parenting sound like a military operation. Some days it does feel exactly that. The raising of children to grow into wonderful, confident and kind women or your son to be a gentleman does not happen without a humongous amount of blood, sweat and tears.

There are days when the hard grafting of parenting  feels like a constant in your life. Then suddenly, something changes. You find yourself not banging on about holding cutlery correctly, not moaning about them mumbling their words, not leaving their wet clothes on the floor, not listening to a slamming the door, not grumping (well not all the time!) and you find you’re having genuine chats.

It seems to happen overnight. One moment you are a woman possessed with all the nagging, nagging, nagging “we need to leave, why for the love of … aren’t you ready?” to “oh I wish you were old enough to join me for a glass of wine!” Seriously! Ok I’m not wanting to turn my children in to total lushes but you get my sentiment. And, do you know what? It is genuinely wonderful. No longer do I feel I am viewed as mum – they laugh at me, they see me as Helen. I touched on this a little in a recent post about owning motherhood.

We have an honesty, maybe too honest, but I don’t hide anything from them. I am to them who my friends see. I no longer feel I have to be all virtuous and well-behaved.  Thank goodness for that! They tell me off (hmm a little too frequently!) and when they clock my empty glass they offer to top it up. OK, far too much alcohol chat here so moving on!

The realisation of the transition in the relationship became apparent recently when I wrote a guest post and someone commented that wouldn’t my children be embarrassed if they read what I’d written? My immediate reaction was no. I reflected and the answer was still no. My children know me fully. I don’t hide anything from them. To be embarrassed would, to me, feel that we don’t have an honest and open relationship. I get that we will always be mum (and I adore that) but just some days it is so refreshing to see your children finally view you as you. It feels like life makes sense. By being open and honest with them they are open with me.

Maybe this approach isn’t for everyone but it’s my approach and, for the record, I would never write anything that would embarrass my children. They know me well enough to understand when I’m being funny. They know I didn’t really mean that I wanted to spend a night with Robbie Williams! But I’m glad someone asked the question because actually it was great to come to the realisation that my children wouldn’t be embarrassed. I checked. They weren’t. They know me and I wouldn’t want it any other way … just saying.

83 thoughts on “How Well Do Your Children Know You?

  1. This is great. I don’t want my daughter to have a false impression of me…I want her to truly know me. Mainly so she can truly know herself…have the tough discussions…think through how she feels about life.

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  2. Ahh, this is lovely! I’m totally looking forward to open chats, a glass of wine and not having to be nagging mum or on best behaviour with my girls. It sounds like you have a beautiful relationship with your kids. -But then again, you are super cool! Mine and Sarah’s poor children will surely be traumatised by our antics!!? Can you ask your teens? 😱😳😖 😂 Ps – Great photograph x

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    1. Oh thank you! Yes it can be fun -but there’s still plenty of drama – I have three teens!! But most of the time it really is everything I write. Oh and thank you for your kind words – really?! Bet my kids don’t think so! Your one never do, do they?! Will duly ask my teens to watch and report back my lovely – you make me laugh so so much! xx

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    1. Oh they don’t know all my secrets!! This is more about how well do they know me a person! Goodness there’s a whole lot of stuff that they really don’t need to know! Thank you for your comment lovely xx

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  3. Your blog has taken the fear out of the teenage years for me. I am now looking forward to that stage with my girls and I really hope that I manage what you have clearly managed with your family! It just sounds so lovely. Your children are very lucky and I bet they are very proud of you and all that you are achieving, including with this blog! You are rocking motherhood 🙂 #MarvMondays

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  4. This is lovely. What a fantastic relationship you have with your children. I love how you describe the shift in parenting. I love how you are so authentic with your children too. My daughter is only 18 months but recently we have started going out for lunch, just us two, once a week, and it feels like such a special step forward in building our bond, our girls’ days out xx #bigpinklink

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  5. I think it is lovely that they know you. Otherwise how would get any of your own identity back outside of being ‘mum’? We may want to protect them from many things in this world but your own personality shouldn’t be one of them X
    #BigPinkLink

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  6. How rude of someone to suggest that! Of course they wouldn’t be embarrassed, your children think you’re wonderful and is lovely to see you all develop the close relationships that you have. I think your openness facilitates that and would be a mistake to hide the real you from your children! Keep on going just as you are lovely! xx

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  7. #marvmonday I agree Hun, ‘mum’ is not a character I play, it’s part of me – Lucy is a teacher, a friend, loved one and obvious goddess haha, but seriously they’re all me…and so just as my mouth only has words I’m happy to say come out of it, my blog is another part of Lucy, linked from L to Y #selflove #truth

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  8. Eeee how lovely is that. I’m just going to say it, and sound like a huge fan girl, but I am in awe of how you have developed your relationship with your teens and I would for my son and daughter to see me the same way when they’re older and us to have a close and honest relationship. I know it doesn’t happen by luck but I hope it happens nonetheless as at the minute I totally feel like I am just nagging, don’t hit, be nice to your brother, eat your dinner I could go and on. #marvmondays xx

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    1. Aww this is such a wonderful comment – thank you so so much! I think teens get such a rough deal but actually it’s the most wonderful time when things are going well and your relationship with them can be just gorgeous. Oh I remember all of that nagging and I hope that this post just gives you that little glimmer of hope! Thank you for such a lovely comment xxx

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  9. It’s lovely that you can have the kind of relationship with your kids where they appreciate you as as person as well as a mother – I hope my relationship with the Popple can have the same level of openness when she gets older. #DreamTeam

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    1. Aww I am sure you will have the same too. It’s a wonderful relationship as your children become teens – they definitely become their own person – so interesting and great fun to be around (well most of the time!!) xx

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  10. I am utterly inspired by the honest and open relationship that you have with your teenagers and I can only hope that my children grow to see me in the same way as yours do you. I totally agree that it’s important to retain our own personalities and give our kids the chance to embrace us for who we are, rather than trying to hide our quirks and occasional failings. I think it teaches them a lesson about self acceptance and self worth for their future too. So fantastically captured and written lovely. Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam x

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    1. Oh thank you for such a lovely comment. I hope that I have a closeness with them – I certainly try my best! This post was about them recognising me as a person as well as mum – this is not easy when they are small but as teens you can certainly have a more open relationship with them. Thank you for your kind words xx

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  11. It sounds like you have a really great relationship with your kids. I think it’s so important that our kids see us when we fail, because that’s when we can show them how to bounce back and keep going. It’s also an opportunity to be humble and ask for their forgiveness if we’ve done something wrong. #DreamTeam

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  12. I love the relationship that you have with your children, and my relationship with my eldest is very much the same. He knows pretty much all there is to know about me, the good and the bad, and I have been honest with him from the word go. He has been through a lot, more than some children should ever have to go through really, but because of our relationship he has taken it all in his stride. I know that he reads my blog sometimes, he sometimes asks me about certain things he has read, and I tell him in all honesty about anything he wants to know. I also know that one day my youngest three will want me to tell them about my first marriage, about a man who wasn’t their daddy, and about a big brother they never got to meet. I’m hopeful that I can share it all with the children, and raise them in a way to know that it’s okay to make mistakes, because their “old mum” made plenty of them too! #marvmondays

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  13. Helen I couldn’t agree with you more. I love my relationship with my teens and the journey we have taken together. My eldest is a young man now making his own way in life – still making mistakes along the way of course and making me cross and happy in equal measure but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My daughter is an adorable bundle of innocence who is starting to emerge from her pubescent shell and look at me more as me and not just mum. I am a very black and white person and encourage open discussion and honesty with them both and by doing that I have to show them the warts and all version of me too and I hope that is why our relationship is so strong and will remain so. #MarvMondays

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    1. Oh it’s just a wonderful stage to reach isn’t it? And, like you, I’m not saying it’s like that all the time but the glimmer of life with them seeing you as an adult and having a gorgeous close and honest relationship is just the icing on the cake isn’t it for all the years of raising smalls – it feels like we’ve got there and can have a relationship with our children that both parties actually enjoy! Thank you for reading lovely xx

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  14. I have always enjoyed reading to see the teen perspective to parenting. It feels like such a long way away right now. I think we all hope that one day we will have just as good relationships with our children as you do. ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

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  15. Absolutely! What mine see, is what they get. I think the more honest we are with our children, the more we are encouraging them that it is ok to just be yourself. The more natural we are around them, the less hang ups they may have. I think it is an important part of the confidence building process. Alison x #BloggerClubUK

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  16. Since starting my family I have always had a view of the kind of relationship I would work hard to cultivate with my children, and so much of that is reflected in what you write, Helen. My greatest hope is that I can achieve that utopia of trust, honesty and for them to be able to truly know us as people. So many parents are so cynical and negative about the teenage years which has always struck me as so sad, and I’m determined for our family to be different. Up until reading your blog I’ve felt that I might be naive in this hope, so thank you for restoring my faith in the future years. You’re one hell of a mother. Much love xxx #coolmumclub

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    1. Oh Ursula thank you for such a gorgeous comment. I found the teen years so so tough and didn’t want my children to ever feel the way that I did so I guess that’s why I work so so hard to ensure to keep those lines of communication open. I’m not saying it’s all easy but having teens is great and I’m damn proud of who they are!! I am certain that you will be the same my lovely. thank you for all your kind words – back atcha!!! xx

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  17. Are you saying that I’ve been wrong all this time in dreading the teenage years? Now I can’t wait that they grow up (not too fast though!). My four are still young, but I’ve noticed a growing interest in my older two (aged 10 and 8) in what my husband and I did, separately and together, before they were born. Could it be the start of it? The conversations have certainly got more interesting lately…I do hope my relationship with them will be as open and honest as yours with your kids. x
    #FamilyFun

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    1. Aww thank you for such a lovely comment! I’m not saying it’s always so easy but the good bits far outweigh the rubbish bits! It’s truly wonderful to see them growing into who they are becoming – good times! Thank you for reading xx

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  18. Oh this is so beautiful. I like the idea of a stage beyond nagging, rules and discipline and reaching the point where your children see you as you and you can have genuine and open chats with them. That constant “no, don’t do that; please can you…” stage is necessary but to know that there is (hopefully!) a pot of gold at the end of the parenting rainbow is such a nice thought 🙂 #ablogginggoodtime

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  19. What a wonderfully refreshing post! I sometimes wonder if my kids will grow up to resent that I blog about them. Just for my own rules, I will never write anything that I would think would embarrass them in the future or something a potential employer could Google and find out about them through my blog and such. I also wonder if they would care that I have their lives out in the open like this, pictures and all. Sure I mask their faces but it’s still them. So I do reflect on this sometimes.
    In your post here, I see hope for the re-emergence of a “me” in the future. I would love for the days when I can just be me (I am that even now mostly, but even more me, if that makes sense) and don’t have to nag or yell or scream at them. The days now are great too though. Learning to love every stage in their young lives. #familyfun

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    1. Oh thank you! Oh and you are so so right – we have to be so careful! I am certain that you are totally respectful for your children. Oh and yes to the more ‘you’ in the future – there’s plenty of that for sure! xx

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  20. I love this post! I have 3 children 1, 20yrs 1almost 14 and one 6. I know I need shooting for having 3 children all with a 7 year age gap!
    But I love being myself with them, they respect my honesty and love my silliness. My daughter 13 has crohns disease and has to miss lots of time off school, therefore this has unfortunately ended alot of her friendships. So I have had to become best friend as well as mum. I had to have a teenage chat just last week where I acted like a teenager for her so she could ask questions that she would only ask her friends. This was a big success and has helped her feel a bit more grown up.

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    1. Oh wow what an interesting dynamic you’ve had to create but I can completely understand – your poor daughter though – that must be so tough on her. I reckon your 20 year old could give some wonderful advice though too. Aww I really do wish her well. And thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comment xx

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  21. I love this! This is how I want my girls to see me in 10 wars time. As mum, but as a tea person who can have a laugh with them and who doesn’t lie to them!! #coolmumclub

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  22. Quite frankly you just summed up my #lifegoals right there. I’ve possibly mentioned before my dream of lunches and spa days with the girls, some twenty years from now. Friendships are built on openness and honesty, so why should it be any different with your children.Just lovely Helen.
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub

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  23. This is fab. Although I don’t have children, I know from my relationship with my mum that openness and honesty goes a long way. We have that sort of relationship and it’s great!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

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  24. I bet this is a fantastic stage and to have reached it sounds like validation for all the hard work out in beforehand.
    I think you piece is particularly poignant given that “loss of a sense of self” is one of the most common things I hear new mothers say.
    That people only see them as Mum now instead of the woman they were a few months previously.
    You post no doubt will make them feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    (Not to say that the tunnel isn’t great craic!)
    #bigpinklink

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  25. You’re far too cool to ever embarrass them I’m sure! In fact I said in my meet the familynpost for Sarah how I love your blog and bet your children think they have a cool mum! I can see what you mean about the relationship changing, I now feel like I get on better with my parents as we’ve got older and we are more like friends than parents/daughter. #FamilyFun

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  26. Oh dear, it’d be very silly to write without thinking of your children reading your posts someday wouldn’t it? I guess everyone is different but I’d assume any post I read was written comfortably by the blogger with their relationship with their child in mind. Thank you for sharing with us at #BloggerClubUK x

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  27. It’s great that you have this kind of relationship with your children. I have an open honest relationship with my mum as do my brother and sister. She is friend as well as mum and i really hope that i have that kind of relationship with my little girl as she grows up too.Thank you for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

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  28. Love your transparent take on this! I am just at the early stage of motherhood, and I am enjoying every bit of bit! But I am definitely looking forward to getting my child or children eventually to know me as well as I will learn to know them along the way!

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