“When I was nine, mum turned to wine…” Guest Post by Nicky Kentisbeer

My Mountain BannerI think Carrie’s post last week was such a fantastic example of how each and every one one of us has moments of doubt and fear as parents, thanks so much for your wonderful comments as always.  

This week we’ve got a slightly new perspective.  Most of the guest bloggers we’ve had so far are parents to very young children and babies but Nicky is going to talk about the new parenting dimension you enter with a slightly older child.  

I was very excited when Laura shared her idea for this new series. It comes at a time when I need to get something off my chest. I am Nicky and I blog at www.notjustthe3ofus.com. I am the mother of a 9 year old daughter and I wanted to share one of the latest developments in the area of being 9.

I hope I don’t disappoint in that I have no magic remedy for this blip in proceedings. All I can do is run through the same tried and tested methods from my mummy file and see what works.

Maybe you will have the magic wand I am looking for.

Picture the scene and imagine the conversation:

(L) ‘I can’t believe I’m missing art today, and we were making tudor shoes’

(N) ‘I know, it’s such a shame you aren’t well. I know how you love Mondays, what else do you like about them’

(L) ‘PE, we’re doing Gym at the moment and English and then we have Miss Courtney’

(N) ‘Who is Miss Courtney’

Shouting voice with hands on head


(N) ‘I’ve never heard you mention her before’


(N) ‘Do you really think it’s necessary to react like that, this is another example of how difficult it is to speak to you about things lately. I was really enjoying talking to you and then you behave like this’

Suspect rolls around on sofa (her not me).

This, my friends, is an example of a perfectly normal mother and daughter conversation that suddenly takes a turn for the worst.

Me and my daughter. I am 48 and she is 9.

Clearly someone is missing the point somewhere. I believe all eyes are on me from her perspective.

I know not why but it is not an isolated example.

Of course, I’d love to blame Miss Courtney but I really, really don’t know who she is – honest!

Some of these exchanges can end up with some really nasty stuff being said to me.

Without sounding like a big girl’s blouse, they have at times really upset me and I have to confess that I also had a bit of a cry after one outburst.

So is this what can be expected from a 9 year old?

I have to say it doesn’t matter how sensible you are, there is always that nagging fear in the back of your mind that you have reared a monster.

I am a ‘no nonsense’ parent. I am firm and I don’t have a problem with saying no. Not everyone would agree with my style of parenting (it’s certainly not the easiest for sure) but I will not give in for a quiet life. Particularly, if that quiet life means compromising on decent behaviour.

The same child is generally delightful (strong-willed and selfish) but nevertheless a grounded, warm and happy kid.

The teachers love her, she is a darling at school.

I also confess to wishing she would be like this at school for a change and let them have some of it.

When I pick up on this random arguing, I get a blank look, a wobbly head and an ‘I don’t know What You Mean’ response.

I find the wobbly head particularly infuriating. I figure it means I’m not particularly cool. I have to resist the urge to do it back.

I suggest that before she speaks to me in this way, she should think if it would be a suitable way to speak to her teacher. If it isn’t, then that means it’s not an appropriate way to speak to me.

The hardest thing about these exchanges is that I am not on a level playing field. You could say I am out of my depth.

There is no reasonable argument to be had here, so a compromise is never going to be reached.

I find myself lately sounding like a real nag. Something I always vowed I would never do. I do not want to be this person.

So where do we go.

I have gone through all the different voices that we have in stock during these times. The firm voice, the slightly stern voice, the louder voucher and the reasoning voice.

Unfortunately, the banshee voice has also put in an appearance (screaming like one, I mean) and then the reckoning comes.

You realise that the whole street has probably heard you shout something totally childish up the stairs.

I always romanticise about us being the best of friends when she is older and going out together. I love to see mums and older daughters enjoying each other’s company.

When these exchanges are at their worst, I secretly fear that my daughter won’t like me when she is older. I can’t believe I’m sharing that. What a drip!! I’m doing so whilst thinking ‘surely I’m not the only one?’

I think what is comes down to is, that as mum, you end up being the punch bag.

You are the one that gets it both barrels.

Rest assured that whatever they are feeling, you are going to feel it too.

All I can do is remain firm and keep repeating the same message. ‘Not Acceptable’

One thing I know for sure is that this parenting lark doesn’t get any easier whether they are 9 months, 9 years or nineteen.

Same kid, different challenges.

Moppet to Monster in 60 seconds.

Does anyone else have one?

Nicky blogs about family life at Not Just The 3 Of Us and you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.  

*If you would like to contribute to the My Mountain series with a piece about your own biggest parenting challenge please email butterflymum83@gmail.com*


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Pink Pear Bear

33 comments on ““When I was nine, mum turned to wine…” Guest Post by Nicky Kentisbeer

  1. My mum was a no nonsense parent and I still got irritated not by her but by life when I was younger and she felt the brunt of it. From the moment I hit my teen years to the moment I moved out we didn’t get on whatsoever. I’m a no nonsense parent now and I worry my children will be the same. I’m not sure if you can avoid this or if it’s just part of going through the motions. I feel your frustration and upset though, kids don’t understand how hurtful theuly can be and how important parents are sometimes. Maybe a girls day once a month would be fun x

    1. I think it’s probably par for the course when parenting youngsters of that age but that doesn’t make it any easier I’m sure. Thanks for reading x

    2. You are right and made me think back to my teenage years. I know I was a bit of a challenge and of course did argue with my mum. I am now in receipt of my dues!! I do think it is going through the motions, I do think 9 is young but considering there have been some follow up incidents, I shall tighten my seatbelt and prepare for the ride. Thanks for commenting.
      Nicky Kentisbeer recently posted…Being A Make-Up ArtistMy Profile

  2. You are definitely not the only one Nicky! My daughter is only 3 and I’m already really nervous about the growing up years as my little lady is already very independent and headstrong (can’t imagine where she gets it from?) I’ll bookmark this page as I’m sure it’ll be a ray of sanity for me in around 6 years time!

    Thanks for sharing Laura.

    Dawn x

    1. Hooray! Not that I wish to celebrate the plight of others of course. It is a time when we see our own traits coming back at us and a time when I wish I was a gentle mouse! So much good stuff as the years go by and I suppose it’s a case of grin and bear it. Thanks for commenting.
      Nicky Kentisbeer recently posted…Being A Make-Up ArtistMy Profile

  3. Eeek. Mine are only 3 and 1 so I have all this ahead of me. It sounds really, really tough. I am a secondary school teacher and so do have some experience with older children and that kind of ‘can’t be reasoned with’ attitude but still think it will be tough with mine! Another interesting post to the series . #justanotherlinky

  4. My daughter (5 1/2 – must NOT forget the 1/2) and I already have conversations like this. When I say no, or be firm, or tell her off, I get the ‘You’re being rude to me’ response. Which sometimes has really caught me back, and it’s very hard to explain to a five year old, that I’m not being rude, that parent’s aren’t rude to their children, they explain what is right and what is wrong and like you said what is acceptable behaviour. My daughter and I have spent a lot of time alone together, through living together just me and her in a hostel, to having a lot of evenings together just the two of us because my partner now works nights…she’s also an only child which I don’t think helps, but equally, sometimes her behaviour just isn’t acceptable. I think I’ll have to try the ‘Would you speak to your teachers’ like that line, because it might help stop her…she too is fantastic at school, polite, friendly and very, very well behaved.

    I think, as parents, we need to take credit at this. At least we are raising our kids to be polite to other people. At the end of the day, mums suffer the most because our kids know deep down that we will never, ever turn our backs on them and stop loving them.

    1. Absolutely, you should DEFINITELY take credit for that. They push our buttons more than anyone else’s because we’re the nearest target. My son isn’t yet three and the other day he told me “don’t talk to me like that” – the cheeky thing! Thanks for commenting on Nicky’s great post 🙂

    2. My daughter is also an only child and I suppose the difference is that you don’t have several others to take away the focus. I think when you do spend a lot of time together, you can grate. I am sure I get on her nerves too – big style! Also, with an only child you have nothing to compare it too. We always aim for her not to be spoilt and stigmatised for not having siblings but, of course, there is nothing we can do about them having our undivided attention most of the time. Thanks for commenting.
      Nicky Kentisbeer recently posted…Being A Make-Up ArtistMy Profile

  5. I have read somewhere (don’t ask me where) that kids take things out on their parents because they are the nearest and because they love them and know that they can take out their foulest moods and most difficult emotions on those with whom they feel comfortable. I take this to mean that if your child is good at school but a pain at home, that probably means you’re a great parent! #KCACOLS

  6. I went through this with my son at this age, and it carried on til about 12. Then we both got the hang of avoiding the snark. Now he mostly is in his room, and the teen attitude is different. Mildly easier to deal with. don’t expect that with the lil girl when she gets older, thoughts of her tweens and teens give me nightmares! #kcacols

  7. Oh goodness me it really sounds like it doesn’t any easier. It’s a good thing we love them so much. I’m sorry to have to admit this but I had a little giggle at the bit where you have to fight the urge to head wobble back lol. Wishing you all the best with the 9 year old daughter . Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.xx
    Mommy’s Little Princesses recently posted…Living Arrows 14/52My Profile

  8. I have a 10 year old and a 5 year old. They both are quite challenging at times in their own ways. My 5 year old is very strong willed and independent while my 10 year old is stroppy and back chats. They both know it’s unacceptable behaviour yet still do it. I guess it’s just kids although it can be exhausting. #KCACOLS
    Rachel (Lifeathomewithmrsb) recently posted…6 things that made me happy #MarchMy Profile

  9. Mums cop it worst because we love them so much. They feel so secure in our love that they can be the worst versions of themselves without fear of reprimand. My mum was the softest mum in the world & I was still a total cow to her. I often look back & feel like a monster but all kids are the same. It’s like a right of passage I guess. See how far you can push it before they snap. Not that that makes it any better. I’d try to make it funny & do the wobbly head back, that will annoy her more then any telling off! Parenting sucks but you will be friends again one day, the fact that she’s like this with you shows how strong your bond is, she wouldn’t do it if she was fearful of losing your love. Also, I hate to break it to you, but you will be soooooo uncool for a long while to come! You’ll be ok again later on though. Thanks for linking up with us again! #bigpinklink

    1. Don’t worry I’ve parked in the long term ‘uncool’ car park, despite my protestations. It’s funny how other peoples kids are really nice to you and your own just have this ability to send you off your rocker. See you on the other side! Thanks for commenting.
      Nicky Kentisbeer recently posted…Being A Make-Up ArtistMy Profile

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