Being a resilient parent – week 73

Resilience. It’s a word that is used daily at school, in parenting groups and cafes.

As parents and teachers, we’re keen to ensure our children are resilient to the daily twaddle that might come their way.

Bounce back, stand-up, speak out – the words used to encourage our teens to thrive and not merely survive the playground and the crack of time in the growing up years.

What about us? How resilient are we to the daily grind of life? As parents we are hammered. If it’s not our children, other parents, it could be work.

A few months ago I was unexpectedly made redundant. This came totally out of the blue and sent me sideways as the ramifications of someone else’s decision impacted me. I lost my amazing team who were scattered across the organisation and I lost my identity as a working mom.

We have a rule in our house. When faced with disappointment, you’re allowed 24 hours to mope before pulling up your knickers and getting on with life.

I gave myself that grace; yet the first day of unemployment opened up a whole week that was empty. I had no idea how I was going to fill that time (and the months that follow) whilst getting up each morning and showing my family the resilient, tough stuff I am made of.

This is the time I need to show my teens that we can bounce back when life takes a sudden unexpected turn. This is the time of silver linings.

All love

Jessica xxii

PS. I find silver linings in every situation and my first week of unemployment was no different. To find out more about creating new opportunities for myself, gearing up my career and having fun, then follow me on Instagram.

I have a tribe. I am exceptionally fortunate to be married to an amazingly supportive husband who has the inert ability to pick me up when I’m feeling ragged. I also have a career coach and incredibly loving children, parents and friends.

Jessica Purbrick-Herbst
August 2018

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Taking off – week 56

We are in Hanoi, having taken off for the spring break holidays to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore.

The tween – having just turned 12 has flourished in our ever-changing daily environ. English by birth and a well travelled explorer he loves testing new food, catching the smells of the laneways and trying his luck (and bargaining skills) at the markets.

Whilst I am an a adamant “made locally and sustainable” shopper, I have to accept that the tween is working his way around a world that is not always congruent with his mothers’ purpose. He does well to balance the “cha cha” from the markets and paying a respectful price to the stallholders.

Hong Kong has found the tween smiling deeply at his new found centre of attention with mainland Chinese tourists loving his red hair and brown eye combination. Unusual in Australia, it is positively freakish in China. I’m thinking there will be many a family slide-show featuring the tween in his Rutgers t-shirt and Nike freeruns! It’s a small price for the kindness and happiness of others.

With this relaxed and uncomplicated mode, I have found the tween holding my hand (in public) and being affectionate.

Perhaps the release of being away from his “coolness” of the basketball court and the school playground has allowed this freedom of emotion to happen. It’s the change in environment that has brought out these wonderful secure traits and the connection with family that brings in the closeness.

Week one into the family trip has been awesome!

All love

JPH_Mar2014_smiling

Jessica

22 September 2014

Comments are always welcome. Please be mindful however that words can 
enlighten or dishearten.

Turning around – week 55

It’s been such a joyful and funny week.

With husband away the pattern of the week has taken a different tune and the tween has relished the rejigging of roles.

We’ve had the luxury of spending time alone in the car between school drop-offs (with a change in my workplace, I am now taking the tween to school most mornings). This car time has become an invaluable nub of words. Some mornings has seen the tween spill with laughter at the antics of the school yard or floods of tears over some wrongdoing in the classroom.

Who knew traffic clogged streets would provide the creative line for mother – tween conversations! I now look out for other cars with kids – especially the older ones sitting in the front seat… I wonder what words are said; what heart felt story is being spilled or recounted.

The week has culminated in a birthday party for the tween. Whilst he will turn 12 next Friday, he choose today to spend the afternoon with some friends from school – girls and boys.

Trusting them, they took themselves off to lunch and a movie for a few hours. Giving the tween this freedom is as important to me as it is to him. I wasn’t disappointed! The party arrived home laughing and telling stories of popcorn throwing in the cinema and general 11 year old behaviour.

Whilst I don’t want to be the person to clean up the movie theatre, I do think that their fun shows the innocence and charm of my childhood.

And I think that makes it ok! Our house is at peace.

All love

JPH_Mar2014_smiling

Jessica 7 September 2014

Comments are always welcome. Please be mindful however that words can 
enlighten or dishearten.

September spring – week 54

I’ve been reading up on tweens this week and what I am learning is there is so much “advice” about hiding, spying and generally looking from behind bushes at what our tweens might be doing. Be it time on the internet (put in locks, passwords, firewalls), or hanging out on the way home from school (network of parents who sms tween sightings). Even worse is the prescriptive parenting guide (do 1,2,3 to be your tweens best friend)!

Me? There’s no prescription in our house. As the parent of a tween, I relish in the haphazardness of our craziness – of finding our pathway through the sometime blinding fog to glorious sunshine. We work off trust (that is often broken), independence (that can be disappointing) or love (that never wavers).

This week I have watched my son push and stretch his way through the days. I have taken delight in his confidence some days and then felt heart-aching pain at his down self-talk. Of the nights when he yells and screams at me and then wants to hug his way back into my uterus…

The fluctuating emotions are difficult to handle. The ups and downs seem so unpredictable – walking in the door may open a delicious end of the day conversation or a thunderstorm of gloom.

But this is our journey of love, hope, laughter and a few hidden tears from me. It is a journey of survival and stories of the future.

All love

JPH_Mar2014_smiling

Jessica

1 September 2014

Comments are always welcome. Please be mindful however that words can 
enlighten or dishearten.