We took a little break from blogging over our teens' long summer break from school - they were home from the end of exams in mid-June until the last one went off to uni at the end of September! We are very glad to be back, and have realised all over again while writing this just how much reflecting on what's happening in our own lives shapes what we do on Equipp.
Firstly, if you're new here, we're Louise and Anna, busy working mums with five children between us. We've been working hard behind the scenes all summer, getting gorgeous new products ready to launch in time for Christmas that will hopefully fulfil our two main aims - to make shopping for teenagers easier, with thoughtful gifts they'll really love, and to raise funds for a teenage mental health charity with every purchase. Hello and welcome!
Not only was our summer long, it was VERY eventful. There were highs and there were real lows but we're determined to look at the positives of everything! So what did we learn?
- Exam grades only matter as a reflection of hard work put in and potential achieved. Somebody out there will always do better; focus on having done yourself proud and celebrate that success.
- Technology is a wonder and being able to keep in touch online is something to be thankful for. However much you might worry now about your teens spending so much time on their phones now, if your little treasure goes to Australia to study for a year you will be so glad it's a fundamental part of their lives!
- Teenage heartbreak is as hard for parents to deal with as it is for the teens themselves. To see them in such pain and not be able to do anything about it (apart from give wise advice) is excruciating.
- Teens might be able to cook for themselves but they have a long way to go before they get the hang of cleaning up afterwards...
When your son gets the results of his MRI scan and finds out that he's torn his ACL and is out of rugby for 6-9 months in the same hour as the letter arrives with his selection for an England U16 rugby league international, you are going to need to look hard for the positives. But there will always be some - a break from training/playing 6 times a week means a chance to discover so much more from life and explore different opportunities (and even to finally get on top of the homework!).
- Those smug commentators who says today's kids don't have to deal with adversity are talking b******s. This is the subject of a whole ranty blog post to come - watch this space!
- There is nothing quite so rewarding as seeing your child leave home and take the next step in life with enthusiasm, confidence and happiness. Makes up for the teenage-shaped hole they leave in the house and your life (the tidiness helps too!).
- When your teenagers spread their wings and you need to start setting a curfew, remember to leave some negotiation room so you can meet halfway - and remind them to take a door key!
- Be prepared to help your teens cope as friendship groups evolve with different life choices - uni, sixth form college, work, apprenticeships. As usual, listening works best (and hosting a party for everyone to get to know new friends and meet up with old ones really helps too 🙈).
- Most of all, everything that happened in both our families this summer showed us just how right we were to work on developing our Remember When collection and help teens everywhere to record life-changing moments and safeguard those memories. It's been a passion of ours for a while and we've hit autumn with new energy. The absolute highlight for us of our new collection is our Teenage Years Memory Journal - we hope you love it as much as we do 😀
It's an undated 12 month 'Back Up of my Life' that includes pages for general notes and records of events, together with pages to fill in details of what they're watching, listening to and thinking about, as well as two pages each month to stick in favourite photos. Once completed, it's put away to be brought out by their future selves - who knows, maybe to show their own teenagers?
Happy autumn, everyone!
Louise & Anna x