The teenage years are making me wish and pray for those terrible twos again!! I have entered the teen years with a boy and a girl, and I am actively seeking trades for toddlers….ok, I am kidding, but I won’t lie, there are days that I feel my fourteen years of blood, sweat, and tears as a mom were for nothing. I look at these gifts from God as they are full of attitude and sass, and I wonder if we will make it through the next five years with all of our sanity.
My daughter is stubborn and driven…all qualities of a success but also qualities that make these teen years so challenging. All of a sudden my sweet girl who used to eat whatever I made for dinner, take her vitamins every morning, and do what I asked has decided to rebel on these little things…. She refuses to take her vitamins unless they are sugar gummies, does not want to eat half the foods that she used to love, and digs her heels in about the smallest details in life. My logical side is saying to let her rebel on the small things because then she will not feel the need to rebel with big things like drugs, sex, and alcohol…..but the other part of me just wants my sweet little girl back!
My son is quick-witted, funny, and has no filter….all qualities of a successful comedian, but once again tough qualities when trying to get him through school with as few detentions as possible!! He is probably one of the most amusing humans that I know, but that need for a laugh has gotten him in trouble more than once (and it’s only the second week of school…). It is so hard to explain to him that those things that were cute when he was in single digits just are not appropriate now that he is a teen.
I have never said being a mom was easy…in fact, it is the hardest job I have ever had (and I have worked as a 911 dispatcher!). I love my kids and would never ever change our life, but holy cow – these teenage years are going to cost me a lot in hair dye (for myself), wine, chocolate, and probably a bit in therapy!!
A few lessons I have learned from this last year are
- Give my kids love – they need it the nastier they are being. If I use the theory to give someone else what I need the most at that moment, then I know they need love, calmness, and unconditional patience.
- Give my kids my time – get off my cell phone or laptop and spend those quiet moments with them. At some point they will want to talk to me (right???).
- Do not react with anger in the moment – the nasty eye rolls, the quick-witted comments, and the “no” response sends me through the roof, but the more I react the more they react. So part of me making this public is my vow to be more patient and less reactive to these responses.
- Seek higher power – I truly believe that teenagers were created so as parents our faith becomes stronger.
- Work on my own happiness and our strength as a couple – because if momma is happy, then everyone is happy (or happier)