Raising Teens

“Wait till they’re Teens!!”…If I had a dollar for every time a parent told me (while in the throws of an outrageous parenting moment no less)  to enjoy my kids while they were young, because nothing could ever rival the impending doom of the Teen years; then I would be a millionaire! And if I added to that the pennies I would have accumulated from rolling my eyes thereafter and nearly barfing and swallowing; I would make it to the Forbes list of richest moms on the planet!! But alas, I did not, in fact, cash in on any of those declarations. Instead I bided my time, and now I’ve become that mom with teens, looking back on the years that seem so easy in comparison ( Cringe! I give you permission to roll your eyes and barf! ).

Not to take anything away from the struggling beginning years…They are actually really awful and tiring (sleepless nights) and challenging (terrible two’s)…unglamorous ( baby vomit…that is all) and dreadful; but the Teen years is a completely different kind of horrible! Perhaps more so because we expected the difficulties to ease up once they were bigger and more independent and supposedly less demanding. But…they don’t.

There is a gap phase when you think you’ve emerged from a bottomless pit of challenges and you think “I’ve got this. Parenting should be plain sailing from here on”…but then you’re hit with a pre-pubescent girl with mood swings; and you think nothing could be worse, until…they eventually become a full blown nightmare  teenager…and then you think nothing could be worse than that, until you get hit with the sarcasm and know it all attitude of a teenage boy!!!  Dreadful I tell you…

When they’re young, you know the drama ended somewhere between 7 and 8pm, when they’re out for the count and down for the night. You literally live for the sweet taste of freedom that comes after the kids are asleep! But when they’re older, they’re sharing space on the sofa with you while eating popcorn and catching up on the series that used to be your escape time…and by the time their new revised and extended bedtime eventually arrives, you’re too darn tired yourself to be able to enjoy the peace – And once again, the confines of the bathroom becomes your quiet time and a means of escape…

But it’s not all bad. They are quite hilarious and entertaining when they’re are not engulfed in the all encompassing teen angst. They can hold interesting and intellectual conversations, and boy do they have quick and witty comebacks to everything! They speak a language of their own, which includes a lot of abbreviations and acronyms(IDK, TBH, IRDC…lit). Thankfully my teens have not yet (and nor will they ever) reached the stage where they are out at night and we have to force our eyes open like back in the feeding and burping stages of infancy; which means I’ve managed to rekindle my relationship with sleep! They no longer wake me at the crack of dawn (I manage that all by myself now – thanks) for coco pops or a sandwich. They help with chores (albeit with a glum look on their faces), and even babysit their brother so that us old folk can go on the occasional date.

Somehow we think of the Teen years as the light at the end of the tunnel that will mark the end of our struggle…and in a way it is the end of the struggles we have become accustomed to; but you soon discover, when you emerge from the fog of early childhood and pre-pubescence, that though the dark tunnel may be behind you, in front of you lies  a minefield! I guess somewhere along the line I thought that once they were bigger, things would automatically get easier. What I didn’t realise that even though their bodies had stretched and grown, their minds still need to catch up to that. I guess what I’m trying to say is that parenting is never going to get easy….it’s just becomes a different kind of hard!

Oh look…she thought we would get easier!!! HAHAHA
Thanks for reading!!

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