Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mothering teens


The thoughts roll around my head like tumbleweeds.  Some days are windier than others.  Trying to attach words to those thoughts is harder than nailing jelly to a wall.  As soon as I have them, they slip away.  Seem irrelevant even. Sentences were forming as I walked the dogs this morning.  About how my role as a mother seemed easier when they were little.  Not easier, just more clearly defined. About how the daily drama of a teenage life is huge and all encompassing to a fifteen or thirteen year old mind. And exhausting to me.  Maybe parenting a teen is really just adjusting to a new interpersonal relationship and maybe I suck at those. I lose my patience and play the "because I'm your mother" card more than I care to admit.  Writing that makes me cringe and want to hit backspace.  Deep breath. I'd hope writing about it would be cathartic and transformative but know that I haven't figured anything out.  I don't seek a pep talk or pat on the back.  I'm trying and loving and thinking and analyzing and vowing to do my best.  I'll keep at it for I love them fiercely.

-dana

14 comments:

Chris said...

Keep on keepin' on, Dana!

dolores said...

Ah yes...and the dynamic is so different with having had a girl and a boy. This is the time when you really having to find the meaning of patience and calm...for them and for yourself!
Thank goodness for the gym!!;)
xoxo

Skootchover said...

Thank you. I'm in the same place. I'm struggling to let go. Type A's don't do well with not being in control. I know they have to do more and more for themselves and with friends instead of me, but sometimes I wonder what my role is after I let go.

Afton Warrick said...

Maybe we can help you come up with some alternatives to "Because I'm your mother." My mom's favorites included, "Because nothing good happens after midnight." and "Because the drunks are out." P.S. There was no time of day or night that the drunks weren't out, according to Mom. If that doesn't work out, you can try my Dad's super-annoying, "You have to get the last word in, don't you?"Just kidding, don't uses these, but they do make "Because I'm your mother." sound fairly sophisticated. You must be doing something right, if your teens are only having perceived drama, instead of bringing real drama to their lives (You know, the stuff that happens after midnight, apparently.).

Shorty said...

I know exactly what you mean. My son is now 16, he'll be 17 in May. The last year (since he began driving) has been so full of turmoil. Those keys gave him a new level of freedom and also gave him more confidence to speak up on what he thinks is fair, right and how to live. Most of those thoughts are ok, but some are quite irrational. I've found some solace through a book called Yes, Your Teen is Crazy. It helped explain to me the physiological development going on in his brain that leads to irrational thought, and it's given me guidelines for being consistent so that I don't feel so crazy when trying to defend my parental reasoning. You can get it in book and audio form, I highly recommend it. There are lots of comparisons, too, with real parent/teen relationships and stories, it's not just medical jargon. The author is very humorous and easy to read. Wishing you all the best during this time, I feel ya, my friend!

Kimberly said...

Awww, you wear it well, my friend! My youngest (and biggest challenge in life!) turned 16 yesterday and I'm just holding on for dear life. My other one is graduating in May and I just can't believe where we're at in our journey.
Drop me a line anytime if you wanna chat. I think we'd be great friends in the real world!

Emily Cole said...

Ugh... I totally feel it coming on too... my 12-and-a-half year old is constantly making me just shake my head and wonder what I did wrong! Friend issues, school issues, hobby issues, clothes issues, shoe issues, make-up issues... the issues never end...

Beth said...

The teen years are never easy, and I agree that the Mom role is much easier to define when they are small.
Hugs, and try not too worry too much, we have all said "because I said so" or a variation of it. :)

diane said...

I've been thinking about that phrase lately. I think it's a good one so don't give it up. Your head is in the right place and I know your heart is too

Denise in PA said...

You said it well, Dana! And, I'm sure they know how you love them. Hugs from a mom of one who used to be a teen. o:)

the girlfriend gap said...

I once told my daughters as young adults," I'm glad I didn't kill you as a teenager.... You are so much fun now that those years are behind us." We had some really rough years. Are you a praying woman? That is what got us through safely to the other side. Also my kids belonged to a Church youth group and found it helpful to let go and allow other "mothers" to step in with their counsel. Since my kids thought I was the worst mother in the world and didn't want to listen to me. The tide turns when they become mothers.
Hang in there. Make quilts while they are driving you crazy!

Janita

DebbyMc said...

You're doing it Dana, the best we know how to do at the time is all we can do. That and the fact that you all love each other, and know it, will get you through. One crazy, dramatic, and sometimes sane and peaceful, day at a time. ♡

Birgit said...

Just the very fact that you are thinking so much about that, Dana, proves that you are doing exactly the right thing! And no matter what happens, even *I* know something for sure -- your girls love YOU and your husband to the moon and back, just as you and your husband do. Nothing else matters.

Hugs,
Birgit

Bennett and Graves said...

A great book, with a sense of humor included, "Get Out Of My Life But First Could You Drive Me And Cheryl To the Mall" by Anthony Wolf PHD. Recommended to me, I've actually purchased copies for others. They Do grow up, and generally, out of this stuff. I have evidence.