I’ve been a mom for almost twenty years. I’m about to have five teenagers in my crew, for about a month, until the oldest turns twenty. I thought by now I’d have mastered the art of parenting, or at least feel fairly confident in my ability to shape these almost-adults. But I’ve found myself in countless conversations over the last couple of years with fellow moms-of-teens, and we’re all kind of floundering.
We all have the same “I don’t know what to do” look on our faces, as we reminisce about how easy it was to parent newborns and toddlers. I’d rather be up rocking a crying baby than be up worrying and waiting for the kid breaking curfew, no question. Why didn’t we know it would be this hard? To all the moms who came before us….you must have told us – of course you told us! We’re sorry we didn’t listen.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Not only do I love my teens, but I genuinely like them, too, most of the time. We have fun together, and I love watching them have fun with each other. When they talk to me about stuff, it’s a party in my heart while I try to play it cool on the outside. But I’ve realized that the hardships of parenting teens and young adults have a lot in common with popular 80’s song titles. For real. Check this out.
- When your kid’s face is so snarky and full of attitude that you want to slap it right off, you remind yourself that he’s still that Sweet Child O’ Mine.
- When you need a moment (or 50) to calm down, but you realize that she’s going to keep having this argument With or Without You.
- When your mom-friend confides that her child has done something equally as heinous and stupid as the thing your child did last week, you both shake your heads and sigh, “Another One Bites the Dust.”
- When you’ve laid out the rules of the house as clear as can be, but you realize that he will never stop trying to Push It.
- When you try to be the cool, fun mom and agree to a sleepover with 10 of her best friends, then lay in bed staring at the ceiling as they giggle and slam doors All Night Long.
- When your kid drives off by himself for the very first time and Every Breath You Take is a painful struggle until he pulls back in the driveway again.
- When they violate your trust and you take their phone away, they act like it’s the End of the World as We Know It. (You should be familiar with this move from the toddler years.)
- When you think you’re pretty hip and in touch with the current culture, but your kids remind you Time After Time that you haven’t got a clue.
- When he rolls his eyes every time you yell, “Call Me” as he’s leaving to go hang out with his friends. (Ok, maybe “text me” would be more accurate; but seriously, why won’t they just do it?)
- When your brain spends equal time shouting “She Drives Me Crazy” and “I’m gonna Keep On Loving You.”
- When your kid thinks your rules don’t apply anymore, even though he’s still living in your house, and you’re tempted to tell him to just Beat It, but you also really don’t want him to leave.
- When you have multiple children and every 13th birthday has you anxiously thinking, “Here I Go Again.”
- When you have no idea if you’re doing it right, but you are Straight Up just Livin’ on a Prayer, and having Faith that God will cover your mistakes and it will all turn out ok.