Parenting is hard.

Parenting.

Whether you signed up voluntarily, or experienced it by surprise, parenting is hard.  Its time consuming (a lifetime!), stressful, exhausting….and yet fulfilling as well.  It is probably the only profession where you want to quit all day, rip your hair out, scream in a pillow, or just plain give up…then at bedtime something magical happens.  A small person wraps their soft little arms around your neck and all of the sudden, the last 18 hours are erased and your heart is bursting with love and pride.

When my bigs were little, I sorta put parenting into categories.  Baby, toddler, school aged, then teens.  I assumed (you know what that means, right?) that as we went from one category to the next, the “parenting” parts would get easier.  Surely diapers and endless night feedings are harder than teaching someone to drive a car, right??  Wrong.  Big, huge, indefinite, wrong.  Take me back to the diaper days, asap, mmmmkay?

Parenting teens is a whole new ballgame.  In fact, no one is even selling tickets, or broadcasting this ballgame – thats how it works!  Everyone navigates to the best of their abilities, and in reality none of us know if we are winning or losing…. Of course, it doesn’t help that teens today have SO much more going on than we did.  We had no cell phones, social media, not nearly as many school activities, school work itself was easier, and the pressure….well, honestly I don’t remember feeling it.  And, I was in the top of my class!  Todays teens have pressure coming at them from every angle, and guess what?  That pressure is magnified before its passed on to the parents.

We are pretty strict.  Correction, I am very strict.  I am the mean mom that pretty much doesn’t allow anything.  No social media, super big restrictions on screens, I have to know all of the kids my kids hang out with, I check their grades frequently, they have chores, and we always put family first.  (Bros before hoes….or whatever)  Thankfully both of my teens have friends that come from similar families, but they are definitely the minority.  I’m not sure why that is…nor am I convinced that I am doing anything right. BUT, I do have 1 tip.

How to survive parenting teens:  Make friends.  Mom friends.  Good ones.

I have been more than blessed in this category.  I have a handful of mom friends (moms of my teenagers friends) who I truly care about.  We have each others backs.  We watch each others kids…not in a babysitting sort of way, because they are too old for that, but more like if-my-kid-does-something-stupid-you-are-allowed-to-smack-him sort of way.  Another perk, mom friends can be sounding boards.  Chances are, we are all experiencing the same things.  Its not unusual for one of us to text or call each other and say, “Hey!  Have you ever _______, and how did you deal with that??”

Mom friends are life savors.

So…moral of the story, no matter how you entered your parenting journey, and no matter how many little people you are responsible for, buckle up.  There is no syllabus, no rules, no retakes, but there are mom friends.  And coffee.  And wine.
And, no matter how big your little people get, it still feels like a million bucks to have them say “I love you, mom”.

 

A big HUGE thank you, to my mom friends.

I feel blessed by you daily, and I pray for you daily! #wereallinthistogether

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