Parenting teenagers is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
I finally understand why my parents have an aversion to this stage in life.
They rapidly alternate from being these delightful, funny almost adult people to doing things that have me questioning everything I’ve ever known.
They are the very definition of dialectical. (Thank you therapy)
They will, in the same day, be the epitome of happy-go-lucky, then swing over to absolutely broken and the world is the worst. They embody “big emotions.” And it’s exhausting.
And most of us are too afraid to talk about HOW EXHAUSTING TEENAGERS ARE.
At least in public. It’s much cooler to brag about how amazing our kids are.
I get that it’s not cool to say teenagers suck. Or that it’s a terrible phase of childhood. (And yes, they are still children.)
I’m not sure why though. It was perfectly ok to bemoan how horrible it was to potty train them. And let’s face it, that was truly horrid.
When people ask me what the worst parts of parenting are, I always include the fact that potty training 7 humans was by far, the worst thing I’ve had to endure.
Potty training is evil and can’t be done the same way twice.
Teenagers are the same. What works for one doesn’t work for the other 8. That’s right. It’s just like potty training. It’s rewarding when it’s done. It’s miserable when you are in the thick of it and you dread it when you know it’s coming.
Parents. Can we be honest for a second?
All the fun photos of our teens doing cool shit is backed by days of tears, begging them to behave and a lot of white knuckling the experience. And it’s like if we admit that it’s REALLY hard to get to those magical photo moments we are bad parents.
Guess what? We aren’t bad parents. But we ARE tired, fed up, happy, proud, tired again, and for the love of god wear a coat once in a while and why are you wearing pajamas to school for the one millionth time and please go to class and stop installing every app known to mankind on your phone at midnight and WHY do you insist on drawing on yourself and OMG…
So yeah. Teens are great. And hard. And ugh. It’s really fucking hard to have teenagers. (Pardon my french.)
I get tired of all the articles and posts about understanding them. It doesn’t help. I want it to, but it doesn’t. I remember being that angsty teen. (My kids don’t believe that because I’m basically ancient.) But I do remember. I remember my parents telling me to “watch your tone, young lady.” I still have that problem to this day. Yay?
I will say that I think in some ways our teens have it harder than we did. Technology is a blessing and a curse.
I could come home from work and not know that my friends were talking smack. And I would probably never know.
Our kids? They know the moment it happens and then they have to figure out what to do with that. I know grown ass women who don’t handle it well.
It’s hard to be a teen. It’s hard to have a teen. Like, REALLY hard.
At least at this point in my parenting journey I can see the light at the end of the VERY long teenager tunnel. It looks like a functional adult making choices and things.
Which is a whole next level of terrifying.
But you still get that thrill of “Look! They used the potty ALL BY THEMSELVES!!!”