Moms With Teens Need a Tribe Plus These 13 Other Gifts

Remember when you had your first baby? And remember how, to help you prepare for this life-changing experience, friends and family showered you with gifts? From the adorable to the practical, you got virtually everything you would need to help you through that challenging first year of motherhood.

We need “teen showers” to be a thing

It has been over 20 years since my first baby shower, and I still appreciate that outpouring of generosity. So, I hope it doesn’t sound too greedy when I say this, but I wish teenager showers were a thing. I wish that sometime around my eldest child’s twelfth birthday, a few of my girlfriends had gotten together and planned a shower for me.

They could have ordered a cake in the shape of a cell phone or an Xbox and decorated with festively displayed piles of laundry. The whole idea makes so much sense. Sure moms of newborns need help and support, but so do moms beginning the life-changing and challenging experience of parenting teens?

Of course, registering would be tricky. So many of the things moms of teenagers need are too intangible (and too illusive) to be found on the shelves of Target. But as long as we are fantasizing, (and let’s face it, a teenager shower is a total fantasy) why not dream big?

group of women friends
Every mom of teens needs a group of other moms as friends. (Twenty20 @crystalmariesing)

14 must-haves for every mom of teens

1. A tribe. This is absolutely crucial. Every mom of teens needs a group of other moms who will not judge her when she has to send a group text (again) to ask what the kids are supposed to wear to the band concert or when the field trip permission slips were due. But more importantly, she needs a tribe of moms who will not judge her when her child is the one who got a speeding ticket, flunked a class, dyed her hair pink, or snuck beer into the party.

Said tribe should also be willing to commiserate or celebrate as needed and be eager to just to go out and have fun once in a while and not worry about the kids–because it is mom’s night out!

2. A list of TV shows and movies to watch with your kids that are sophisticated enough for young adults but that are free from awkward and embarrassing love scenes and language that would make a sailor blush.

3. Fast food coupons. While my younger, more idealistic self would surely have balked at such an unhealthy gift, my tired, driving-home-from-a-ballgame-late-at-night self could really go for a burger and fries. Oh, and the kids are probably hungry too.

4. Air freshener. Dirty diapers have nothing on sweaty gym socks.

5. A really, really good planner that keeps track of soccer practice, basketball practice, dance lessons, band rehearsal, dentist appointments, and meetings and that fits into a small, lightweight purse that doesn’t hurt my bad shoulder.

6. Good books. These are particularly useful when waiting outside the gym for volleyball practice to just hurry up and be over already or when waiting up late for her teenager to get home.

7. Kleenex. Because there will be A LOT of crying–happy tears, sad tears, angry tears, bittersweet tears, tears of joy, and tears of fear and frustration. Seriously, A LOT of crying.

8. A dog. Like your teenager, your dog will love you and depend on you, but he never roll his eyes at you. And he will always want to snuggle.

9. Thick skin. I’m not sure which is worse, when someone is mean to your child or when your child is mean to you. It doesn’t matter. You can pretty much count on both scenarios if you are raising teenagers.

10. Go-to, crowd-pleasing recipes. The ones you need to feed a mob of hungry kids, for ensuring everyone is home for dinner, or for spoiling your “baby” just a little. When it comes to teenagers, food is their love language.

11. Extra phone chargers. The need for these cannot be overstated.

12. An awesome playlist of songs from your high school and college years. When you play this in the car, your kids will complain. When you sing along, they will groan and roll their eyes. But when they get to college and they know all the words to Sweet Child O Mine or Under the Bridge, they will thank you.

13. A photo album. You will take hundreds of pictures of your teens. They will take hundreds more of themselves. They will be the most photographed generation in history. And it is possible that when they leave home, you will have less than a couple dozen snapshots of your kids.

14. The wisdom of 1000 generations. No doubt our foremothers have some tips and tricks for raising teenagers. After all, if they didn’t, we might not be here to worry about raising our own kids. That said, I would trade some of that wisdom for insight from women who raised kids with cell phones, the internet, social media, crushing social and academic pressure, and $80 water bottles. But I guess we are on our own there!

So, what do you think? What are some things you think every mom of teens needs to make life easier? What would be on your teenage shower registry?

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About Laura Hanby Hudgens

Laura Hanby Hudgens is a part-time high school teacher and a freelance writer living with her husband and children in the Arkansas Ozarks. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Grown and Flown, Parent.co and elsewhere. You can learn more about her at Charming Farming, where she occasionally blogs about faith, food, education, and family life.

More by Laura Catherine Hanby Hudgens:
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High School Senior at Home? Why You Need to Dote on Them

Missing My Babies: 5 Things That Surprise Me Most 

Playdates for Moms: I'll Mix Cocktails, You Bring Back 2004 

Teenagers: I Want to Remember These Last Times 

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