When you have a teenage daughter there are days when you wonder how you are going to get through it all without the help of an entire community and the contents of the ice cream section at the grocery store.
But you will.
When many of us find out we will be the parent of a daughter, we tend to envision a bright, shiny picture filled with sweet talk and adoring eyes.
But that’s not how it goes down. Like, at all. Here are 9 truths moms of teen girls realize along the way.
1. Never assume they will tell you everything.
Even if you make yourself very available, teenage girls aren’t the open book we sometimes imagine them to be. When you are a mom to a teen girl, you quickly recognize when they need a push to open up a little, and when their lips are sealed. Sometimes it hurts and we feel the need to hover but it usually doesn’t help.
2. No, they are not neat.
Let’s discuss the makeup on the carpet and in the sink. The food and dishes they leave in them room for weeks without a care. Don’t get me started on the hair styling products and finger nails and elastics from their braces and realizing you never knew such a precious being could be so messy.
3. The sass.
Our dear daughters can be so quick with the lip it can give us whip lash and make us wonder if we really created the person who has the audacity to speak that way. Then we see them use their sass and spread onto someone who really deserves it and we are thankful they know how to speak the hell up.
4. They are going to need you to stay back.
By that I mean close their door and walk away when they are obviously in too much of a funk to talk ( see #1 and #3). For almost three months straight, my daughter spent hours in her room, alone. It was what she needed. And while I checked in with her daily, she needed me to give her space and time to process some stuff. And it wasn’t long until she came to me and was ready to communicate more.
5. They are incredibly smart.
There are times when your daughter will look at you and say something so wise it will blow your mind. They remember how you mothered them when they were little, including some things you taught them, and they aren’t afraid to call you out on your own bull crap and remind you how you taught them to deal with certain people or situations.
6. Everything you do will horrify them.
How you have your hair, the way you chew, how you tuck in your shirt, and what you post on your social media will send them to the darkest depths and make them cringe all over. The good news here is this can work in your favor in the form of a threat: “Clean your bathroom or I will chaperone the school dance and bust out all the moves you see at home when I play my favorite Prince tunes, mmmk?”
7. Sometimes you have to force them to listen to you.
I’m constantly telling my daughter things she “already knows” or “doesn’t want to hear” or “doesn’t want to talk about”– we’ve all been there. But that doesn’t mean you feel okay dismissing certain subjects. Kids need reminders– many of them. And I’m a believer you can’t remind your kids what they are capable of or online etiquette or how to replace the damn paper towel roll too many times.
8. They will wear things you don’t love.
They go through many stages. Some you’ll love, some you’ll hate. If they went blue hair or more piercing or to wear footie pajamas when its 90 degrees out, just let them. It’s their body and their way of expressing themselves. Dying their hair black has no bearing on how they treat others.
9. You will screw up.
You will make mistakes that will impact your daughters. It doesn’t mean you aren’t doing you best, it means you are learning (and unlearning) how to do certain things. You will fumble and screw up and they will blame you and it will all be okay. Because you will also give them many gifts and teach them lifelong lessons like no one else can.
There are many truths about having a teenage daughter that go beyond the visions that dance on our heads those first days, and we wouldn’t change any of them.