I was all cozied in for the night, drifting off to sleep in front of my latest Netflix series when my youngest let me know that he was struggling with a math packet. A 5-pager that was due the next day. A 5-pager that was due the next day that he hadn’t even started yet.
I sat my bra-free breasts up and ripped it out of his hand. I was not happy but together we measured his room, drew a scale drawing of it, and I explained how he needed to please spare me the gray hair and not wait until the last minute to do a project like this especially if he needed help.
A few evenings later, my son was working late and I was waiting up for him. I got a call from him as soon as he’d punched out telling me that his car battery was dead. I put a coat over my (yet again) bra-free breasts and headed out into the cold night to help him.
Yes, he has AAA but since I was 10 minutes away and the last time I called AAA I was stuck on the side of the road in my nightgown (don’t ask) for three hours, I just couldn’t chance it.
The younger years bring on seemingly endless sleepless nights, but we plow through our days doing our best.
There seems to be a myth that you aren’t as tired when your teens bust through puberty and are more self- sufficient. But I think that it is when we have teens that we tap into our deepest powers.
Mom Superpower: Helping teens get out of sticky situations
- Our teens sap our time, our money, and our energy as we scoot them around looking at colleges.
- We parents come home from work to get dinner on the table for them so they can do their homework and play their sports.
- We deal with the anxiety, depression, and social pressure that our teens are facing each day.
- We are awake at all hours of the night hoping everything turns out okay even though we cannot get our kids to talk to us and tell us what’s wrong.
- We help with 7th grade math after a stressful day at work and wonder how we are going to afford to send our kids to college.
- We meet each other at ball games with head shakes, tired eyes, and hopeless feelings looking for comfort and answers on how to keep plowing through.
- We thought when we had toddlers that if we made it through the grocery store without knocking down a display, or losing on one of our kids we were doing okay. We had no idea that those years were just a warm up of sorts for what was to come.
- We are all tired– exhausted really– but we turn it out every single day. Our teenagers; our babies who are rapidly becoming adults and we are determined to help them yet are petrified we are doing it wrong all the time.
Like every other parent of teens, I have no idea where my next power surge will come from. I’m not sure if I’ll have the energy to keep up with it all and make sure everyone gets to where they need to be, I’m never sure I’ll remember to schedule all the dental appointments, or that I’ll notice soon enough if one of my babies is struggling.
But I do know that, day in and day out, I somehow muster up the energy to do what is needed, when I need to do it.
And so if you ask me, parents of teenagers have the strongest superpowers of all. All I can do is hope that those powers keep showing up long enough to pull us all through these teen years. I’m pretty sure they will—it’s been over sixteen years and they haven’t failed me yet even if I always seem to have to show up after I’ve taken off my bra.
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The Grown and Flown book is here – great gift for parents of teens.