I know we all have our own struggles as we try and get through this new life of sheltering in place in order to save lives.
There are empty-nesters who can’t even see their kids right now, and are incredibly lonely. There are single mothers who are trying to work from home and provide support while their kids figure out online learning. There are parents who have toddlers running around the house with so much pent up energy because they literally aren’t allowed to leave their house.
Right now, I’m sitting here working while my kids are taking showers, cleaning their rooms, and doing all the other chores I told them (several times) to do so I can get my work done. Our internet doesn’t allow all of us to be online at the same time. I get my stuff done, then they do their school work. It was a snag that took a few days to work out but once we did, our days started to run a bit more smoothly.
At first my teens thought this was a vacation
Sometimes I have to remind them more than once to get down to business. And yes, we’ve gotten a few friendly reminders from their teachers that they aren’t handing in some assignments and I have to micromanage their work.
At first my teens thought this was a vacation–they were sleeping in until noon and telling me that they were keeping up with their work. It turns out, that was a big, fat lie.
Their rooms were a disaster and I was waking up every morning with my game face on trying to make it through the day, keep the place clean, and keep up with their eating demands while they did, well, nothing (in their underwear).
What saved me was my friends, other moms of teens
I was angry and irritated. I was blowing up on them more than I wanted to and I wasn’t feeling good about it. I was tired of them asking me when they could see their friends and I was frustrated that I didn’t have any answers for them.
And what saved me was reaching out to my friends who have teenagers and feel my pain.
Not only did it make me feel better about the state of my house and mind during this pandemic– there’s nothing more satisfying that letting a friend in on something your child does that drives you to the brink and hearing, “OMG, mine too!”
What I needed and got was other moms who were able to listen without judgment. I needed friends who let us verbally vomit on them as they nodded their heads in agreement.
Since we’ve never been here before, we can all admit that we don’t really know what we are doing. Each day brings a new challenge. Our friends are the constant in our lives and we need them now more than ever.
Even if we can’t physically see them, having a phone call or Zoom meeting allows for connection. With our real friends there’s no need to put on a show or pretend that we are thriving and doing great through this. We need to connect in a real way more than we ever have before.
Let’s face it, we’ve been holding it together for our families for weeks on end without a break, and with very little appreciation. Our friends get that and we need to hear from them that they hear and see us.
Moms of teens are worried about the here and now and the future. Will our kids have summer jobs or complete that internship they tried so hard to get? WIll they get to go off to high school or college in the fall? What is this doing to their mental health? There is so much uncertainty.
Having other moms in my life who have teens is exactly the therapy I need. I feel like I have people on my team who are cheering for me, making the same mistakes I’m making, struggling like I am and helping talk me through my worries. Also, the wine and sleep aid recommendations are a lifesaver.
For as long as I can remember, my friends have been my lifeline. I don’t think I’ve ever needed them more. I want them to know how much I value their friendship. I literally don’t think I could make it through this without the women in my life. Their friendship is something I’ll never forget.
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