When you become a mom, your life starts going by in a blur. The days are long and busy caring for your young children. You have meals to prepare and laundry to do and diapers to change and baseball games and dance recitals, floors to mop, dishes to wash and school functions. You are so busy loving and caring and raising these young kids that you don’t realize how quickly the years are flying by.
And one day you look up and instead of a baby or a toddler or a little kid . . . you see a big kid standing in front of you. And just like that, you are the mom of a teenager.
Being a mom of a teenager is hard and messy. It’s new territory…driving and AP classes and proms and dating. It feels strange and scary and lonely. You feel a little lost as your role shifts because these teens no longer need you or want you like they used to.
When your child is a teenager, they will think they know it all. There will be eye rolls and shrugged shoulders. And being a mom of a teenager means you pick your battles and bite your tongue a lot.
When your child is a teenager, they will be under a lot of stress. It is hard to deal with the demands of school and friendships and relationships and sports and peer pressure. They need your connection and support – even though they will never admit that.
When your child is a teenager, they want their privacy. It means closed doors and hanging out with their friends. Being a mom of a teenager means letting them go…even when you feel like clinging to their leg.
When your child is a teenager, you will still need to remind them to clean their room and pick up all the clothes off the floor and throw all of their empty water bottles in the recycle bin. Being a mom of a teenager means sometimes you have to nag them to get things done.
When your child is a teenager, they will push boundaries and want to do everything on their own. Being a mom of a teenager means big worries, bold prayers and so much patience. And you remind yourself often that this is just a phase…
When your child is a teenager, they continue to hold your heart. You will still watch them across the room…totally in awe of this amazing person you created. You will see their baby faces in their big faces and it will make you smile and cry at the same time. Being the mom of a teenager is overwhelmingly bittersweet.
When your child is a teenager, they will be busy with school and activities and their social life. Being a mom of a teenager is lonely. There are no more playdates and mom groups. No more lap cuddles and fun afternoons at the park. You need a dog or cat more than ever.
When your child is a teenager, they might start dating – which means first kisses, relationships and break-ups. This will be weird and awkward for both of you. Being a mom of a teenager means watching your child fall in love and possibly get their heart broken. You will feel their joy and their pain and your heart will break right along with theirs.
When your child is a teenager, you will love those moments when you get to spend time with them. Dress shopping or laughing over YouTube videos or binge-watching a show on Netflix will be the best of times and you will realize how funny and smart and charming your teen can be.
When your child is a teenager, you will worry constantly about their grades and their future and their driving and their dating life. You hope they will make good choices and do the right thing. Being a mom of a teenager means having tough conversations about sex and drugs and grades and alcohol. You would rather have a root canal than have these talks, but you want your teen to get these facts from you and NOT the internet.
When your child is a teenager, they will drive you crazy some days. You will feel like you have failed them. You will wonder if you are doing the right thing. You will worry you are messing up. Being a mom of a teenager means stumbling through these years…trying to guide and support and love them while also trying to let them go and figure things out on their own. It’s a hard balance…knowing when to interfere and when to stand back. It breaks your heart a little when you no longer rescue them because you know their failures and struggles are important life lessons.
When your child is a teenager, you hope they will discover their passion… whether it be sports, the band, dancing, drama or the debate team. Being a mom of a teenager means showing up for it all and cheering them on – even if it is 7am on a rainy, Saturday morning.
When your child is a teenager, they will be hormonal, emotional and moody one minute and helpful, kind and hilarious the next. You never know what you will get. Being a mom of a teenager means you are the calm in their storm…which is really, really hard some days when you feel like screaming and crying right along with them.
When your child is a teenager, you become acutely aware of the fact that you are running out of time. The years are slipping through your fingers. Being a mom of a teenager means realizing your child will be leaving the nest soon and that is both scary and heartbreaking and exciting all at once.
When your child is a teenager, they still need hugs and a listening ear. Remind them every day they are awesome. Amazing. Important. Smart. Being a mom of a teenager is becoming their safe place to land when their world falls apart. And their world will fall apart at some point…a failing grade, a break-up, getting cut from the team or a snarky comment made by a classmate. This is when they need you the most.
When your child is a teenager, you love them fiercely and unconditionally. Even through the hard. Even through the wrong choices. Even through the slammed doors and harsh words. Being a mom of a teenager means a lot of forgiveness, a lot of grace, a lot of grit and a love so powerful it consumes your soul.
When your child is a teenager, you just want them to be happy. You pray they are safe. You hope they will be good humans…kind, respectful, helpful and compassionate. Being a mom to a teenager means you have no idea what you are doing. You are winging it every day. But you never stop trying. You never stop believing in them. You never stop showing up. You never stop cheering for them. You never stop loving them.
When your child is a teenager, they will wreck you. The years are emotional and fun and challenging and gloriously beautiful. And they go by fast. Before you know it that moody teen will be heading off to college and you will miss them more than words could ever express. Being a mom of a teenager is a blessing…and I thank God for my teens every day. What a privilege it is to raise these teenagers and have a front row seat on this wild ride.