Teens, You Don’t Know How Much The Little Things You Do Mean to Me

Dear Kids,

I spend a lot of time asking you about your homework and why your room looks like a crime scene. I get all up in your business about how many days you’ve worn the same sweatshirt and why you feel the need to go through five different drinking glasses in one day, leaving three sips at the bottom of each.

The little things my teens do for me makes such a difference. (Twenty20 @darci.ran)

I don’t like to nag my teens

You all think I’m just a natural nagger and that I’m thrilled to add “Ride my children about everything damn thing they do” to my daily ‘to-do’ list. But, it isn’t true.

The truth is, you bring out that side of me because it doesn’t matter how many times I ask you to walk your dishes to the dishwasher, the chances that you will actually walk your dishes to the dishwasher are slim to none.

But, there’s something I want you to know; something I don’t tell you enough: the little things you do, mean the world to me and I want to recognize that.

The other day when I got out of the shower and one of you yelled up the stairs and let me know that you had filled my car up with windshield washer fluid, my heart was bursting. I couldn’t run down there in my bathrobe fast enough to thank you which annoyed you of course, but I had to tell you.

What you don’t know is that every time I’ve needed a squirt of windshield washer fluid since then, I have thought of you and that small but meaningful gesture. I’ll be driving down the road lost in thought, then suddenly my view gets foggy and as I reach for the lever to clean it, I see you.

What you don’t know is that when you help me carry in the groceries or bring me home chocolates from work because your boss was handing them out and you know they are my favorite, you make me happy. And whenever you send me a funny Target meme because you know I love Target, it makes me feel incredibly loved.

The little things my teens do mean the world to me

Those little things are what stick in my mind more than the dirty socks on the floor, the unwashed dishes in the sink or the empty toilet paper rolls that need replacing.

I know that I don’t express this enough.

I’m aware that life gets busy and we all get wrapped up in the “What’s Next.” I’m certainly the guiltiest one of all. But I want to tell you now that those little gestures that you think of, and then pause to actually do mean more to me than you can imagine.

I know I’m the mom and it’s not your job to validate me by bringing me home a Diet Coke just because, but your kindness is seen and noticed. It makes me feel like perhaps I am doing something right.

And it is my job to tell you how much I appreciate those moments. I don’t want you growing up feeling like you were criticized for your wrong-doings way more than you were praised for the many things you did right.

I promise to do a better job of reminding you of all the amazing things you do. Just to warn you though, that may mean more hugs from me while I’m wearing my bathrobe, or while we’re in the middle of a parking lot. I’m not willing to compromise on this regardless of how much it may humiliate you.

Because I’d rather have you feel embarrassed than have you feel like your mom didn’t recognize the wonderful things you dis to show your love and affection.


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About Katie BinghamSmith

Katie Bingham-Smith lives in Maine with her three kids. She is a Staff Writer at Scary Mommy, shoe addict and pays her kids to rub her feet. You can see more of her on Facebook and Instagram .

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