Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Mom of Teens

Not too long ago I was ask to talk (blog) about what it is like to raise teenagers.
I should probably stop here. laughing. Before I continue I will disclose a warning to readers:

Teenagers. In my small corner of the world I find most teens to be just fine. They are normal breathing humans that love nothing more than to have their parents remind them endlessly about brushing their teeth, making their bed, putting the toilet seat down, cleaning the hair out of the sink, stop slouching, stop smacking your lips while eating, stop rolling your eyes, pick up your dirty clothes, scrape the plate- load the dishwasher.........

I love my teens. sometimes I don't like them
I love being a Mom.
I love knowing these two teenagers in my care, who we are raising will one day turn out to be.....oh, boy like me? Or like Football Superstar?
Having a teenage boy who is shy of turning 16 isn't so bad. Honestly I must admit he is quite a walk in the park compared to what some parents are dealing with. Yes there are days I wish I could place a fire cracker under his bum. I would like to have the bathroom shower on a timer- after 15 minutes it turns off. That'll get him moving! I would like for Freckle Boy to not feel the pressure of his peers- but as we all know that is impossible. It's happening on the football team as well as in geometry class. What we do see from Freckle Boy is strength to not be a follower. Thank God we see that in him..... at least for now. We know there may come that day where we need to attack a situation.
As for China Doll we see a more dramatic behavior. Like most 15 year old girls she turns 15 in December there are the highs and lows. No in betweens. No fire crackers are needed to wake her up in the morning- but like the shower timer- I would have a timer placed in the "girls" bathroom in order for the electricity to be completely turned off- where she would not be able to redo what was redone several more times. crimping hair/straightening hair to eye make up or no eye make up The once a month syndrome is not to be taken lightly.
Oh I sometimes wonder how something so beautiful can turn into something from a Steven King movie. Even the dogs run and hide. Freckle Boy is proud to be a male- this we know.
I can laugh after the crisis ends. Of course I always have stash of Hershey's chocolate at hand
I remind myself that this will end- one day. And China Doll could possibly have a teenage daughter of her own one day- where I can sit back and watch her glorious black hair turn gray within months. Well, my hair isn't completely gray, but I do announce to both teens they are the cause! And we all get a good laugh.

We feel it's important to have an open dialogue with our children. They may come to us at any time for anything.
Sex, drugs and alcohol discussions take place on a regular basis. Temptations are in every nook and cranny of their lives. We try to give the tools they both need- it's what they do responsibly with each tool. As I say; Trust is something you earn. Forgiveness is something that is purely given out of love. That is my Mom-Motto.

With todays verbal communication taken over by texting and e-mail, {we} are in complete understanding that our teens today only choose to converse in sound bites. I'm hip....I get it.
BUT I don't allow the "tech hits" to interrupt the importance of verbal communication.
Speak to me. I'm your mother- no need to text me. Chances are I won't text you back.

I have a friend who informed me her daughter had a very large text message invoice. She was stunned by the amount of text but not stunned by the cost. I mean.....if you have unlimited texting then why is it necessary to text over 3000 a month? Is she not sleeping? Does she text in her sleep or while on the toilet? When does she have time to eat? Oh, yeah..... duh you can text while eating because you don't need to use your mouth!
sorry I'll get off the texting topic

Bottom line, teenage years can be and will be difficult. You can do everything correct as a parent. You can read every book on the shelf. You can pray for guidance and you can work on better communication. We can argue with our teens one moment and the next be laughing. We can laugh with them one moment and argue the next.
As soon as we become parents we are not given a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
I mean when adopting China Doll I was the one giving the guarantee I would commit to being a parent to her- love her unconditionally- perfections and faults.
Same with Freckle Boy. Perfections and faults.

Our children are given direction and guidance. They are given love. Unconditional love.
I placed Medusa Mom in the closet and became a Mom of Forgiveness. Our children want to be independent - but at the same time are struggling with the reality of leaving the cozy nest and moving on with their lives. They may not want to fully digest this- but they will one day understand and come to terms why their parents said no, or why we had structure and boundaries in our home. It's pure love. Unconditional love.

It's going to be a long time until Football Superstar and I are empty nesters. a very long time
Having two teens and one preschooler certainly changes your life. I can't imagine my life being any different. I'm all about Abercrombie&Fitch and Angelina Ballerina. I'm fine with their style of music in the car as long as they don't crumble about my singing.

Nothing is perfect in our home that's for sure. But I will say that the perfection is watching your son and daughter(s) smile. Watching Penn State football isn't exactly what is on my agenda for Sunday afternoon, but it's what made Freckle Boy smile. especially when he needs to explain plays to me
Taking China Doll to the mall with 4 of her friends wasn't exactly what I had wanted to do on a rainy evening, but it's what made her smile. In the end we are all smiling. I was a teenage girl once. I know what made me smile.

So to those of you who haven't gotten to the teen years yet with your kiddo's...... you will survive. And so will they.

Stay tuned..... I just may need to post an update on the teen years!



  1. Oh what a joy to read...having experienced teen hood five times now, and I posted, "My Mom is Ruining My Life" after one chose wrong...I do love being a mom. Your words are so right be honest I disliked age 19 the most!!! Right now I am enjoying the smile of my 14 year old as he starts to discover there really is a world out there for teens.
    Enjoy!!! Don't miss a will be over before you know it and then you will have grace, like I will have, when they go through it with their own teens.
    What a time of growth for parents as well as the kids.
    Drop the books and follow your heart...I think I am finally learning that...maybe I am a slow learner so I had to have so many in order to start to even come close to getting it right. LOL
    Oh, I love your writing...can you teach me?

  2. Thank you for writing this awesome post! I loved reading your heartfelt thoughts regarding life with your teens.

  3. I love this! I often feel my life with teens is the real learning experience of life. Thanks so much!

  4. Lis,

    Later, as I thought about your post, I slapped my hand for such a quip comment that I left. The reality of raising teens in my life? Joy, after years of turmoil and, at times, hell. My firstborn (and of course, first teen) and I had horrific years....not just moods, not just PMS...but days, weeks, years, of rebellion, fighting, tears, heartache....only to see both of us come to the end of ourselves, which is where our Savior stepped in. Now that we are on the other side of the pit we were in for what seemed like forever, it is easy for me to say, "blah, blah, blah." I could write a book on "What not to do with teens." By the grace of God I have a daughter who loves the Lord with whole heart, but not without wounds and scars.

    For the mothers who have heartache with their teens, there is no easy answer other than to cling to God. For the mothers who have never suffered heartache, count your blessings. I have learned I know nothing but the grace of God. Your admonishment of forgiveness is one I wish I would have grabbed hold of about six years ago. Forgiveness and grace are two ingredients you have to have in raising teens. You have stated that well.

    For any struggling moms, I wrote a blog entry several months ago, reflecting on things as I readied to send this Firstborn off to college. It's at I know I can't undo.....I don't relish the scars I have, but I am grateful the Lord saw fit to make beauty out of ashes.

    Now, He trusts me to raise 3 more teens. Boys this time. What is He thinking?

    Thanks so much for this forum, and for your sweet words.