Being a Teen’s Mom is a Thankless Job

Hello my friends. How have you been? I hope life has been treating you well. If not, I hope you are enduring your trials well. A lot of times, that’s the tough part.

Life has been interesting for me. I know I mentioned in a previous post last year about me going off my ADD medicine. This has made life quite challenging. As a matter of fact, turns out quitting cold turkey is not the best way to do it. I gained weight which put me into a depression…I don’t usually need help in that department. It happens naturally. So, since last May I have found it challenging just to do every day tasks. It sucks. Thus me not blogging as much. Or doing much of anything extracurricular. I began a different medication in December that is not a stimulant. It helps to some extent, but it’s still not the same. I exercise, including running my 5th half marathon ever on New Years Day. I honestly can’t imagine how I would be doing without exercise.

I haven’t mentioned on here about my oldest Daughter serving a full time mission for our church. She’s been gone a year now. I have missed her greatly despite how proud and happy I am for her choice to serve. With her gone I am here in the home with my 2 youngest kids. My middle child, my Son, is finishing up his Junior year in high school, while my youngest Daughter is finishing her seventh grade year.  Life is certainly demanding with teenagers in the home. Not only that, the world revolves around them, their rooms are constantly a nightmare. It’s definitely a thankless job being a full time family manager. To be quite blunt, I’m tired of it.

I got in a lot of trouble last night with my Son. I was getting ready for bed and next thing I know I see the angry face emoticon on my phone screen from him. I go into the living room, where he is, and ask him why he sent that. Come to find out, his friend, who is a girl, began sending him photos of him she found on my Instagram feed. “Why did you follow her? I can’t believe you did that!” he says in a loud voice.  First of all, I hardly have very many photos of him period. He doesn’t like for me to take his picture. Yet, as a mom, I don’t want him to look back at my photos and see only photos of his sisters and think I didn’t love him.  Anyway, so he began to critique his younger self and say how awful he looked and he can’t believe I haven’t deleted those photos. Oh my goodness, I can’t win for losing. For real! I mentioned one day to my son about something he wrote on his twitter account and now he has blocked me.

I pretty much do everything wrong according to my teenagers and to them I know absolutely nothing. It’s a little difficult being surrounded by people like this all the time. I have set aside half my life to raise my children, to be there for them. And now, they don’t want to have anything to do with me. It’s a little heart wrenching to say the least.

I’m at a crossroads in my life. I’m about to start a new season. I’ve decided to go back to college. It’s time to upgrade my associates degree to a bachelors degree. I need and want to be around like minded people. It’s time to have a career outside the home. I’ve been blessed to not have to work while my kids were young (although I’ve doubted that on many days.) I remember my own childhood and would have liked to have had my mom or dad around more. Yet, they did what they had to do to raise our family. But because of that, and because my husband’s salary provided enough for me to stay home, I chose to do that. I have always had the best interest of my kids in mind. Doesn’t every parent want more for their children than what they had?

I’ve been juggling in my mind what I would like to do. I know I want a trade or a career. The majority of the jobs I’ve held over my lifetime have been in sales of some kind. I’m tired of that. I want to do something creative. I got online and decided to do this career assessment to see what insight it might provide. My youngest saw me doing the assessment and asked why I was doing it. Once I told her I was going to go back to college and start a career outside the home, she flipped out. My 12 year old who is a full on teenager already was really upset. She thinks this means I will no longer be her mom. Oh my goodness…sigh…again I can’t win for losing.

We shall see what will happen. I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time,

Is Time Management For Teens An Oxymoron?

My Step-Brother’s Dog

You know the saying,

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

I was contemplating something this morning and thought about asking for feedback on Family Brings Joy’s Facebook page.

Once I decided to do this, I began forming the question in my mind.

I resolved the question might be better suited if I asked it in a blog post.

Here’s the question:

Is it too late to teach my Senior in High School

better time management skills?

You see, bless my Daughter’s heart, she inherited my inattentive Attention Deficit Disorder.

I have been trying to help with her busy school schedule/homework, preparing for ACT, prepare for a church program {called Personal Progress,} keep up with Color Guard and prepare for college applications.  When I say help I mean it usually consists of me asking, “Are you doing your homework?”  “Are you studying for the ACT?” “Are you doing your Personal Progress?”  I feel like a nag and by the tone of her voice replies she thinks of it as nagging.

She will take her 2nd ACT test this Saturday.  She is taking it as many times as she can so she can get the best score.  We had a little ‘run in’ this weekend.  This consisted of withholding her from an extracurricular activity with friends at the lake so she could use that time to study for the ACT.  Needless to say, this didn’t go over well.

I have purchased a planner/calendar for her and a book on organizing your time specifically for teens.  There are a few other things I’ve done that I plan on sharing with you at a later date.  We are trying to manage the ADD without putting her on meds.  I do take medicine to manage my ADD.  It has been a blessing from God because it helps me tremendously.

This is hard to articulate.  When I see my Daughter’s habits, I see me when I was her age.  Now at 42, I’ve had years {& medicine, counseling etc.} to get where I am today in regards to managing my time.  I have definitely not perfected time management at all, but I am much better than I used to be.

Side note: My 17 year old gets up on her own every morning at 5:00am so she can be at Seminary {a church scripture study class} by 5:45am.  She then goes straight to school for Color Guard practice for Marching Band.  I think it begins at 7:00am.  Next is school from 8-3.  She may not be exactly punctual to Seminary, but I am very proud of her dedication.  This is a very full and demanding day.

HOW can I help her without being a nag?  Here’s the deal…when I go to her room to check on her…9 times out of 10 she is on her iPhone.  Her iPhone/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Internet/Texting/Facetime is a HUGE time suck for her.  Any other parents out there dealing with this?  If I take her phone away, her reaction is as though I have ripped her heart out.  She then proceeds to tell me {in so many words} how she can’t possibly study now that she’s angry with me about taking her phone away.  {By the way, DH gave her his old iPhone when I was at Blissdom Blog Conference.  I am avidly against her having the iPhone.}  Next thing I know, she is working on a report or project the night before it’s due.

I guess I haven’t been a good enough teacher in regards to time management with my kids.  Is it too late now?  Should I just leave her alone and hope for the best?

I am curious to what you think.  However, I will preface this with, please go easy on me, okay?  Wisdom and counsel is what I’m seeking, not massive amounts of criticism.  Besides, I have 2 other kids still.  If I don’t do it right with her I believe there’s still hope for the other two.

Mom on a Mission,

The Up’s & Down’s Of Being A Mom

I’m having a hard time.

Being a Mother is such an emotional roller coaster ride.

When our kids are small they need so much of our attention and help.  I remember wanting some breathing time.  {Happens when all 3 have colic}

I recall my firstborn’s first day of Kindergarten.  I wasn’t sad.  I was happy for this first in her life.  To be honest, I was glad to have only one child at home for a little while.  As I walked out of the school I witnessed other Kindergarten Moms teary eyed as they dropped off their kids.  I somewhat questioned myself, “Why am I not sad? Am I a bad Mom because I’m not crying?”

I had the same experience when I took my second child to Kindergarten.

It wasn’t until I took my third child to Kindergarten that I felt sad.  The tears flowed freely after I dropped her off.  It was sad because she is our baby, our last child.  {We are not planning on having any more children.}  It’s not because she is my favorite.  I knew as a Mom, this was the last time I would be dropping off a child to go to Kindergarten.  I don’t know if other Mom’s feel this way, but I tend to treasure each and every first with my third child because I know it is the last time I will experience it.  Does that make sense?

Back to the present…my first born will be a Senior in High School this year.  Instead of being happy for this first in her life, I am a basket case.  The thought of her leaving to go to college is overwhelming me with sadness.  Her going to college is not the same as her going to Kindergarten.  I won’t see her after school and on weekends.  The university she wants to attend {& we support} is in another state.

She hasn’t left yet, so why am I upset now?  Well, in a way, she has left.  She is a typical teenage girl.  She spends most of her time in her room.  When she is with the family she is on her phone staying connected to her friends via social media.

This is the deal, she used to want to do things with me.  Now when I want to tag along, it cramps her style.  I know this phase is normal {I hate that word} for teenagers.  Molly S. said it well in response to something I wrote on Family Brings Joy’s Facebook page: “It could be a normal phase of needing to separate more in order to create a stronger independent self. Tweens, teens & young adults crave space to be & do away from parental interjection. It could be that simple.”

Many times she lets me know… in so many words… how embarrassing I am to her.  She has pushed the limits on our rules more than ever this past year.  In return, we are giving consequences more than at any time in her life.  I have become the ‘bad guy’ in her eyes.  She has become a Daddy’s girl because he is the softie in our parental unit.  Seldom do we {my Daughter & I} have long conversations or pleasant ones at that.  When I try to make conversation she thinks I am interrogating her.  Sigh…

All of this may not be out of the ordinary where parenting teens are concerned; however, to put it bluntly, it sucks!  I hate it.  It feels horrible.  As a Mom’s point of view, I look at how there is very little time left to spend with our girl.  I know this year will fly by.  If I feel this way with my first child, I can’t bear to think how I will feel with the other 2.

A note to my own parents: please don’t say anything about how familiar this all sounds…I know. 😉

Writing Therapy,