Happy Friday, Mommas!
I don’t know about you but this week has crawled by for me and I am sure the rest of my household would agree. I feel like the list of things to do with a third child has not only tripled but quadrupled. In fact, I will go as far as saying whatever comes after quadrupled would be an adequate description regarding the increase in the amount of shit that needs to get done. Upon looking over this special list of things, I decided to ignore it and take a bath. It was glorious-for about 10 minutes but those 10 minutes were the highlight of my week. Why only 10 minutes, you may ask? Because it was interrupted by the screaming lunatics fighting downstairs over a toy dinosaur! My daughter is 13 and my son is 4 and, for some reason, they were fighting over a toy dinosaur. Don’t ask me, I can’t explain it. Oh wait, yes I can! It’s because I was taking a bath. Alone.
As I mentioned, our daughter just turned 13! Which, in theory, is an exciting age but in reality, it just isn’t. There are hormones upon hormones upon hormones and raging is a drastic understatement when describing said hormones. Combined with my own hormones which have yet to regulate, due to nursing, it has been nothing but fun times in my household. Nothing. But. Which brings me to the low part of my week.
What started as a simple enough question about an adverb, quickly led to a house full of screaming, crying children..and maybe a mom. Not my proudest moment as a mother.
I am wise enough to understand that challenges are opportunities for growth and so I am taking this insanity as a sign that I need to grow. I have to be more patient. When her hormones are raging, when grades are far less important than say..a new boy in her life, when she is back-talking every single thing that I say even though I am only trying to help, I must take a breath and remember that I also was once a 13- year-old-girl. I also would rather be around anyone other than my mother, I also had my head not in the school books but in the clouds, about a boy down the street. I get it. I do. But, I have to remind myself of this, in the moments when her attitude is flaring and it seems a demon has entered her soul, making me fear her head might spin around at any given moment. I must remind myself, she is not in fact a demon but a teenager. If you ask me the difference, I would say pimples. Pimples are the only difference between a straight demon and a teenager.
Now, I am not saying that she should be allowed to behave any way that she wants and be able to get away with it. Believe me, I neither come from nor subscribe to that school of parenting. There are plenty of times when I look at her thinking that if I ever behaved that way to my father I would have had his foot straight up my ass. Truth is, I don’t want for her what I had as a child. I want better for her. Not that my parents were wrong in their discipline–but they were; ) I think that is the goal of parents everywhere, though. No matter how great your parents parented, isn’t it each generations’ obligation to try to do better?
So, maybe I could do what my father never could and let her have her few moments of freaking out for no good reason and deal with it later when everyone is a bit more calm. Because, I guarantee you, she does not feel that it is for no good reason. Who does when involved in an argument? Most of the time, we feel we are completely valid in our arguments or we wouldn’t be having them. Who’s with me here? And at the end of the day, she is a really great kid. Amazing, actually. They all are, aren’t they?
My promise, to myself but mostly to her, is that I will exercise more patience and understanding and not let my own ego get in the way of her meltdowns. Because usually, especially in the case of teenage girls, all anyone is looking for in the middle of an argument is a hug. I should have just given her a hug in that moment and I didn’t. And, that makes me sad when I think about it.
My parenting challenge for the next few weeks will be to hug more and argue less. If you are so inclined to join me, I would love to hear about your experiences and how it worked out for your family.
Lots of Love,