So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Dear teenager,

I know I give you a hard time for being on your phone so much. I know you are struggling with living in a purgatory between adults who want you to go back to “normal” yet maintain challenging rules. I know you are overwhelmed with academics and service projects and sports.

And I keep saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Trust me, you aren’t a peach, either. I brought the same coat upstairs to your room six times this weekend. I KNOW that spoon always in the sink with peanut butter on it is yours. I’m tired of finding my phone charger in the basement by your computer and watching you roll your eyes when I ask you to put your clothes away and your exasperated sigh when I tell you that maybe it’s a good idea to go to bed.

RELATED: Dear Teenage Daughter, I Will Be Right Here Waiting For You to Come Back to Me

Maybe I should have let it go when I found out you didn’t clean your room like you promised. Maybe you should have remembered before you left to go out with your friends.

But I said the wrong thing at the wrong time—and we drifted a little farther apart.

What I’ve learned about raising three teenagers is there are seasons, just like anything else. There are periods when I see that someday we will be the best of friends and times when you won’t let me anywhere near your world. There are moments filled with so much love and laughter I know I’ll remember it for the rest of my days, and times the words we say to each other bring me to my knees. There are days we get along so well and I believe I’m getting this parenting thing right, and nights I can feel your wrath from three rooms away.

And here’s the thing, dear teenager, I’ll probably keep saying the wrong thing.

Because you are changing every day. Sometimes you are so grown up it takes my breath away, and sometimes you show just how much you still need to learn. There are times you leave our house so confident I think you are about to fly the nest that very day, and nights I sit in your bed while you shed some tears. There are mornings I think you will take on the world, and evenings I worry about how you will get through the next day.

Sometimes it feels like I’m parenting a different kid, and what worked yesterday doesn’t apply today.

So I’ll keep stepping in it with you. I’ll keep parenting and guiding and yes, probably saying the wrong thing sometimes, I’ll probably say the wrong thing lots of times.

RELATED: Dear Teens, I’m Sorry You’re Stuck With “That” Mom

Because even though you change personalities throughout the day, my job is always the same—and despite the words we sometimes use and the mistakes we make and the periods of silence—I’ll love you through them all.

But even when I’m saying the wrong thing, at least we’re still talking.

And as long as we’re doing that, I know we’ll be OK on the other side.

Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a freelance writer, and co-partner of the site parentingteensandtweens.com You can find her on Facebook at WhitneyFlemingWrites.

Parenting Older Kids is Freaking Exhausting

In: Kids, Motherhood
Parenting Older Kids is Freaking Exhausting www.herviewfromhome.com

I didn’t think I would still be this tired. I remember when my kids were young and 7:30 p.m. would never come. After a full day with three toddlers, I plopped down on the couch each night and tried to recollect what I did with my day. It didn’t seem like I accomplished much, but I was freaking exhausted. I remember all the chasing around and hoisting kids up onto my hip and bending down to change diapers and leaning over to wash bottles and sippy cups and the favorite purple plate she had to eat off of at every meal. I remember the slow walks around the block...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, This Is What I Need You To Remember Now That I’m a Teenager

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Dear Mom, This Is What I Need You To Remember Now That I'm a Teenager www.herviewfromhome.com

Hey, Mom. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I yelled at you this morning. I’m sorry for what I said. I know I’ve been a little hard to live with lately. Or maybe a lot hard. I know I’m moody. I know my room is a mess. I know we disagree a lot. I know you don’t understand some of the things I do. I know you don’t always like how I dress. I know I let you down sometimes. I know I’m expensive. I know my schedule runs you ragged. I know my music doesn’t make sense to you. I know...

Keep Reading

Dear Not Always So Sweet Sixteen, I Love You

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen girl

Dear Not So Sweet Sixteen,  Hi, my angel. I know you hate when I call you that, and truthfully the name doesn’t quite fit right now, but that’s OK, you’re still my angel even when you’re acting like a spawn of the Demi-gorgon.   It’s your mom, I know, I know, the last person you want to hear from. I get that I’m totally embarrassing. I swear I thought dressing up in your brother’s hotdog Halloween costume to walk the dog would make you laugh, I’ve learned my lesson (I thought it was hilarious.) When I was a teenager, I thought...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime