The teen years—every mother knows they are filled with rebellion and attitude. But many don’t know just how far it can go. They are quick to give advice. The books say to do this. The experts swear by that. Yes, we know what’s supposed to work. Those things might work for most kids. But we know ours are more difficult.
When they have an angry teen, they might dread the door being slammed in their face. They might get the classic “I hate you.” A few eye rolls and a playlist of awful music later, things might be calm for them once again.
But they aren’t for us.
The minutes of yelling turn into hours. There are I hate yous. But there are also words too terrible to speak. Rather than eye rolls, we are confronted with anger and aggression.
And we cannot speak of it. The embarrassment we might feel is one thing, but then there is that of our children. It’s not only our secret. And so we keep it in, putting on a smile every time we go out. We’ll talk about last week’s soccer win. But we’ll leave out the part about that new hole in the wall afterward.
We can’t worry about their grades and which colleges they’ll apply to when we can’t even get them to school. We can’t make sure she’s getting homework done when we’re just trying not to set them off. We can’t teach them responsibility by having them help around the house when we’re trying to keep them from destroying it. We can’t prepare them for the future when we’re trying to get ourselves through the day.
We love them the same as would those easier teens.
We want what’s best for them and try to prepare them to become an adult. But we feel like failures. Because our teens don’t acknowledge the love we have for them. They don’t follow our guidance but instead chose a path of self-destruction.
All we can do is walk with God and pray He will help us guide our children toward a better path. We must keep faith in Him and not lose hope for our teens.
No one talks about raising these kids. But they exist. Moms like us exist.
And it needs to be talked about more. We beat ourselves up, wondering if it’s our fault. Was it that move we made for a new job when we made them change schools? Was it the postpartum depression in those first few months?
But we did everything we thought was right at the time. Sometimes it’s not something we did or didn’t do. It just is. Sometimes it is as difficult as they say. Sometimes it is more difficult even. Some moms know raising a teen doesn’t always stop at eye rolls and slammed doors. And those moms need to know they are not alone.