Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

When I couldn’t get my 2-year-old to poop on the potty, I was totally unprepared for this to be a thing. Poop refusal? Who knew? 

So I reached out to my friends and doctor and the internet and was reassured quickly that this was totally and completely normal. Help was at the ready and I learned moms love and are more than willing to share poop related advice world without end amen.

And all the advice was a sanity saver.

What I was also unprepared for was how this advice would dry up once my kids reached the teen years. The wealth of support for our kids tapers off little by little as they grow often because we stop asking for it. The stories and struggles our kids are having become more personal and they don’t want us discussing their poop or really any part of them with anyone at all. Ever.

By the time you are parenting teens, you can feel so very alone.

And the worst part is the problems you are facing with teens tend to be 1000 times bigger than anything poop-related. Now not only are we not talking about what is going on, but what we are not talking about are huge issues.

If our children lie to us about where they are and who they are with, who do we turn to?

If we find drugs or alcohol under their mattresses when we are cleaning their rooms, who do we share this with?

If grades are a struggle and we are not sure how to help them through it can be so hard to admit these struggles to the world.

If we find out our child is sexually active who can we go to share our concerns?

We stop talking about struggles with grades, anxiety, depression, friendships, substance abuse, gender identity . . . because our teens almost always want the privacy and space to deal with their issues just as any adult would. And they deserve that space. So many of the issues they are struggling with could have repercussions for them in the actual world. For a parent trying to support these almost-but-not-yet-grown children, things get tricky really fast.

We need to help our loves with these new and high stakes issues but can feel completely ill-equipped to do so. Just as I had no idea what to do with the kid who refused to poop, I now have no idea what to do with whatever my teen has shared with me at the moment.

Or worse, I have no idea how to deal with the fact they will share nothing. 

On top of it all, because we all stop talking about the struggles our kids are having, we wrongly assume everyone else’s kids are doing just fine. It’s just ours. It’s just us. We are all alone and don’t know what to do or who to turn to.

Yet I have found as I have dared to share what my teens are going through is that every single parent I have ever reached out to has shared parenting teens is harder than it looks. 

We are not alone. We are parenting side-by-side still, we just have to look around.

We may be left to navigate the line of equipping ourselves to support our kids without betraying their confidences, but there are others in our same boat. And I guarantee the mom posting pictures of her child’s million college acceptances or amazing sports feats or awards and accolades galore has experienced her share of struggles along the way even if she hasn’t said a thing.

While we might not be able to ask our questions about our teens as a shout out on Facebook, we do need to remember there are places we can go to reach out. It’s more important than ever to have a few trusted friends or family members we can talk to. It’s doubly more important than ever to spend time in prayer over our kids.

Friends, find your people. Reach out not just for yourself, but because your people need you too. Talk to God every single day. Rest in His word. And work with your kiddos to help them reach out to as many people as possible. Let them know you will keep their confidence but in order to help them, you might need to assemble the troops . . . for both their sake and yours. 

You may also like:

It’s Lonely Being the Mom Who Says No

The Most Exhausted You Will Ever Be Is Not When You Have Infants and Toddlers. It’s This.

I’m a Mom of a Teen; Here’s Why I’m Still Exhausted

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Amy Betters-Midtvedt is a writer, educator, mom of 5 crazy kids, wife to a patient husband, and lover of Jesus. She writes along with her friend and former teaching partner Erin over at Hiding in the Closet With Coffee. Our mission is to help parents find sanity and joy, and we know sometimes joy is found hiding out in the closet with coffee, or hiding out on Facebook — come and join us both! You can read more about us here. You can also find us hiding out over at InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

Having Kids Shows Who Your Real Friends Are

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mother and child walking through forest, color photo

Any mom, typical or special needs, will tell you having kids is the fastest way to tell who your real friends are. When your child is born with special needs this process becomes even more severe and obvious. At first, people visit and want to hold the baby, but once the delays kick in slowly people start to pull away. Disability makes them uncomfortable. That’s the truth. They hope you won’t notice, but you do. Honestly, most stop trying altogether. It’s not just friends who act this way either, sometimes it’s family too. That hurts the most. As a parent...

Keep Reading

Hey Mom, It’s Okay Not to Be Perfect

In: Motherhood
Mother with head in hands and child jumping on couch nearby

Have you ever walked into a room, to an event, or a meeting, where you immediately felt out of place? As if you had come into a foreign space where you were not worthy, or just didn’t belong among the other mothers in the room? Maybe you were not dressed the part. Your hair may have fallen in messy strands around your face, or you may not have taken the time to put on a full face of makeup as the other women in the room had. Maybe your clothing choice of the day was just not quite as put...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, You Are Not Responsible for How Anyone Else Feels about You

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Teen girl looking in the mirror putting on earrings

Dear kiddo, I have so many dreams for you. A million hopes and desires run through my mind every day on a never-ending loop, along with worries and fears, and so, so much prayer. Sometimes, it feels like my happiness is tied with ropes of steel to yours. And yet, the truth is, there are times you disappoint me. You will continue to disappoint me as you grow and make your own choices and take different paths than the ones I have imagined for you. But I’m going to tell you a secret (although I suspect you already know): My...

Keep Reading

Now I Know How a Mother Is Made

In: Motherhood
Husband, wife, and young son, color photo

It’s been almost three years now, but I can still remember how your 8-pound body felt in my arms. Night after night as we tried to sleep, I remember your sounds, your movements, and your tiny hands. I gave it my all but still felt I fell short. You see sweet little one, you may have been brand new to this world, but so was I. The day you were born, a mother was born too. Things didn’t always go according to plan. It’s hard when you try your best, but you just can’t get there. So many new things...

Keep Reading

I’m Praying for My Teenager in These Challenging Years

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy holding a smartphone and wearing headphones

In my mid-40s, I began to long for a baby. We didn’t get much encouragement from friends and family. My husband is a high-functioning quadriplegic, and I was considered way too old to start a family. But our marriage was stable, we were used to obstacles, we were financially prepared, emotionally experienced, and our careers were established. I began to paint my own sublime mental portrait of parenting tranquility. What could go wrong? At 48, I delivered a healthy baby boy, and he was perfect. We adored him. The baby we had longed for and prayed for, we had. And...

Keep Reading

Going to Church with Kids is Hard but We’ll Keep Showing Up

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young daughter in church

Going to church is hard with young kids. It used to be something I looked forward to. It’s something I’ve always valued deeply and needed desperately. It’s the one place that will always be home regardless of what location or building it’s in or what people attend. Church is my sanctuary. But it’s become a battle with the kids’ resistance, my tired mind and body, and my lack of ability to actually listen to the sermon. Going to church is hard with young kids. It’s become normal for me to lie down in bed on Saturday night thinking, with dread,...

Keep Reading

When Motherhood Feels Like a Limitation

In: Faith, Motherhood
Ruth Chou Simons holding book

Twenty-one years ago, my husband Troy and I welcomed our first son into the world. Two years later, I gave birth to another boy. And again two years later, and again two years after that. A fifth boy joined our family another two years later, and a final son was born 11 years after we began our parenting journey. If you were counting, you’re not mistaken—that’s six sons in just over a decade. We were overjoyed and more than a little exhausted. I remember feeling frustrated with the limitations of the little years with young children when I was a...

Keep Reading

I Obsessed over Her Heartbeat Because She’s My Rainbow Baby

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother and teen daughter with ice cream cones, color photo

I delivered a stillborn sleeping baby boy five years before my rainbow baby. I carried this sweet baby boy for seven whole months with no indication that he wouldn’t live. Listening to his heartbeat at each prenatal visit until one day there was no heartbeat to hear. It crushed me. ”I’m sorry but your baby is dead,” are words I’ll never be able to unhear. And because of these words, I had no words. For what felt like weeks, I spoke only in tears as they streamed down my cheeks. But I know it couldn’t have been that long. Because...

Keep Reading

Here on the Island of Autism Parenting

In: Motherhood
Son on dad's shoulders looking at sunset over water

Hey, you. Yes, you there: mom to a kid on the spectrum. Well, you and I know they’re so much more than that. But sometimes those few words seem so all-consuming. So defining. So defeating. I see you when you’re done. That was me earlier today. I had to send a picture of a broken windshield to my husband. I prefaced the picture with the text, “You’re going to be so mad.” And you know what? He saw the picture, read my text, and replied, “I love you. The windshield can be fixed. Don’t worry. Just come home.” I think,...

Keep Reading

Round 2 in the Passenger Seat is Even Harder

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy behind the wheel, color photo

Here I am, once again, in the passenger seat. The driver’s side mirrors are adjusted a little higher. The seat is moved back to fit his growing teenage limbs. The rearview mirror is no longer tilted to see what’s going on in the backseat. Yellow stickers screaming “Student Driver,” are plastered to the sides of the car. The smile on his face is noticeable. The fear in mine is hard to hide. These are big moments for both of us. For him, it’s the beginning of freedom. Exiting the sidestreets of youth and accelerating full speed into the open road...

Keep Reading