June 21, 2016

10 Things Moms of Teens Will Love You For Not Saying


In a few weeks, my youngest child will turn 13. 

Which means I will officially be the mom of teenagers and only teenagers.

On the one hand, this will be handy: no more “mom of one tween and one teen” hassle. 

On the other hand, this development still feels mildly stunning. Or majorly stunning, depending on the morning and the hormonal (im)balance of the cast of characters in this drama we call “Life In Our House.”


While I’m processing all this, I keep running across posts like “10 Things Never to Say to the Mom of a Newborn” and “What Not to Say to a New Parent.” But a Google search of “what not to say to the parent of a teenager” only brought up results on what not to say to a teen parent.

I’m grateful for the “what not say” pieces in support of new parents. I've culled “how’s it going?” from my stash of go-to phrases, having been counseled that New Mom has no idea how it’s going, only that it would be going a lot better if she was getting any sleep. 

But on behalf of my fellow parents of teenagers, I think there are a few classic lines about this end of the parenting spectrum that could stand to be retired or replaced.


If you're the parent of a teenager or know the parent of a teenager or think you might ever find yourself in conversation with the parent of a teenager, head over to Grown and Flown for a list of questions and phrases that could probably use a little rest. 

(And for the record, if you asked me how being the mom of a teen is going, I'd probably tell you that I think it's going pretty well but that I'm sure it would be going even better if I were getting more sleep.)




**This post may be have been shared at some of these blog bashes.**

24 comments:

  1. Oh boy. This looks like a good one. Headed over, but just for the record - if you'd ask me how I'm doing (as a member of the sandwich generation) - I'd tell you pretty well but sleep is a crap shoot at this point.

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    1. Oh my word, Ruthie, I am SO LOLing at that sleep comment, because...YES! I was trying to be gentle to any young mamas reading the post who are looking forward to better sleep, but I've given up hope on it myself. ;) Here's hoping you win that shoot tonight. xoxo

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    2. Oh Ruthie, you sandwich middles don't have it easy, either! Does it count if my mom lives about 1,000 miles away and WON'T let me take care of her? Dunno if worry counts as care, but as far as sleep goes...maybe so.

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    3. Yes, dear Pat, worry DEFINITELY counts as care. Look at how much we moms care...and care...and care! My heart goes out to you with your mom...I can't imagine how hard that must be! But I CAN imagine the sleep you lose because of it. Hoping tonight is a good night for you. xoxo

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  2. That's funny. You're right, the guides to parenting stop at such a young age! I can't imagine what it will be like when my girls are teenagers. You also make a really good point that a what TO say article would be really helpful!

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    1. When your girls are teenagers, it will be AWESOME! :) I promise: there is so much to look forward to. Parenting doesn't end when our kids get into double-digit ages, nor does it become just something to be endured. I promise. Thanks so much for stopping by, Theresa!

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  3. Yes. The waters seems a little mirky on the teen side. Found you at the Coffee

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    1. Hi, Kim! I think parenting is a swim in waters that are sometimes murky and sometimes crystal clear no matter WHAT the ages of our kids! But I've found having older kids to be a joy ride in the best possible sense. Thanks for popping over from C&C!

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  4. Wait a second. Stop. The. Train. I thought they sleep more in the teen years! I'm banking on that!

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    1. Okay, YES, Jasmine: kids DO sleep more in the teen years. Lots more. Which they need to do, so you let them, knowing it's what's best. It's fabulous. So keep riding the train until you get to that happy stop. (I, personally, just do not sleep. But it's not really my kids' fault.);)

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  5. Oh, my friend, you have done it again! And I already hear the one about missing the younger years - "oh, don't you miss her being a baby?" Um, no, because while I have enjoyed pretty much every second of her little life so far, it is just so neat watching her grown and learn and it seems every new age & stage becomes even better than the one before. Sure, each stage brings its own challenges, but like your independent drivers, it brings new awesomeness, as well. (& P.S. - ooh, you shared your age, which tells me I was right and we would have totally been best buds in high school (& you're still younger than my husband ;) ) Sharing this post everywhere I can! <3

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    1. Well, bless your heart if you aren't the sweetest and hasn't all this just made my day?! Thank you so much for sharing this! How crazy is it that people are already laying that "missing the younger years" on you when your little lady is still very much IN the younger years?! But I LOVE, love, love your response: "while I have enjoyed pretty much every second of her little life so far, it is just so neat watching her grown and learn and it seems every new age & stage becomes even better than the one before." YES. I've found that to be one of the huge blessings of being able to be fully engaged in each moment of our kids' lives...it makes it so much easier to enjoy the next one. On another subject, I cannot believe I am younger than G but I'll TAKE it. Thank you for all this loveliness, my friend.

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  6. Have a teen and a 5 year old. Having a teen is like being on a roller coaster, somedays fabulous, somedays hair raising, most days an exercise in zipping my lip!

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    1. WOW...a teen and a 5-year-old! What a fun ride! :) I love your description of life as a mom to a teen. I'm with you: some days, the best thing to say is nothing. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by my little piece of the blogsphere!

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  7. This is perfect! My daughter starts preschool next year, and I'm getting some similar comments like--"Oh! You'll finally be able to get all that free time..." To which I say, what free time? Even the "missing when they were little comment" comes up quite a bit...(I mean...she's two, so technincally she's still little...)

    As always, I love this post, friend. It's not only catered for moms of teens, but for moms of all ages. Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. Aw, thank you, Maria! My word...I can't believe--I mean, I can, but I wish I couldn't--you're getting those comments already! Good grief, people! For one thing, mom free time is an oxymoron, and (pardon my rudeness) only a moron would think any mom doing her job is going to have much of it. And missing your daughter's "little" years? When you're still TOTALLY IN them? The preschool years are so fabulous...my once-preschooler is now a teen studying early childhood education, and she LOVES that age. Thanks for encouraging me with your sweet words here. xoxo

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  8. You hit it out of the ballpark again, friend! Wouldn't change the moments I have with my teens (and tween!) for the WORLD!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Pat! As always, you encourage my soul so greatly. Same goes for your relentless optimism and delight where raising tweens and teens is concerned. This is a message that needs to be heard, as you well understand. So grateful to be in this club with you!

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    2. Sending you a virtual {{hug}}!!!

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    3. Got it, Pat! Thank you! Right back at ya!

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  9. Elizabeth, we haven't "talked" in awhile, but then again, my blogging has been inconsistent. I miss your humor, and I loved your bio on the Grown and Flown page. What a great article. I will try to remember not to say those things, even though I've gone through that parenting phase already. Great responses. And missing them? Heck, mine have flown and I work for one and the other has constant drama. So missing them will most likely never be an option.

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    1. Hi, Mary! I've missed you!!!!!! Thanks so much for your fabulous feedback from someone who's been there. And I love your honesty about your "grown and flown" kids...at least you don't have the burden of missing them? ;) So glad you stopped by and left me with a bit of your delightful self.

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  10. I shared this everywhere and don't think I took the time to comment. I am not one to pine for days gone by. I might be nostalgic and think "oh he was so cute when..." But I really do try to enjoy every age and not look backward or forward. Well, I try.

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    1. Oh my goodness...thank you so much, Audrey! I love your outlook here, as it's one I try to embrace myself. Some days, it's harder than others (as in, "it just hit me that I'm the parent of a high school senior!"), but you are so right: gratitude for the gift of the present is the way to go. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support! I LOVE your stuff, BTW! :)

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!