Our Blog of the Week this weeks describes perfectly that ‘turning teenage’ time – a time filled with mixed emotions for both mother and child. Emma from Emma and 3 talks about her eldest daughter becoming a teenager and how the memories come flooding back….
I turned around and saw myself walk out of the door. The walk, the shrug, the glare in her eye, even the shoes on her feet, it is all me.
How did that happen? How has my first born become so grown up. No longer are my opinions the ones that matter the most. She doesn’t look to me for all the answers, and if she does ask the questions she doesn’t always take my carefully thought out answer. She forms her own answers, constructed from her own experiences. Her peers views and thoughts count for so much more than they used to. She is growing up and it leaves me bewildered. Being a teen is scary business – I remember it like it was only yesterday. Yet being the mum of the teen is scary too. Trying so hard to let her grow, yet wanting to protect them from the mistakes they are bound to make.
She no longer accepts everything I say, she challenges me as she forages her own path. I try to let go when all I really want is to keep her with me. I think I’m quite fair – she has freedom within the boundaries we set. Yet this week, long after she has gone to bed I see a facebook message proving that she is not sleeping like I thought. I peek in her room and there is stuff everywhere – but I go in less than I used to – knowing and understanding that it is her space. I no longer go in and tidy around her- instead I ask her to tidy and generally she does. She is a good girl.
I used to buy her beautiful clothes – but now I rarely do so as she has her own tastes, her own look and I may well just get it wrong. She is happy to take my money but less so to take the offerings of clothes I would pick unless they are from her list of designer shops that do no wrong. Yet obviously not too wrong – as when she walked out the door it was my shoes on her feet, my new shoes, the pretty summer pumps I had bought. Snaffled and borrowed without asking.
When did she get so big – where have the precious years gone? The attitude she shows is mine – the voice I often hear back comes from me too, my phrases, my words. Yet I know the mistakes I made and the choices that were not so clever. I want to warn her but understand there is much she just needs to work out for herself. I only hope that we have guided her right that she knows we are always on her side.
I look at her and feel mixed emotions – I am excited and terrified to see her grow.
Do you have a teenager at home? Do you find it challenging? Or do you have a wealth of experience to offer other mothers? Why not pop over to our Teens, Home and Family section of the coffeehouse and join in the conversations.