Get busy living

Mother of Teenagers

I am bloody exhausted.
Between exams and homework and after school clubs and my actual job, I am spent.
I thought being the mother of toddlers was hard work; this is up another notch. Because the thing with being the mother of a teenager and a pre-teen is, things really start to matter. More than ever before.

Right now, homework is essential. Revision isn’t something you can just hope will happen as they trot off to their room. The food they eat is more important than ever. Their friendships are vital. Their wellbeing is paramount. Them being quiet and spending more time in their room makes you question everything.
You’re desperate for family time, they’re desperate to be on their own or with their friends.
And on top of all this, you have the whole social media brouhaha thrown into the bubbling mix.
I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying and questioning myself as to whether we’re doing it right. Because now it’s bloody vital we get it right. Mistakes can have much bigger consequences.

Sure I worried when they were little, but looking back I should have just chilled out and let the love flow (in the words of the Bellamy Brothers) and not worried so much.

At the moment I spend school mornings cajoling and threatening and begging one of them to MOVE and end up shouting because it’s all so rushed and stressful and THAT’S the kiss on the head they get as they leave me for the day.
I then spend the whole day fretting and beating myself up and worrying about the effect it will have on them during the day and come home to say sorry for being the World’s Biggest Heel. And I’m greeted with a screwed up face because they have NO idea what I’m talking about as it all went over their head. 

But I’ll still do it tomorrow and the next day and the next day.
I’ll still torture myself. 

Of course, I have one child who does everything they’re told . . . but I still fret I’m not doing right by him too!

A photo posted by Tara Cain (@taralara) on

Here’s the thing. The point. I feel that right now my kids need me more than ever. I feel like the baby years, the toddler years, even the early school years I should have spent less time fretting. More time just enjoying and throwing my arms in the air and going “oh well” because really, everything turns out OK.
I wish someone had told me that. That actually it all comes right in the wash if you just throw a dose of consistency in there, add some boundaries and top it up with all the love.

Life at the moment is tough. Busy beyond belief. Relentless. Tiring.
But we’re getting there.

I am the Mother of Teenagers. Much like the Mother of Dragons, life is brutal, but very rewarding.

This entry was posted in Family Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Get busy living

  1. Suzanne says:

    Yes, yes and yes. But you know how we used to worry so much when they were little and it all turned out ok in the end? Perhaps this is the same. Perhaps we need to worry a little less (preaching to myself here). X

  2. My Two Mums says:

    The thought of having a teen scares me. Growing up with social media and the like is a scary prospect. I just hope we get it right.

  3. Expat Mum says:

    I used to have two teenagers in the house; one is gone for good (wah) and the other is back for the summer. The “baby” however, turns 13 this week – so it’s back to being the mother of a teen. Oh boy.

  4. Iota says:

    Plus we’re all 10 years older by the time we have teenagers, so that’s less energy, more need for our own space, shorter attention span, failing memory skills…

    I think the conclusion I draw from this post is… in 10 years time, what will you say to the you of this moment? Surely it will be something along the lines of

    “I should have spent less time fretting. More time just enjoying and throwing my arms in the air and going “oh well” because really, everything turns out OK. I wish someone had told me that. That actually it all comes right in the wash…”

    I do believe that. Yes, the issues are more important, but their capacity to deal with life is bigger too. Though of course I am preaching to myself here too.

    • Tara Cain says:

      Love this Iota. You always come over here with the wisest of comments 🙂
      Tara Cain recently posted…Get busy livingMy Profile

      • Iota says:

        Well, I wrote that, and then spent the evening wondering why it’s so hard to talk to my oldest about uni choices, gap year possibilities, etc etc, and how come I haven’t managed to be one of those parents who can talk to their teens… And what will it be like when he’s 25? Will he talk to me then? So wise, maybe, in theory, but hard in practice!
        Iota recently posted…Regrets: number 1My Profile

  5. Clare Taylor says:

    Just tipping over into the teen years now – and I am already identifying with all you say… (although as much for the 10 year old as for the 12 year old, interestingly). There’s SO much I want to write about regarding this on my blog but can’t because enquiring minds (parents of other pupils) have started to read it. I want those anonymous years back! But yes, this is all WAY harder than being the parent of babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers etc was. Although I’m trying to take heart from Iota’s comments too – and as ever, this too shall pass. And then I’ll miss it. x

  6. Kate Sutton says:

    Oh Tara, this is exactly how I feel – now imagine me doing all of that on my own. (I don’t mean woe is me, but I NEVER know if I’m doing it right because there’s no one to ask. I’ve been winging it for 21 years! Now D is 12, and in his room ALL the time, I’ve taken to texting him ‘I love you’ (as well as saying it when I see him when he comes out of his room for food) … because I want him to know how much i love him all the time. Because what if he doesn’t know? I worry about all the things you worry about – he’s gone from being top of the year in Year 6, to scraping the bottom in some subjects in Year 7. It’s all so bloody worrying! Anyway, good post 🙂 xx

    • Tara says:

      Oh Kate. You do such an amazing job. I genuinely believe that having a sense of humour as a parent is a vital skill. Many a nightmare scenario has been diffused because we were able to laugh about it. And you have that in spades!
      I find it hard the whole being on their own thing but it is a stage in their development. However, as a single parent that must be doubly hard as your buddy is in their room and you just want to be with them. But I too do the texting thing. I don’t like it but if it works and it engages with them then so be it 🙂

  7. So so true! Those years where they are pushing us away are actually the years that they need us the most. The toddler years might have been physically exhausting but the teenage years are mentally exhausting which is so much harder. I never stop worrying. Ugh.

  8. Oh boy, I’m just entering this stage with my eldest who is 11. It’s insane the amount of time he’ll happily spend in his bedroom. Alone. With his phone… I still have LP, who is 7, but you’re right, I really should just go with the flow. It sounds like things are very hectic for you at the moment. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge