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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Trudging through


Can we talk about teenagers?
again.
Am I starting to sound like a broken record?

Since I've opened up about our teenager issues, both on the blog and in person, I think the one thing that has most help me is that we are not alone.
We
Are
Not
Alone.
No matter how awful.  How hard.  How badly we're messing up.  How hurtful it gets.  Other parents have been and are on the same path. Cause when you're in the midst of it, you feel like you're on an island without anyone who knows what you're going through.  These really tough and difficult issues are not isolated cases.  They many not be the norm, but they are common.  And you can rarely see them from the outside looking in.

I had one mama say to me, You know when they were little, my goals were so different.  I had such high expectations for my children.  And although my dreams haven't changed for my teenagers, my only goal now is to keep them alive!  Amen.  It seems such a low bar to set, but it is truth.  And it is common.  To set our bar just above DUIs and ODs.  Above suicide and disease and car crashes.  One mom asked me in the midst of the worst, Is it okay to not like my child?  It is the hardest job.  

I've talked to many moms over the last while who say the same thing I'm saying.  What goes on in our homes is information (that can look like a secret) that just can't be shared with everyone.  Because until you've walked in our shoes you just don't know how someone will react... and judge.  And these are our children after all, our precious treasure.  We'll protect them with our lives if need be... even as they are simultaneously pelting us with insults, profanity and tennis shoes... literally.

And we trudge through it.
After 20 years of parenting our teens, and so many different experiences, I'm not quite as emotional as I once was.  I'm not here to be liked.  I didn't birth my children to create my own personal fan club.  But I will also {try really super duper hard to} respect these amazing people with my core.  Just because they don't have as much experience as I do, doesn't mean their feelings aren't valid.
And fear often comes out as rage.
And disrespect.
And hostility.
And sabotage.
And manipulation.
And depression.
And self destruction.
And fear.

Thank you so much those mamas that came forward and told me I wasn't alone.  From the inside looking out it feels like everyone else's teenager is sailing through it with honor roll certificates and letterman sweaters.  And to the mamas on the island, I'm here.  We're here.  You are not alone.

So we trudge through it and savor the sweet moments in between.  And pray we're doing it right.  'Cause until I know better, I can't really do better.  So I do the best I know how with the skills I have we have at the time 'cause that's all I got!
And I pray to God to show me the right way.
'Cause these are our children after all, our precious treasure.

8 comments:

  1. As a momma that has "trudged through" please know that on the horizon there are better days ahead. I'm a mother of "Been there, done that Academy".

    When the "ripples of life" seems to turn into MONSOONS of MISERY, always remember you are NOT ALONE. It does get better....

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  2. Thank you for talking about teenagers. Again. Thank you for being so open and honest because no one wants to admit that we have these problems and as sad as it may sound, it's nice to know I'm not alone. "Parenting is not for sissies." This is something that NEEDS to be talked about.

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  3. Oh we are right there in the middle of it too! We are on our first teenager and he's giving us a run for our money. It's been such a delicate balancing act, trying to tame his will but not break his spirit. Most days I feel like I'm just flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to parenting :)

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  4. Amen! I can be honest that while I live my 14 year old I can't wait for him to leave the nest. It sounds mean, but 14 year olds are not very fun!

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing this. Teenagers are really not that much fun - still love them but...
    Our boys made it into their 20's - whew - but the girls, I don't have a clue. Emotions that can flip 180 degrees in SECONDS! I'm sure I wasn't like that in my early teens (ha!) You share with me girl tips and I'll share some boy tips.
    Day by day, sometimes minute by minute, we just have to pray and trust that we will make it to the other side and they will be AMAZING adults!

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  6. Right there with you. I came back today because I needed to read it again. I so hope I am handling it all the right way and guiding mine wisely but sometimes I just feel lost. Hugs to you!! Hugs to your readers with teens as well. You hear the stories of how you may never sleep again and all kinds of words of wisdom about the newborn phase. However, no one really talks about when they get older. I am pretty sure each of my children are facing some sort of challenge and needing my direct attention daily. How on earth do we mamas do it? I swear we have super powers. We all need capes.

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  7. In a different place than you with only 3 teens, but our youngest has really made us look at our expectations...we used to say we hoped to avoid legal involvement, now we've adjusted to hoping we avoid incarceration! Sounds crazy, (sounds like we're joking - we're not!)and at times we can't believe we're here, yet here we are. We've got this boy with so many gifts and so many challenges, we truly just do one day at a time. Our girls have given us a run for our money at times too, but nothing like this guy. We've been known to go for a quick drive to get a coffee and remind ourselves 'it's us against them' and re-energize for the next day. Hang in there, pray constantly and laugh when you can!

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  8. Well put-and so how I feel! I have been on this island for some time now, it's hard-so hard! And I am just beginning, sometimes I amazed at how God made us able to endure it all, and how He has such faith in us. Can't we just go back to simple things like would you like apple juice or orange juice? Guess not, we are moving in to the next stage :O) Luv u!

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