being a mom
Scary Mommy: What I Know About 14
I can tell by the tone of her voice itâ€™s going to be one of those evenings. The ones where hormones collide with perceived injustice to create a vortex I inevitably get sucked into. I know itâ€™s going to start with me calmly trying to talk sense into an irrational brain, then escalate into a ridiculous argument, then culminate with me throwing up my hands and probably yelling more than I want to. I know that.
Over the years, Iâ€™ve nodded along with mock sympathy when other moms would lament their challenges with their teen daughters. But I really thought my daughter would be different. I really thought I would be different. Somehow I thought her kind disposition and my relaxed temperament would make us immune to typical mother-daughter squabbles.
Youâ€™d think Iâ€™d have learned by now that motherhood doesnâ€™t work that way.
Itâ€™s not like sheâ€™s a bad kid. Sheâ€™s pretty awesome, actually. But MY LORD, the drama. She saves it all up just for me. Perhaps I should feel privileged. Perhaps this is normalâ€”in fact, Iâ€™m sure it is. But itâ€™s exhausting. The stomping and the eye rolling and the demon that possesses her without warning. The constant pushing of buttons and boundaries and the relentless questioning of every rule she doesnâ€™t agree with.
I love her to no end, but I hate the hormonal upheaval happening inside of her. I know it has to happen. I know the pushing and questioning are necessary steps to independence. I know that.
But Iâ€™m worried. Iâ€™m worried that time is running out and I havenâ€™t prepared her enough for the world. Iâ€™m worried that Iâ€™ve somehow forgotten or neglected some major life lessons throughout her childhood. I know that teaching those lessons is not 100% my job. I know that there are things sheâ€™s going to have to learn and experience on her own. I know that.
But Iâ€™m scared. Iâ€™m scared about her growing up and losing her innocence. Iâ€™m scared of mean girls and handsome jerks and date rapists and persuasive peers. Iâ€™m scared that she might make the same mistakes that I made, and mistakes that I didnâ€™t. I know I have to trust that we are doing our jobs as parents. I know that she will make mistakes and that she will learn from themâ€”and that even hard lessons are still lessons. I know that.