Parenting Advice for Mothers of Teenage Girls:
Seriously, sometimes you just have to drink and hope for the best.
These bitches will wreck you!
They will take all of your advice and flush it down the toilet.
They will not understand that what they do to themselves hurts you.
They will not really understand how carrying them in your uterus and then constantly tending to their every need when they were utterly helpless little bundles of human flesh, makes you love them with the most powerful love in the entire universe.
Nope. They will not understand how they are your everything. And this is why they don’t really care how their bad choices cause you pain. They obviously don’t do it for the purpose of hurting you. It may seem like they are incredibly self-centered, but they are only working on their own independence.
You will want them to grow up and be the independent strong women you know they can be, but they will be dependent where they ought to be independent and attempt to be independent where they haven’t a clue.
They will mock your warnings for their safety because they know everything but they are about as ready for the world as a housebroken puppy is to go live in the wild.
They will not really understand what would drive you to go all “mama bear” on their behalf, and how your maternal instincts to protect them from the harm that young women can fall prey to would drive you to get right up in someone’s face and verbally emasculate them; but that’s another story for another time. I will say this, however, “Mama Bear Mode”, it’s a real thing and you do not want to be on the receiving end of that.
So drink! Drink plenty of strong coffee in the morning, water throughout the day, green smoothies and maca in your workout smoothies, because you will need to be strong for this! Then, at the end of the day, when you have given all you can and you still feel like you’re getting absolutely nowhere, it’s okay, have a glass of wine, even if it’s from a box. Give yourself a break because after all, as much as you want to prevent your daughter from ruining her life, you have to let her make her own choices, fall down and learn from her own mistakes because that is the only way she will truly grow.
Remember how frustrating letting her tie her own shoes was when she was 4? Well it’s a lot like that except as she gets older the more damage “doing it by herself” can cause. The frustration you felt letting her tie her own shoes and wipe her own butt was just practice for you for later. You have to let her do it.
That doesn’t mean you let her walk all over you or let her run wild. You need to set boundaries. You do not have to put up with blatant disrespect or allowing something totally unacceptable to go on without consequence.
In the process of learning from mistakes, absent the “I told you so” from you, she will gain confidence knowing that she figured things out on her own. If you are hoping for a “You were right, Mom”, you may be waiting forever. Get over it. Some day she may realize it but right now her growth is what is important, so try to encourage her as much as possible.
Above all, even if you don’t always get along and your relationship suffers for a while, make sure to tell her that no matter what you will always love her for the person she is inside and out. She may not fully comprehend what that means right now but some day she will.
Some day, when she is up at 2 a.m. and her nipples are bleeding but she could not be more in love with this screaming poopy baby, or 18 years later, and she is at once so proud of yet so sad for her own stubborn daughter, foolishly determined to head down the path to heartbreak, maybe then she will understand and maybe then she will feel the depth and strength of your love.