When you’re 23 and acting as Mom to teenage girls, things can be…well, difficult. It’s all a power struggle. There are boundaries to be pushed and some teenagers attempt to push every.single.one.
You’re considered “too young” to be the boss, yet “too old” to know how life works in middle school or high school.
Chores are “stupid”, yet “I need money to buy things.
The other girls in school wear crop tops and booty shorts, but when “I” wear them it’s different.
There is a lot to teach at this age. Teenagers are more impressionable because they can understand what you’re saying, but less malleable because they already have so much instilled in them. It’s a huge job to take on, teaching someone about right and wrong at this point of their life. You’re starting all over in some scenarios, but it’s such an important job. As a society we want healthy, functioning adults but not everyone wants to put in the work.
Being a Mom to teenage girls when you yourself were a teenager not only 5 years ago, puts you in this purgatory-like place. An in-between, Mom/sister type of place where you have to wing it and hope you’re doing the right thing. Looking and being so young, sometimes gives the impression that you have no idea what you’re talking about, some may call that a weakness. It gives the impression that anyone can take advantage of you and say whatever they want to you, as if you don’t deserve the same respect as an “elder” simply because you don’t look like one.
Looking back on my own teenage years, I realize that I too gave my grandparents hell. I tried to push their buttons and treated them like they had no clue how life worked. But somewhere in all of that shit I gave my elders, I learned basic respect. Or maybe it was learned before the teenage years, but I realize now that I never would have said things to them that degraded the way they took care of me. One of the girls, said “You need to learn how to take better care of me”. In the midst of an argument about losing her cell phone due to disrespect and in some ways, I think she is right. Maybe we do need to learn how to take better care of her in some ways. I can only go off my own experiences of being a teenager.
Two years ago, when I was pregnant with Estelle I had no idea that we would be taking care of two teenage girls at the same time. I figured we had many years before we would have to consider things like chores, punishments, cell phones, periods, boyfriends and so on. We are learning to parent three different stages of life right now, while also trying to establish ourselves in the adult world! It makes for a hectic household 99% of the time.
It’s all about the baby steps. We’ve got those down pat!