Mother to teenagers
I've been thinking of you lately and wanted to write you a letter so you can start preparing yourself for life as a mother to teenagers.
So you remember how everyone says things will get easier?
Well in many ways they do .... for example carrying shit. You definitely will have less shit to carry as they get older. No more car seats, buggies that won't fold up properly and humans attached to your hip. Oh and for the most part crossing the road gets easier. Unless you're with the biggest boy who even at 15 can be a little bit distracted - but generally you can start to stand fairly close to a road again without worrying that someone will make a dash in to the middle of it. But easier? Sorry to say it babe but it's a lie.
The problem is that the bigger they get the less control you have over the stuff that worries you and the harder they are to communicate with. I haven't actually checked it scientifically but I'm pretty sure the increase in blood pressure brought on by a tantruming two year old is similar to that induced by an angry thirteen year old who can't have the thing that they must have immediately that will transform their life forever (and probably leave you a few quid short of meeting the mortgage payment this month.)
And they get big - like bigger than you big - so when they have that meltdown you can't just hug them until they give up fighting and eventually fall asleep - instead it's generally you that has to diffuse the situation by sending your self to bed and crying yourself to sleep. And then.... would you believe that they wake up and either start pleading with you all over again or just forget that shit ever happened - tell me something more infuriating than that - I bet you can't!
They tell lies - and not stupid little ones like 'did you write your name in green pen on the bathroom wall?' ... 'No Mummy.' They lie about important stuff and they make you feel incompetent because something big was going on and you didn't even realise anything was out of the ordinary.
They eat all. the. food. It actually doesn't matter how many times you go to the supermarket a week - there will never be anything left. The budget that you were so excited you saved when stopped having to pay for childcare will be spent on food.
Oh and you know how you tell everyone that you can handle any parenting challenge life throws at you as long as bed time stays on plan and you still get your evenings to relax and watch a bit of TV..... well you need to face up to the fact that teenagers don't go to bed at 7pm every night which means the TV has to stay clean and any marital shenanigans have to take place (quietly) between the hours of midnight and 7am.
Finally try and remember the way you looked after your possessions when you were 14. You weren't particularly hot on hygiene either - so when the teenage years hit - just take a deep breath and remember that statistically very few people reach adulthood still needing to be reminded to change their pants and brush their teeth. Oh and at some point they will want to bring a girlfriend into their bedroom and when they do - they'll put all those dirty plates and cups in the dishwasher. You might need to buy a few extra sets to see you through until then.
You'll get through it darling - I know you will. But next time someone tells you it gets easier.... tell them you know they're talking shit.