Why are there lots of magazines/websites/blogs et al for children this size? (My triplets- of sorts- as preschoolers). But not when they become TEENS.
This occurred to me the other day when I spotted a ‘Parents’ magazine in my therapist’s office. Yes, therapy. When you have three teen girls, you not only need therapy you need shock treatments; a lobotomy even sounds good.
But I digress. ‘Parents’ got me through all the years raising my three, from infants to tweens. I lived for each issue filled with articles on subjects such as the latest diaper rash advice, or how to still breathe, much less think about sex, or make-up for the On-the-go Mom who-looks-like-a-fashion-model.
In other words, for me, ‘Parents’ was like reading science fiction. Wow, that’s cool. Maybe someday I’ll look good in leggings and we’ll go to Mars.
But after age 12 or so -suddenly- there was no pages on, say, the development of a 14 year-old.
Or advice on what to say when one daughter declares she wants to vape; or how do you explain to Snapchat-adled teen brains that sending nude selfies is the dumbest damned thing you’ve ever heard of since you were in high school and all your friends wanted to go skinny dipping. Or wanted to take saunas together, in The Nude. Did I do any of that? Of course I did- I was once a stupid teenager.
Where is the ‘What to Expect When Raising Teens?’ Book? Where is Dr. Spock for Mothers of Teen Girls who might want to smoke pot one day?
Bad idea, I tell them. Drinking too much, bad idea, too- how do I know? Nevermind -
Nothing but deafening silence out there when it comes to raising teens. My three love horror movies. Why? Because raising teens is horrifying and being a teen is pretty scary, too. I’ve come to refer to them as Werewolves, which they regularly morph in and out of- without missing a single Snapchat String or spilling their precious Starbucks Frappuccino. Or as I now call it: ‘Star-There-Went-Your-College-Fund -bucks.’
One of my daughter’s friends wrote on her Instagram page: ‘I hate my life!’ Don’t worry, we hate it, too. JUST KIDDING.
You’re supposed to hate it. Teens are caught between childhood and adulthood. If lucky the former was wonderful- if luckier- the latter looks great, too, because your parents are GREAT ACTORS!
I try to make being an adult seem as fun as possible - that it’s totally awesome to be able to do piles of laundry, clean up after pet messes, manage the wardrobes, the Home Library, the Family Archives, the Family Museum (note- all filled with childhood keepsakes, like baby clothes I couldn’t bear to part with after paying full price at Baby Gap for things those pink patent leather boots).
I am the Keeper of the Roomba, the Family Schedule (now there’s a horror film idea for you) and so on.
(Note: my pet peeve- laundry soap ads with fathers gently talking about washing the Little Princess’s princess dress. Just pop it in the wash- one measly dress- but wait they forget to tell you about getting that dress off the Little Princess. Hell hath no fury like a toddler who does not want to take off her filthy, dirty, stinking overpriced Princess dress).
I am in therapy for anxiety. I never had anxiety before I had kids. I was a hard bitten, fierce newspaper reporter! I was part of a large team of reporters who won a Pulitzer Prize! I wrote a book. They made it into TV movie. There was no hill or mountain I couldn’t climb. Nothing stopped me.
Nowadays, forget coffee, I need Joe’s Bar&Grill on Home delivery. Especially like the other day when one of the Werewolves came up to me and said: “Mom, I want a belly ring.”