Was this statement coming out of my mouth, circa 1986, or from my daughter's last week?? Most likely both. Last year I blogged about letting her make her own way and I actually believed I could do that. I've grown negative and cynical since then.
What she doesn't realize (and I didn't either back then) is HER mistakes are MY mistakes. No parent wants to be asked, "And how IS so-and-so?" when the only answer is "Um, she is doing fairly average in grades and doesn't have any other interests outside of the 4x2 inches of her iPhone screen."
We Moms and Dads LOVE Facebook bragging rights, Instagram nuggets, and general high marks for having a stellar kid. These days in my house, its the kids who seem to care less if they are making a name for themselves. "Passing" is good enough for my Lil Lady...that means if she's 70 or above she's sitting comfortably. Whoa nelly, that dog don't bark in my house.
I get the daily eye-rolls, "O-KAY"s, and usual malaise in the attitude department from her, which I don't doubt is Standard Operation Procedure in Teen World. I am well-aware (also via Facebook) that most teenagers are jerks. They just are. They demand time and attention and money and give pretty much nothing in return. I used to be able to guilt her into feeling sorry for me when she was hitting the ugly-teen act hard, but those days are gone. I admit I remember feeling very little compassion for my mom when she took the brunt of my hormonal rants, but now I am living the other side. I feel like I'm watching a bully in action.
My boyfriend, Sinatra, lives at home with his two teenage boys, and a pre-teen daughter. The daughter has her special moments but for the most part hasn't gone full-blown teen yet. The boys are more of the passive-aggressive types, but at time are aggressive-aggressive with each other. That's no fun for him to deal with either, but the psychological warfare I wage almost daily with Lil Lady is as mentally draining as is getting between two full-grown teen boys throwing punches.
Is it clear why we have chosen not to marry yet and combine our children into one home?
She wants to be left alone to "live her life". I allow her to put herself to bed at night, meaning I don't regulate her bedtime. She wants to ride to school with her friend or boyfriend instead of the bus, so oversleeping in the morning is not an option. She also wants to look good at school so getting up and putting her outfit and hair together takes time, so she sets her alarm on her own. She keeps up with her personal hygiene and for the most part puts her laundry down in the laundry room to be washed, and even puts in a load herself if no one is interested in helping. She is doing better eating regularly and more healthy than she did last year, and even tries to get exercise most days.
But does she brush her teeth morning and night? Does she take out her contacts and clean them daily? These things actually wake me up in the middle of the night. Of course I'm thinking of high dental bills and eyeballs with blisters, but she doesn't seem to have my worry gene.
Homework and studying seem to be an afterthought and her grades so far this year are hovering over a low B in most classes, but some end up C's from simply having an "M", for missing assignment. Whaaaa?? She has no urgency to get things turned in until I'm screaming via text to her after checking the Home Access site, TURN IN YOUR WORLD HISTORY ASSIGNMENT OR YOU WILL FAIL THIS GRADE PERIOD FROM SHEER LAZINESS!!!
She rarely responds to my during-school texts.
She'll tell me she doesn't know what to do on an assignment or when its due, and I must force her to email her teacher even though I want so badly to type out a diplomatically-worded and grammatically-correct letter, asking for details about classwork. What job in life will let you turn in stuff late and still receive full credit? What working person does this on a regular basis and keeps their job?
But then I am a nag and a bitch for constantly lecturing her.
Any other person in my life who would take this much of my brain power and emotional energy and stomp all over them, I would've cut them out a long time ago.
I divorced for less.
But she is my blood, therefore a reflection of me, so I continue to be that mom.
I may have to rename my blog InsaneAsylumHereICome because she's still around for at least 3 years, and I have another one, Chillgirl, coming up right behind her. Chillgirl thankfully does not take acts of Rebellion to the level of Art (so far). She really is "chill", but that does manifest itself in a bit of passive-aggressiveness..."I'm mad at Mom, so I will move as slow as Christmas when she's in a hurry". Thank the Lord for creating red wine.
I talk to myself a lot, and to God, and ask for patience and perseverance. My girls may challenge me but I keep telling myself they only do it because they know my love knows no bounds.
I want to make the home her friends want to come to, I want to have open dialogue with them, and know the kids they hang out with. I want to be who they come to when no one else cares about their problems. So far these things are still within my reach. I may pry and snoop to stay in the loop. I will fight through the trenches of the bad stuff to be there.
|I'm a Lucky Mom|