I recently read this post titled I worry for Mommy Bloggers from Jamie the Very Worst Missionary. Being a self-proclaimed “mommy blogger turned lifestyle blogger”, the title naturally piqued my interest.
She talks about how a mommy blogger has it made when her children are young and adorable. You can style them in photos, pack them inspiring lunches in bento boxes, take them to fun places and blast it all over Facebook, you can make fun crafts with them and laugh at all the cute things they do. From Jamie’s blog:
There’s a reason there aren’t very many blogs from moms of teens. It’s because as they grow, they become like a magnifying glass to all your fatal flaws and the myriad ways you screwed them up as children. Who wants to read about that?! It’s depressing.
I am the mother of three teenage boys and one tween boy and dude, this quote is real talk.
|Five years ago, visiting the Getty Museum.|
When I first started this blog, my 16 year old son Noah was 9 years old. I blogged about missing him while he went to summer camp, how he lost his glasses that one time–you know, all of the funny stories and anecdotes about life with boys. Sigh. And then they just got to the age where they could actually read my blog and read about themselves and it freaked them out a little. Their friends can follow me on Instagram (and some do). They can read my blog, too. I slowly backed away from sharing about them.
But man, the part about your kids becoming a magnifying glass to all of your fatal flaws? Same.
How you begin to see the myriad ways you screwed them up as children? Same.
How people don’t want to read about the depressing life of raising teens? Same.
It’s funny, in a sad self-deprecating way. While I’m crafting and photographing my younger kids, I’m navigating the uncharted waters of life with my teenage sons. Growing body parts, what to share and what not to share on social media, inappropriate language, squabbles amongst each other, learning how to drive, skateboarding accidents, high school math, friends who are a bad influence, porn, dating and girls–this is my life right now.
Don’t get me started on the topic of the internet and hand-held devices. I’ve come to the realization that it is bigger than me and my parenting defenses–I can no longer police them. We’ve had many, many discussions about it. They know right from wrong and they have to make the right choices for themselves online. I pray for them, encourage them but I can’t make their choices for them. That said, I despise, despise the KIK app. And Snapchat. And the lack of filters for adult content on YouTube.
But that wasn’t me, mom. Yes, it’s on my phone, logged into my Google account, but it wasn’t me looking at sexy Asians twerking. Mom, you’ve got to believe me.
If this is what life with teens is like for a family with two very involved parents in the home raising teens who have attended church every Sunday and have been homeschooled their entire lives…then my deepest sympathies for those parents who are raising teens on their own because being a mom with teenage boys is hard.
|My boys doing inappropriate things at the museum.|
There are moments when I would give my eyeteeth to have them back at the age when I first started blogging. Life was as hard as making sure they used deodorant and brushing their teeth. But now? It’s multi-layered and complicated and if you have multiple children like I do–I sometimes feel like there is just no way I can do an adequate job of being a mom to all of them, all the time.
For the most part, my sons are freaking awesome. They love others and work hard and they are kind. I watch them interact with people and it makes my heart soar. That is when being a parent is amazing. Then there are those low moments and it never fails, every single moment of mommy self-doubt crashes over my head like a tidal wave in the ocean.
But still, these things need to be said. How motherhood changes needs to be discussed. It’s not just about debating vaccines, how to feed a picky child or which car seat is best. You will blink your eyes and your kids will grow up and you won’t have time to worry and debate because you’ll be in the real trenches of motherhood.
Babies turn into–gulp–teenagers. And then what?
Life with teenagers is not a real hot topic among mommy bloggers. I get that. But the conversation needs to be opened, don’t you think? It feels good to know other people are going what you are going through. I don’t have all of the answers, that’s for sure. But it’s real and raw and exactly what I’m going through at the moment.