The parent’s guidebook didn’t warn me about this.

Being a parent isn’t easy. Yes you can buy books that guide you through conception to adulthood. Yet they don’t prepare you for the emotional impact of parenthood.

From the first moment you see this precious little thing you are determined to protect from all evil. To cherish and love with all your heart.

Fast forward 13 years that cute adorable bundle of love is screaming at you. Shouting that you are determined to ruin their lives. The question i ask myself daily is where did I go wrong?

Others have their opinions, my mom tells me I spoil them to much. My husband tells me I do to much for them. My mother in law tries to convince me all teenagers are like this.

Maybe they are all right.

I know I spoil them, I grew up with little I wanted them to have so much more.

Yes I do way to much for them, again I didn’t want them to have responsibilities like I had.

Yes teenagers are stroppy and moody it’s the influx of hormones that invade their bodies.

But the truth is my girls, my teenagers aren’t the one with the problem ( well maybe a few). I am.

When my daughter screams she hates me. My heart breaks, I take her words as gospel. I don’t see the teenage angst I just see she hates me.

I wait patiently at times for me to screw up. I accept that’s who I am.

It’s pathetic I know, I guess we would have to dig back to those childhood times to find the source of my issues but the truth is I am who I am.

And I really need to get over myself.

I need to accept perfection in motherhood is a myth. Maybe I have spoilt them, indulged them but one thing I do know is that I loved them with all my heart.

There does come a time when you have to step back at let them make their own mistakes. You cannot protect them from the lessons of life no matter how much you want to.

There is going to be times when my daughters hate me but I know there will be more times that they will love me.


2 thoughts on “The parent’s guidebook didn’t warn me about this.

  1. Pat Yirrell

    Please Sara , give yourself a break. It is natural for teenagers to push against the boundaries, but as long as the boundaries are there, they will push. They need the boundaries. Don’t do too much for them, ask them politely to keep their rooms tidy, or lay the table for a meal. I got to the stage where I refused to clean or tidy my kids rooms when they were teenagers, now their houses are tidier than mine because they have learned the chaos that ensues. You cannot ruin someone’s life by caring about them, or loving them, they don’t hate you, it is you that they will turn to for help if they eventually mess up.
    I know it’s hard to know how much freedom to allow, but things are more difficult for teenagers now than when you or I were younger. Pray and follow your instincts without smothering, and when they are older they will be your best friends. xx


    1. I agree with what Pat said.

      It *IS* heartbreaking when they call us names, or accuse us of “ruining their lives”, or tell us they “hate us”. But at the end of the day, it really is only a storm in a teacup; it’s just a more advanced form of a toddler’s tantrum.

      It seems to me that nowadays, our teenagers all want to have more “freedom” to do just as they please, and to be treated as adults, but they don’t want to accept the full weight of the responsibility and accountability that comes with being an adult. When I was a young teenager my parents both had to work to support us all, and my mum was a nurse and had to work shifts. So, because I was the eldest child, I had to look after my younger siblings until one of my parents came home; making sandwiches for our tea, and either relighting or keeping the coal fire going. I had no choice in the matter, and it wasn’t very different to many of my friends at school, but I still resented it (and my parents) at the time. I was glad when my brother and sister were old enough to start sorting themselves out, but I felt that I missed out on a lot. In hindsight, and to be fair to my parents, I probably didn’t miss much, and grew more mature as a result.

      So I fully understand why you want to make sure they don’t have to take on those responsibilities; but as Pat said, it might not be helpful in the long run. Part of becoming an adult is learning to impose those boundaries on one’s self, and that can only happen as a result of testing the boundaries that we parents set for them.

      Try not to let it get you down (much easier said than done!), and try not to let them see how much it hurts when they use their wordy weapons. You’ve also got to allow them to push, and push, and push, but stay patient, strong and consistent. Eventually they will understand when they’ve gone too far.

      Give them time. And give yourself time too 🙂


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