Monday, April 20, 2015

The Good, The Bad, and the Imaginary

Look, let's admit it, parenting teens is hard.  And unpleasant.  And a lot of other things.  But we have also made it hard on ourselves. 

Oh yes people, it's not only their fault.  We have some responsibility in this too. 

 In 1975 only 5% of first births were to moms age 30 or older.  In 1975 I was 7 years old.  I remember 1975! 

 Oldsmobile selling car of 1975
 Starsky and Hutch!

By 2010 that number was 25%.  

You may not realize what a big deal that is, but think of it this way.........if you give birth to your first and you are 23 years old, then when you are 45 they are 22.  With any luck they are long gone from your home.  At the very least, they are finishing college in some far away city.

On the other hand if you are OVER 30 when you have them, and let's be generous and say you are just barely over and 31, then when you are 45 they are 14. 



Just barely a teenager, with all the teenage angst and drama still ahead of them.  The difference between 14 and 22 is MONUMENTAL. But the biggest thing is you.  At 45 you are most likely in peri-menopause.  Think about that for a minute.  Would you rather have a 22 year old who is on their own, or a 14 year old living in your home, looking down the barrel at high school, friend drama, social media, proms, drivers licenses, blah, blah, blah, while you are going through hot flashes and all that goes with it???

It's like all of you are on a hormonal roller coaster at the same time, only they are going up, up, up and you are going down, down, down.  

I had my first at 29 and my second at 32.  I am 46, almost 47.  They are 17 and 14.  It's uglier than I ever thought it would be.  You always read those parenting articles about how older parents are more patient, etc.  Maybe they mean OLDER, because I have the patience of a gnat.  Seriously.....and they are even worse than I am!  We have enough emotional drama around here to take down a small village without even trying.  I'm surprised that The Hub's can live through it.  Sometimes I catch him staring at all of us like we are aliens, or have horns sprouting from our heads or something.

But it's total different on the way up than it is on the way down, which makes for some interesting parenting moments!  They have very real problems that they tend to think are imaginary, and very imaginary problems that they tend to think are real.


So do I.  But mine are the exact opposite of theirs.  All their imaginary stuff?  It's real.  All their "real" stuff? Completely imaginary.  They tend to disagree.  Loudly, often and vehemently.  

For example....

They think that the doing of, or not doing of as the case may be, their homework is not a problem.  I disagree.  The 3 F's?  Totally a problem, and a major one in my world!  So, when I have a hissy fit and insist they do the work, it infuriates me exponentially that they stare at me like they have no idea why I could possible be upset!

But when I take their cell phone away for the missing work?  To me this is not a problem.  I didn't have phone as a teen.  I lived.  But to them....a fate worse than death.  Imaginary.

Me.....what they eat is very important.  Organic, veggies, not processed, no fast food.  To them this "problem" is totally imaginary.  They would rather survive off McDonald's and Monster Energy Drinks.

Sleep. Oh.  Thing 1 and I so seriously part ways on this one that we nearly come to blows.  He is a night owl. He wants to stay up until 12 or later.  I love sleep.  It is my holy grail, I am always searching for it.  There are nights (last night comes to mind) when I march up and down the hallway INSISTING he GO TO BED, while he insists that HE IS NOT TIRED, all the while I am counting the hours of sleep I can get if he just complies and getting madder and madder.  I am certain I am right.  He is just as certain he is right.  I quote studies about how much sleep teens need, how sleep effects your moods, etc.  He thinks "studies" are stupid.  

It is this way about everything.  I have no patience because I lost it all along they way.  They have no patience because they haven't learned it yet.  The Hub's actually had a conversation with Thing 1 today that went like this...

"If you make your mother miserable I am going to be upset because that is going to make my life miserable and if that happens I will be sure to make your life miserable.....understand????" It is like a bad episode of the Soprano's around here.
Then, just when I am as mad as I can get.....I burst into tears.  Because peri-menopause, that's why.

They never burst into tears.  

I guess that means they win.  For now.  

But I still control the cell phone contract......